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Religion and State

  • More liberty for citizens
  • No religous or secular coercion
  • An hour of Jewish education in every Jewish school
  • District elections and empowerment of the Jewish community

Districts for a Democratic Israel

A true democracy cannot exist when the public’s representatives are not dependant on the voters. In 97% of the world’s democracies, including countries the size of Israel, the election method is based on voting districts. The elected official knows his voters and has to work hard to maintain their faith in him. This method strengthens the community framework and delegates authority and responsibility to the local government.

Israel’s founders – the Labor Mapai and its satellites – talked about democracy, but they didn’t really mean it. The method that they bestowed upon us is centralized and turns the entire country into one large district. This method is unique to Israel. It gives the central government all the power, but no responsibility.

Imagine that every district in Israel would know in advance that it would receive a proportionate allocation of the national budget in addition to a percentage of local taxes. Now, the residents of the Bnei Brak district could, for example, decide what portion of their budget they would like to allocate to large families; the residents of Ramat Aviv could decide how much to allocate to human rights parades; the residents of the south could decide how much to allocate to the Negev Law.

We have become so accustomed to thinking that we have a ‘big brother’ who is both our mother and our father. We think that every year, we have to chirp as loudly as we can – just like fledglings in a nest – for something that is ours in the first place. The built-in totalitarianism of the Israeli regime has made us believe that we are dependant on the Knesset members. But in truth, they should be dependant on us.

This proposal is not only possible; it is critical. It also correlates to the basic Jewish approach toward community life (the tribal division, if you will). Division into voting districts is relevant to more than just the budget. It applies to every facet of our national lives. The community should appoint its local police chief; it should decide which streets will be opened and closed to traffic on Shabbat; if there will be longer school days in the district and at the expense of what.

Since most Israelis want to remain Jews, this will strengthen the Jewish identity of the state and democracy will flourish. The Left – a small minority that controls the country by using the centralized method to its benefit – will lose its power.

But do not worry. In the end, the nation will triumph. The question is only at what price…

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