I spoke to Aryeh Avneri, chairman of a powerful, good government movement named Ometz, which includes the fight against corruption and the preservation of democracy in its list of sacred values. Turns out he supports a much more draconian version of the Sa’ar law, which will immediately disqualify any elected official, from government minister through Knesset member to mayors and city council members, indefinitely, and for all kinds of charges, not just criminal accusations.
When I told him this meant that he is effectively taking away all the power from the democratically elected officials and depositing it in the hands of government clerks, he agreed that it’s a problem. But he still would prefers a seemingly pure tyrannical government run by appointed civil servants, over a messy government elected by the people, who are, after all, the ultimate sovereign.
When I asked him if he thought a suspended mayor who is found not guilty should be able to sue for the personal and financial damage he incurred, Avneri didn’t think so.
In other words, if you thought Israel’s pro-democracy NGOs would fight the Sa’ar travesty – yes, they will fight, to make it even more travestial.
My brothers and sisters in America, once again I must tell you that the only way to make this wonderful country with sweet people and great natural resources also have good government, is for a million of you, raised on democratic principles and the spirit of freedom, to come over here.
I’ll come and drive you from the airport!