What American Conservatives Should Learn from Israel’s Wild Culture Battle - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What American Conservatives Should Learn from Israel’s Wild Culture Battle
Campaign poster for Likud in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Nov. 1, 2022 (Roman Yanushevsky/Shutterstock)

Israel is engaged right now in one heck of a battle royale over the culture and future course of the country. What makes the war so fascinating is its eerie resemblance to America’s social upheavals, but with one difference: American conservatives talk the talk, while Israel’s are walking the walk. The hysteria-drenched reaction of Israel’s Left — and the Right’s refusal to be intimidated — offers Republican conservatives a blueprint for action and a warning of what lurks here if we shrink from legally crushing the leftist oligarchy that has destroyed so much of America.

First, Israel:

Israel has conducted five national elections these past four years. I have written about them, including here and here and here. Each subsequent election has been a “do-over” because of the insanity of Israel’s democracy-on-steroids parliamentary election system, compounded by the craziness (albeit fair) that ensues from giving Arab Muslims who wish to destroy Israel full voting rights and equality of parliamentary representation. Briefly, there are 120 seats in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. Typically, 20–30 different parties (!) compete for seats in each election. In light of that chaos, a party must garner at least 3.25 percent of the total votes cast (the “threshold”) in order to qualify for Knesset seats. So a party that gets 25 percent of the total vote gets 25 percent of the Knesset’s 120 seats, i.e. 30 seats. A party that gets barely the 3.25 percent threshold gets 4 seats. A party that scores below the threshold gets none, and all their votes are wasted like Libertarian votes in Georgia and Nevada. Ultimately, 10 or so parties manage to exceed the threshold each election. One party gets 32 seats, one gets 11 seats, etc. To govern, the parties coalesce after the election and horse-trade their seats for policy concessions as they attempt to craft a coalition government. So a religious party will promise the conservatives to vote in favor of issues advocated by the right like tax cuts or increased military investments if the conservative party reciprocally agrees to support policies that respect and honor the Sabbath and kosher laws. On the other side — the Left — an anti-religious party will agree to vote its seats for socialism in return for the socialists promising to support desecrating the Sabbath and promoting the sale of pork.

Democracy, Israel-style.

In order to govern, it takes 61 seats — a majority of 120 — for a coalition to have a majority. But here’s the next kicker: Arabs who hate Jews and want to destroy Israel are allowed to compete equally, and they usually win 10 or so seats. If you grew up before Woke Math, do you see how the situation now gets even crazier? Inasmuch as the Nazi-like Jew-haters of those Arab parties never will join any Israeli government because “nothing personal, but we want you all dead,” that means it takes 61 seats of the remaining 110 seats won by Jewish parties across the spectrum to govern. See?

Again: 120 seats. 61 is a majority. Approximately 10 seats are Arab Muslims who eat Ben and Jerry’s and want to murder all the Jews. So it takes 61 of the remaining 110 Jewish seats to form a coalition. That comes to 55.5 percent of the Jewish vote. As we know from American elections, it is infinitely harder to accrue 55.4 percent than 50.1 percent, and that is why Israel needed five elections in under four years until the deadlock cracked.

Notably: In each of those five elections, the right-wing/religious alliance beat the left-wing/socialist/secular alliance handily:

Election 1 (April 19, 2019): 60–56 (and 4 Arab seats)

Election 2 (Sept. 17, 2019): 55–52 (and 13 Arab seats)

Election 3 (March 2, 2020): 58–47 (and 15 Arab seats)

Election 4 (March 23, 2021): 59–51 (and 10 Arab seats)

Election 5 (Nov. 1, 2022): 64–46 (and 10 Arab seats)

The fifth was the charm. Israel now has a strong government comprised of a deeply conservative coalition that won over 58 percent of the Jewish seats. As I have written for years, the majority of Jews all over the world are right-wing conservatives, including Orthodox Jews in America.

(The only ones who did not get the memo are non-Orthodox Jews in America. There are many reasons for this, and I addressed the issue here and here and here. In brief, uniquely in America, approximately 40 percent of people who say they are Jewish are not Jewish. The others are Judaically clueless. They do not observe Judaism, do not observe the Sabbath, eat pork and shellfish, and would not know a Talmud if it hit them in the head. With nothing affirmatively Jewish to hold onto, they exchange the Democrat Party platform for the Torah. Their Passover Seders are about climate change and transgender bathrooms, not about the Exodus from Egypt and the Divine Revelation at Mount Sinai. ‘Nuff said on that for now.)

With the Right now firmly in control of the Knesset, the new government is vigorously working to prevent Israel from sliding into the morass America has become. Although the Woke control Israel’s mass media and entertainment industries, they have not yet completely taken control of all media and Israel’s academia the way the Left has suffocated America. Most importantly, the new government is pledged to rein in the crazy radical-left self-perpetuating and often corrupt Supreme Court.

Israel’s Supreme Court is nothing like America’s. They jump into cases where no party has standing. They interfere with laws that are not yet justiciable, not ripe for judgment. They fabricate and then superimpose their own laws and strike down legitimate Knesset legislation based simply on whether their cabal thinks something  “unreasonable.” Literally, if that handful of radical extremists  decide something is “unreasonable” to them, they strike it down. No case law. No precedent. Can you imagine being an attorney arguing before such a coterie of oligarchs? They have been imposing their radical left agenda for 30 years, since then-Chief Justice Aharon Barak made the Court the nation’s tyrant, creating the standard of “reasonableness.” (READ MORE: Israel’s Judicial Reform ‘Controversy’ Is Much Ado About Nothing)

And to keep things left-wing, the justices decide who gets to replace them. In America, new justices get named by the president and approved by the Senate. The voters thereby influence the direction of the court. By contrast, in Israel, the leftist justices have veto power over all new nominations. It’s like an American college’s social science department: they simply veto anyone who does not have an established leftist record. Several great judicial minds were canceled that way. And the committee that can veto new nominees includes lawyers who practice before the court. How’s that for conflict of interest?

The Israeli Supreme Court also has manifestations of corruption. The chief justice sat in judgment on cases involving companies that her husband represents. She got away with it. Supreme Court justices regularly allot coveted clerkships that assure recent law school graduates a successful law career for their lifetime to the children of their colleagues — it’s brazen nepotism.

So the public has voted five consecutive times these past four years for a coalition that has promised to reform the court, end the tyrannical rule by brazenly leftist self-perpetuating self-interested insiders, and return governance to the people through the elected Knesset. Now that the Right has the power to carry out its promised reforms, the Israeli Left is seeking to trounce democracy by screaming that the past five fair and free election results mark the “death of democracy.” Toward that end, leaders of the opposition are threatening civil war, and they are gathering demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Saturday nights.

The leftist media give those demonstrations ridiculously exaggerated coverage. But Israel is not America. In America, it is notable to gather 100,000 demonstrators to Washington, D.C. They have to get there from New Hampshire and Texas and Montana and Arizona and other distant places. By contrast, Israel has demonstrations of 100,000 quite often. The country is the size of New Jersey; everyone lives within 60–90 minutes of Tel Aviv. As Daniel Greenfield writes, 120,000 right-wing Jews demonstrated in 2004 against Israel leaving Gush Katif in Gaza. More than 250,000 Orthodox Jews demonstrated in 2014 against government regulations interfering with their education. More than 100,000 demonstrated demanding that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resign. More than 100,000 demonstrated against leaving the Golan Heights. More than 100,000 demonstrated to protest increased food prices. So a demonstration of those numbers is not particularly earth-shattering. However, as in America, the corrupt leftist media exaggerate the demonstrations they like and disregard the others. Consider how pro-abortion demonstrations or the “Women’s March” against Trump get outsized media coverage, while you never would have known there was a massive pro-life demonstration in D.C. if one wild Indian had not burst into Nick Sandmann’s personal space and beat a drum in his face.

The Israeli Right and religious public demonstrate in a different way: they vote. Their 2,500,000 votes outweigh the street demonstrations now organized by the leftist sore losers.

Here in America, we encounter the same garbage, with every Republican win bewailed as the “death of democracy.” So the Left manipulates the public by leveraging their stranglehold on the mass media to generate scary narratives built on lies. They control so much — academia, journalism, entertainment, media, football and basketball and women’s soccer and basketball sports leagues. But it is not enough for them. Until they crush every last independent spirit on the right, they will aim to overwhelm and to change rules. Add Puerto Rico and D.C. as states. Pack the court to 13 or 15 justices. Force transgenderism into children’s curricula and at public library book time. Ban plastic straws.

It is a fight for freedom. There. And here. The right-religious must not cave in there. And there is a real need to find some vigor in our battle here.

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Dov Fischer
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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values (comprising over 2,000 Orthodox rabbis), was adjunct professor of law at two prominent Southern California law schools for nearly 20 years, and is Rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. He was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before practicing complex civil litigation for a decade at three of America’s most prominent law firms: Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. He likewise has held leadership roles in several national Jewish organizations, including Zionist Organization of America, Rabbinical Council of America, and regional boards of the American Jewish Committee and B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Federalist, National Review, the Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit. Other writings are collected at www.rabbidov.com.
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