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Thursday, February 07, 2008

An honest MK goes home

A rarity in Israeli politics - an honest member of the Knesset (yes, I know, it's an oxymoron) - went home today in disgust over Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert's stubborn refusal to resign in light of the Winograd Committee report. Avigdor Yitzchaki, who was once a close confidante of Olmert and coalition chairman, handed in his resignation today, rather than continuing to serve in the Knesset in the party of a man who may be the most corrupt politician this country has ever seen.
MK Avigdor Yitzhaki (Kadima) handed in his resignation to Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik on Thursday morning.

Yitzhaki said the reason for the move was the failure of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign over the Winograd report's findings.

"I'm keeping my promise to my constituents," said Yitzhaki, adding that Israel was faced with a dire "leadership crisis."

Yitzhaki announced last week that he would quit the Knesset if Defense Minister Ehud Barak did not join his effort to force Olmert's departure.
If only Ehud Barak had a tenth of Yitzchaki's honesty. Yitzchaki can now be mentioned in the same breath with Benny Begin, Uzi Landau and Yitzchak Shamir, who all resigned from the Den of Thieves™ because they had principles.

But constituents? There are none. That's part of the problem with our parliamentary system.


At 4:51 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"But constituents? There are none. That's part of the problem with our parliamentary system."

That is the BIGGEST problem - no individual MK has any accountability to the people he or she supposedly represents. Their only accountability is to their party's bosses - if they don't toe the line, they are moved out of ministerial positions and moved down the list of those elected if the party gets enough votes. It is a perfect recipe for political corruption, as well as economic corruption (since the party bosses themselves answer to wealthy and/or powerful contributors or supporters).

Israel should change its system to something more like the American system - let there be electoral districts, and let each MK have to go back to those people and defend a record - or get tossed out. Israel also needs a Bill of Rights - to reduce the overly powerful (and corrupt) Supreme Court.

Of course, the American system isn't perfect. I'd like, for example, to see a universal ability of the voters to recall lying politicians (but I repeat myself). Nonetheless, to paraphrase Churchill, "The American political system is the worst one in the world...except for all the rest."

Being realistic, I refuse to hold my breath waiting for the corrupt political and economic elites in Israel to give up any of their power to the people of the nation. We'll have to wait for Moschiach to get a better system.

At 5:00 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - as Paul said, Israel has inherited a nationwide constituency system since the founding days of the state. Instead of voters having a local representative, the MKs are beholden to the party leadership, which means the Knesset does not have the independent voice necessary to resist a bad leadership's dictates.

Incidentally, Dror himself called for Israel to move over to a presidential system of government, which would give Israel both effective and stable leadership over a four year period. Israel's governmental system no longer works because its resulted in corrupt and inept government.

Two things Israel's can't afford and doesn't need and which keeps honest people from giving of their time, talent and dedication to the country's good.

At 12:07 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I saw that article about what Dror said, and I agreed with him. In fact, my point in the article about Livni not going to New York until after UNSCR 1701 was a similar point.


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