Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Making Jews “normal,” was the goal of the founders of the modern state of Israel, insinuating that for Jews to be normal, they must become gentiles.
Accordingly, the founders of the state constructed a non-Jewish form of government. This government is called a “democracy,” but unlike the eighty-some-odd democracies I have studied, it has only the veneer of democracy, namely, periodic, multiparty elections. In fact, thanks to a low electoral threshold, as many as 30 parties compete for seats in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. As a consequence, no party has ever come close to winning a majority of seats in that political menagerie.
Israel’s parliamentary system exemplifies the principle of divide et impera – divide and rule. Since no legislature consisting of 30 parties can rule, i.e., formulate coherent, resolute, and long-term policies, power shifts from the legislative to the executive branch of government. However, since no majority party has ever existed in Israel, the executive branch – the cabinet – has always consisted of five or more rival parties. The primary aim of these parties is to obtain the largest slice of the national budget, for that will very much influence the number of Knesset seats a party will receive in the next election.