Photo Credit: Miriam Alster Flash 90
Likud candidate, Benny Begin

Eitan was also not very active politically until after the elections for the Central Committee in January 2011. It was then that he proposed cancelling primaries in favor having a Central-Committee-like body choose the Likud’s list and announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Likud’s ‘Convention’ (that election, in which Eitan, Danon and Netanyahu were to compete has still never been held). The proposal to cancel primaries alone should be reason enough for Likud members to punish him at the polls. Why should they vote for someone who wants to strip them of their right to vote?

In the previous primaries, both Eitan and Meridor barely made it into the Knesset. They were 16 and 17 on the list, which was at the edge of the national portion of the list, before the demographic and district spots, which began at number 20.

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They were also the only Likud faction members to publicly endorse Palestinian statehood aside from the Prime Minister. It’s one thing for the Prime Minister and Party Chairman, who was facing tremendous pressure from the United States, to endorse Palestinian statehood and get a free pass, it’s another for politically inactive MKs, who were not that popular to begin with.

Even if their backing of Palestinian statehood were the reason they lost, that wouldn’t be a case of the Likud shifting rightward, but of the Likud refusing to shift leftward. But again, political inactivity, a lack of sustained campaigning, is more likely the reason for their failure.

But what about the other five Likud MKs who were part of the current faction and the fact that they won’t appear in the next Knesset? What about those Kadima MKs who joined the Likud but did not succeed? What conclusions be drawn about their absence? That will be the subject of tomorrow’s entry.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. " adopting the Leftist position about the supremacy of the Supreme Court,".

    What is the problem with this? An independent judiciary is essential to a free society, as our sages wrote quite clearly and as Alexander Hamilton wrote more recently in the Federalist Papers. One of the first acts of tyrants from Lenin to Hitler to Morsi is to eliminate an independent judiciary. Remember that Germany, with parliamentary supremacy, voted Hitler dictatorial powers!

  2. The judiciary should be independent in its rulings. When political philosophers talk about an independent judiciary they don't mean a court that chooses itself. The US for instance has an independent judiciary, but its members are chosen by the political branches. The process of judicial selection in Israel was not based on Jewish sources. At the time the political system was so bias towards the Left that even Menachem Begin/Herut wanted the current system. Also, the first court has a range of judges including a religious judge and one who was considered a Herut sympathizer. Overtime the selection process has led a very bias make up of the Supreme Court.

    In any case, the judiciary is supposed to apply the law. If the legal situation changes after the judiciary rules, then the judiciary follows the new legal situation. That doesn't mean the judiciary is not independent, it means that parliament is supreme.

    Even then one could argue that the Supreme Court could overturn laws that are so fundamentally anti-democratic, but that's not the situation that was being debated regarding "hok hasdarah" – the debate (or part of it at least) was whether parliament could pass a law after a Supreme Court ruling that would mean what the Court originally ordered would not be done. Legally and democratically, the answer is yes, because the parliament would not be overriding the court, but changing the legal situation and hence the court would change its opinion. Let's look at it from another angle: what if in the US, the Supreme Court overruled ObamaCare – would it be appropriate for the Congress to change the language of the ObamaCare legislation such that it would work and be constitutional – of course it could and that would be fine from a democratic-legal standpoint.

  3. In Federalist #78, Alexander Hamilton makes a convincing case that an independent judiciary with the power to void acts of the legislature was essential to a free society with limited government. Would that more US states had listened to him; judicial elections have tarnished the judiciary all over the US.

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