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The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."


Israeli Elections: Manifestations of Insanity
Paul Eidelberg 
Leaving aside the soldiers vote, which may not be known for another week, the presently repor ted results of the February 10 election contain an interesting twist.  Consider the seats won by the so-called rightwing parties:
Likud (27), Israel Beiteinu (15), Shas (11), United Torah Judaism (5), National Union (4), and Jewish Home (3).  Total: 65.
Whereas the leftwing parties won 44 seats, the Arab parties won 11 seats¡Xa total of 55.
Now, for the purpose of this article, I am going to ignore the role of the President and formulate a purely hypothetical state of affairs.
Suppose Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Israel Beiteinu Party, concocts a deal with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni.  The Left would then have 59 seats.  The Arabs give the Left a "blocking majority,¨ so that Livni would becomes the prime minister of a leftwing coalition government
This sort of thing happened in the June 1992 election.  Labor-Meretz won 56 seats, which enabled the Arab parties, with 5 seats, to give the Left a blocking majority over against the nationalist and religious parties which had won 59 seats.  (Shas joined Labor-Meretz to make the government kosher, and that led to Oslo .)
Now, to avoid misunderstanding, I am not predicting a replay of the 1992 election.  Besides, Likud may gain an additional seat from the soldiers vote, and that would preclude the above scenario—that manifestation of Israel ’s insanity.
But what is the lesson to be gleaned from the results of the 2009 Israeli election and the hypothetical replay of the 1992 election?.  Is it merely that Israel ’s electoral system is a “failure,” as indica ted by Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief David Horowitz?  If so, a failure in what respect?  
             Is the system a failure because the election did not yield a clear winner who can stand as the nation’s choice of prime minister?   Many people would say this. 
             Or is it a failure because the Arab vote could hypothetically decide who would be Israel ’s prime minister?  Hardly anyone is saying this.  But even those who do touch only the surface of Israel ’s systemic malaise.
Do Israel’s ruling elites, be they politicians or judges, academics or journalists, comprehend the irrationality of Israel’s system of government, more precisely, its alogical principle of one  adult/one vote? 
Do they realize that democracy’s most fundamental principle of “one adult, one vote” is tantamount to “one opinion, one vote,” which, in practice, makes contradictory opinions equal?
Do they understand, therefore, that the democratic principle of “one adult, one vote” is, in practice, alogical?
Do they understand that, according to Freud, the alogical has its home in the unconscious?  Let me explain by way of psychiatrist Ignacio Matte-Blanco.
If Peter is the brother of John, then John is the brother of Peter.  The relation is symmetrical.  But if Peter is the father of John, then John is the son of Peter.  The relation is asymmetrical.
Now, Matte-Blanco shows that making that which is asymmetrical symmetrical is symptomatic of schizophrenia.  (I enlarge on the subject in Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy).
The principle of symmetry manifests itself in democracy via the principle of equality.  As democracy become further removed from the aristocratic and religious tradition, its principle of equality becomes indiscriminate.  Thus, we see in Israel that no distinction is made between loyal and disloyal citizens so far the right to elect or be elec ted to public office is concerned.
Moreover, throughout the democratic world we see the phenomenon of moral equivalence, which puts Hamas on a par with Israel ,   In fact, moral equivalence often degenerates into moral reversal—to Israel ’s disadvantage.  This is not just nihilism: it is insanity.  This insanity-cum-nihilism is symptomatic of the end of the democratic era, which began with the Enlightenment.
We are witnessing insanity-cum-nihilism throughout the most “civilized” and scientifically advanced countries in the world—in Europe and the Uni ted States .  I see it among Israel ’s ruling elites, at least among those who are tain ted by multiculturalism or cultural relativism. 
Elections in Israel are manifestations of indiscriminate equality, of insanity-cum-nihilism.   We are witnessing the end of democracy and of Western civilization. A lot of people feel this, especially thoughtful Jews, the only people with a universal history.  This promp ted me to write A Jewish Philosophy of History: Israel ’s Degradation and Redemption.  Which means that the Israel of tomorrow is the only hope of mankind.