The Golden Rule and Democratic Process
By Moshe Feiglin
The main excuse that the soldiers who expelled their brothers from their homes in Gush Katif used to justify their actions was that if they would not carry out their orders, Israel’s democracy would collapse, it would be impossible for the government to govern and the state would essentially crumble away. So it made no difference whether the soldier agreed with his expulsion orders or not. He was brainwashed to believe that not carrying them out would guarantee destruction on an even greater scale.
Obviously, the factor that completely destroyed public faith in Israel’s democratic process was the political unscrupulousness that paved the way for the destruction of the Land. Entire books can be written about the callous scorn for the law and democratic process emblematic of the way that the Oslo Accords became law in Israel. Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres, Prof. Hirschfeld, Dr. Pundak and the entire Oslo pack deserve to be behind bars for many years to come.
There used to be a basic law in Israel that prohibited a prime minister from appointing more than 18 ministers to his government. But a short while after Oslo (in the elections of 1999), Ehud Barak was elected and revised the law to fit his political needs. “That is the price of peace,” his spin doctors explained. “If we want to see progress in the peace process, we have to pay the price of more ministers for all the parties in the coalition.” The media – democracy’s “watchdog” – went along with the farce. After all, proper democratic process and public faith in Israel’s democratic political system may be important – but for destruction of the Land (“peace”) those values can surely be sacrificed.
Sharon followed in Barak’s footsteps. His government also boasted more than 18 ministers. He destroyed Gush Katif with all sorts of blatant manipulations. The Eviction Compensation Law that passed the Knesset would not have made it past the average student council. It entirely contradicts all the civil rights that former Chief Justice Aharon Barak worked so hard to legislate. But there is one golden rule that overrides all others: It is permissible to change the law as necessary as long as it promotes the Left’s agenda. That rule triumphed in Gush Katif.
It is obvious that no self-respecting court would have authorized Netanyahu to change the rules of the game in the middle of the Likud primaries. But the Golden Rule prevailed. Netanyahu needed to rid himself of the Feiglin trouble and to pave the way to destroy the Land of Israel by means of the votes of the Right. When Netanyahu had me demoted to the 36th slot and Michael Ratzon appealed to the Supreme Court against the move (that also demoted him to an unrealistic slot on the roster), the Supreme Court could not manage to comprehend what the District court and the citizens of Israel clearly understood. The Supreme Court rejected Ratzon’s appeal. The general rule is that the Supreme Court will only change the decision of the District Court in extreme cases. It seems that the fact that Moshe Feiglin was legally elected to a high place on the Likud roster was just such an extreme case.
Netanyahu has gotten used to manipulating the law and the democratic process for his political purposes. His latest breach of democratic process is the Mofaz Law, which makes it easier to split Knesset factions and is a prelude to the defection of Kadimah MKs to the Likud and the eventual destruction of settlements, G-d forbid. The leftist opposition MKs put on a good show of being shocked by the rude violation of democratic process that this law exemplifies. But in truth, it was no more than a show. The Golden Rule concept was born to feed the insatiable Oslo monster. Changing the law to foster the destruction of settlements and settlers is an old leftist trick.
No matter. Everybody knows that the hilltop youth and the settlers are the real danger to democracy.