The Party is Over

As Solomon the wisest of men once said “there is nothing new under the sun”. With this in mind it should come as no surprise that the recently proposed “rightist” bills have elicited the usual responses: lots and lots of Bibi-bashing together with accusations that Israel’s democracy is under attack and that freedom of speech is being stymied.

Thus, rather than seriously addressing the issues and arguing over substance, the supposed guardians of democracy simply rattle off sound bites that are designed to vilify and scare anyone who dares to see things differently. It’s a common tactic and one that is expected, especially from those who feel their power slipping away.

However, times are changing and the public is finally waking up. They know that the Israeli Supreme Court is one of the most activist supreme courts in the world with a disproportionate amount influence, driven by a worldview that represents a very small percentage of the Israeli population. Moreover, people understand that changing the longstanding policy whereby the court basically chooses its own judges in order to perpetuate its ideological stranglehold will only strengthen, and not curtail, Israeli democracy.

Similarly, most Israelis understand that the funding of Israeli organizations by foreign governments as a way to enable these governments to advance their agenda of delegitimizing Israel, especially in light of the current international campaign against Israel, is obviously problematic. Thus, labeling any attempt to deal with this complex issue as a sign of a right-wing crackdown or a restriction of human rights is nonsense.  It’s a very serious issue that must be addressed regardless of one’s ideological position.

More importantly, the days are coming to an end whereby the powerful left-wing establishment manages to silence their critics every time they feel a threat to their well-entrenched hold on power. As much as they try to portray themselves as innocent by wrapping themselves in pure white cloaks of freedom and democracy, this small yet powerful ideological group can no longer hide their hypocrisy. The same voices which sanctimoniously claim that the Israel of Netanyahu and Lieberman is turning ugly and fascist, for years labeled all opponents of the disastrous Oslo process as enemies of peace in order to stifle any real discussion. Likewise, prominent voices in the mainly left-wing media who disingenuously claim that the current government is overstepping its boundaries in order to impose its agenda, only a few short years rallied round the call by one of their colleagues that Ariel Sharon had to be “protected like an etrog” in order to help the government implement the controversial Gaza Disengagement.

Unfortunately, rather than understanding that the public is simply fed up with a situation whereby a small group with an exorbitant amount of power and influence basically determines what is best for the rest of the country, the predominantly left-wing establishment continues to view alternative voices as a threat. This is truly a shame since the truth of the matter is that a change in direction based upon a more balanced approach will not only be more in line with the mindset of the average Israeli but it will also help secure the long-term survival of the country.

Whether or not the left finally internalizes this and stops attacking, is irrelevant. Either way, the party is over as their monopoly on being the sole deciders on the direction of the country is finally coming to an end.

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13 Responses to The Party is Over

  1. Tzvi Hirsh says:

    Shalom Aleichem Yoel!

    Is the left really losing power? None of the bills aimed at keeping it at bay have passed. Bibi bowed to international pressure when he decided not to endorse the anti-NGO bill. The Supreme Court remains unchallenged. The only thing that has been achieved so far is that there is some public discussion of those problems. But even that achievement is threatened by the leftist stranglehold on the media. I wish I could see things the same way you do.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Tzvi Hirsh shalom,

      Although there is truth to what you are saying, I think at the same time their exaggerated reaction and the fact that people are finally speaking up and actually trying to take on the very powerful powers that be, is in itself a sign that things are changing. It’s a process, a somewhat slow one, but I truly believe these signs indicate that we’re on the way to a change. Thus, my article is also a way to give moral support to those who earnestly working for the change.

      All the best.


  2. mordechai says:

    Finally, you have no idea how happy i am to hear the evil leftiest are finally washing away from us. Thank you for the great news and the article. We Israeli people have had enough abuse from this evil party. This small sect but yet powerful leftest party, has made us a sitting duck for the enemy. We are at a point that we can’t even protect ourselves and our boarders any more. End to the leftest , enemy loving party. Israel for ever

  3. Thanks for the great article. It’s for me just appelling how loud the left can cry ‘danger to democracy’ the moment the people – after years of painful learning the big wrongs of the leftist path – try to take a bit of its legitimate power back through the most democratic ways in order to push democracy and its principles.
    For the leftists commentators in the media only mass protests that want ‘Bibi’s head’ are called a “celebration of democracy”, while the Gush Kativ demos or now the tries of the Knesset to free Israel a bit out of the grip of the secular, leftists elite, noone of them sees a “celebration of democracy”. I see it so.

    Thanks for you words, I seemingly will publish it on my blog in German.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      Thanks Ulrich. By your words it’s clear that you also understand the issue. And thank you in advance for publishing the article in German (FYI, feel free to translate/publish in German any article of mine on this blog).

      All the best.


  4. Ruth says:

    I saw a reference on Latma to the court choosing its judges but the meaning didn’t sink in; it’s such an obviously bad idea that I assumed I had misunderstood. The parliamentary system already blurs legislative and executive power; what genius thought the court should be unmonitored, as well? I guess probably it was just the Ottoman system that Israel inherited. 60 years is long enough to coast on Turkish custom.

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      By the way Ruth, I once spoke to an Israel friend of mine (a good guy, well educated, good heart) and he said that the court choosing their own is what is known as “separation of powers”. He further added that “they do their thing, and other branches do their thing”. In other words, this is how an intelligent Israeli understands terms such as “separation of powers” or “balance of powers”, and therefore doesn’t see anything wrong with the supreme court judges basically choosing their own. Amazing!

      • Ruth says:

        Very literal interpretation, no understanding of the real issue: separation of interests.

      • Ruth says:

        I think The Federalist Papers has been translated into Hebrew. Wish there were a way to create real exposure to these ideas, which are the highest achievement of political theory in world history. I have never understood why the system described there was not adopted worldwide, ever after. I suppose it’s because that was a moment in time when those with complete power chose to limit it; others have no interest in doing so, or they fear that limited power would limit their ability to combat outside threats. So they stick with the parliamentary system (minus king) and from that point on, there is no real separation of powers.

  5. Dear Yoel,

    I read your op-ed in Ynet with great interest and growing sense of worry. Hope you will find time to read (and respond to) this:

    • Yoel Meltzer says:

      SnoopyTheGoon shalom,

      Thank you for contacting me, even if you don’t agree with me (I just read your blog). By the way, the original name of the article (as it appears on this blog) was “The Party is Over”. Ynet made some editing changes and also gave it a new name (“Leftist Party is Over”).

      More importantly, I think rather than responding to every point you raised (which would take some time), I’m going to copy here a comment (or “talkback”) that I just sent to Ynet since I noticed that some people either misunderstood my article or are taking it in directions that I didn’t intend. I hope this will answer some of your questions.

      All the best.


      To all those who commented, thank you for taking the time. Regarding those who disagree with me, I’d like to clarify a few points.

      For years some of the most powerful institutions in Israel, powerful in terms of affecting public opinion and policy, such as the court system, the media and the academic world, have been dominated by a worldview that is not representative of the average Israeli (to put it mildly). Nevertheless, they have used and abused their positions of influence and power to promote their worldview in Israel, regardless of what the public thinks. In doing so, the voice and mindset of the average Israeli, the “amcha”, a group which is characterized as being somewhat traditional, somewhat nationalistic and somewhat right-wing and which percentage wise makes up the majority of the Israeli population, is barely expressed or represented. Moreover, this is regardless of which political party happens to be leading the government at any one moment.

      This is what needs to be changed and this is why those who for so long have had an exaggerated amount of influence and power are going absolutely ballistic, since they feel the threat to their hegemony.

      Having said all this, my intention is certainly not to replace one group who has abused its power with another group that will abuse its power. Rather, I want a real balance in this country regarding the exchange of ideas, something that has been lacking for years in the overly powerful and influential left-leaning court system, academic world and media. Similarly, I want a real balance in the ability to shape the direction and future of the country, be it on the domestic front or in international issues, something that for years has been dominated by a mindset that is not representative of the majority of Israelis.

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