The dysfunctional Jewish state
April 4, 2008
The Economist published a special report on Israel. Of course there is so much controversy around everything related to Israel that probably reading the report will leave most people infuriated regardless of their political orientations. Nevertheless, in my view, the report and the leader make an interesting and high quality read.
I have no doubt that the special report will be reviewed a lot in the blogsphere and elsewhere and many will leave their comments on the site of the Economist itself (I already did :D), but right now I will limit myself to just a few quotes, though I may expand on this later.
In the leader from which this post borrowed its name, the Economist says:
That was the leader. And near the end of the first article that opens the report the Economist has this:
The best 60th birthday present Israel could give itself is a new political system
. . .
Israel has achieved some remarkable things during its 60 years. But for the sake of its security and domestic well-being, it now needs a system that makes politicians answerable to voters, not to other politicians. What shape it should take—whether a mixture of proportional representation with electoral districts, higher thresholds to keep small parties out of the parliament, or just rules to make it harder to topple governments—is up to Israelis. Unfortunately, since their politicians will design and vote on it, it is unlikely to be optimal; but almost anything would be better than what there is now.
. . .
Many Jews from the diaspora already view Israel as spiritually impoverished and uninviting. And when Israelis look at their neighbourhood, they see looming threats: a potential nuclear bomb in Iran; one of the world's most powerful guerrilla armies in Lebanon; growing extremism among the Palestinians; and everywhere the rise of popular Islamist parties that threaten to topple reluctantly pro-Western Arab autocrats. For the first time since 1948, real existential threats to Israel, at least in its Zionist form, are on the horizon.
. . .
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