Thursday, November 23

The "Zumarization" of Israel's Democracy

We have been witnessing an erosion of the rule of law in Israel. The present Coalition Government of Israel wishes to pass a law preventing the Police Force from investigating a serving prime minister suspected of breaking the law (in this case, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been summoned under oath about suspected involvement in various cases under police investigation). Netanyahu’s fellow party cronies are up in arms in the Knesset and wish to pass laws preventing the prime minister from being investigated by the police while in office. 

Those pictured below are PM Netanyahu's "keepers" in the Knesset:

Miri Regev- Lack of Culture Minister
Oren Hazan - MK of ill repute

Dudu Amsalem - Likud Party Hack
David Bitan - Boorish Likud Coalition Chairman

The Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, has expressed his opposition to this Bill as it weakens the power of the Courts of Law. The corrupt President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who also has a number of criminal cases pending against him, has a battery of lawyers and spooks surrounding him. Their job is to keep him out of prison.

It appears that Netanyahu has a similar setup in the name of his loyal cabinet ministers, who are the devil’s advocates. Even the Chief of Police has come under criticism on investigations of PM Netanyahu. If this bill is passed into law, it opens the door for felons, with a suspected criminal past, to take a pot shot at becoming the future prime minister of Israel.

Mouths will be clamped and draconian laws will be introduced to place the ruling Government Coalition above the law. This is a definite threat to Israel’s democracy. As it is, the buds of fascism have found fertile ground in Israel’s present government.

Latest reports of further erosion of checks and balances are reports of MK Bezalel Smotrich, of the extreme right-wing Jewish Home Party, introducing a bill to curtail the activity of the State Comptroller. The role of the State Comptroller is to oversee and inspect the executive branch of Israel's governing administration. The Comptroller is elected by the Knesset by way of the secret ballot to one seven-year term, and the Knesset retains the ability to remove or replace him during his tenure. Fortunately, this Bill to limit the State Comptroller's powers was rejected. MK Smotrich, (even though he will deny this, at the end of the day, this is what he desires), is interested in his strong illegal settler agenda in the occupied territories to give them state funding without any State Comptroller “interference” or condemnation.

The present Israeli Government Coalition under Benjamin Netanyahu claims that this is a democracy. Netanyahu views his government as the democratically elected government of Israel which automatically gives them the power to do as they wish. They are the law! The police, law courts, state ombudsman are a challenge to their power and must have their power diminished by law. Bibi Netanyahu has his keepers who are doing all in their power to erode Israel’s institutions of law and order thus allowing potential Likud felons, friends of Netanyahu, to do as they wish. MK David Bitan1 and Dudu Amsalem 2 are Bibi’s protectors and keepers in the Knesset. They are closely followed by Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev, who has no idea what culture really is apart from her idea of so-called Sephardi culture, which in her eyes is not against her party’s agenda 3. She threatens to withhold funds for a cultural activity that she, in her narrow perspective, views as inimical to Israel 4. There is also the pleasure-seeking MK, Oren Hassan 5 with his disgraceful, arrogant outbursts against those who disagree with him. MK Miki Zohar is another example of arrogance and boorishness in the Knesset.

In South Africa under the corrupt criminal, President Jacob Zuma 6 and his ANC shenanigans and crooks, have been embarking on similar measures for many years. Zuma 7 has evaded paying his taxes 8 to the SA treasurer and he simply replaces honest and hardworking employees in SARS (South African Revenue Services) with his own men to ensure that his crooks, tax evading businessmen engaged in smuggling, illegal imports of hard drugs and avoidance of excise duties payment and continuance of money laundering are ensured. Zuma owes the SA Treasury billions of rands in tax. He has succeeded so far in getting away with paying his taxes including those spooks who are serving him and keeping him in power. South Africa, like Israel, is a democracy.

Both countries have free elections. Both countries say that their respective governments or coalitions represent their electorates who voted for them in free elections. This in practice gives them the right to abuse their powers which in Israel’s case has resulted in various files or cases being investigated. Case 1000, Case 2000 and Case 3000 and soon Case 4000 are being investigated by the police. Many of the suspects in these cases are close Netanyahu associates.

President Jacob Zuma of SA
In South Africa, the ruling ANC is corrupt and milking the SA treasury and appointing their rogues in SARS to ensure that influential scum and their illicit businessmen get a cut from the state treasury for protecting Zuma from prosecution.

Is this not an uncanny similarity to what is happening in Israel’s lawmakers today? Is this not a sign of “zumarization" of Israel’s democracy with eroding checks and balances against the abuse of power? In both Israel and South Africa there is a form of state capture -  a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state's decision-making processes to their own advantage.

  1. "Which direction does the strongest man in Israeli politics want to take ...." 4 Oct. 2017, Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  2. "Israeli MP floats law to protect Netanyahu from criminal inquiries ...." 10 Aug. 2016, Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  3. "Miri Regev's Culture War - The New York Times." Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  4.  "Slammed by Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev, 'Foxtrot' wins award ...." 9 Sep. 2017, Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  5. "Meet Oren Hazan, Israel's most scandalous lawmaker | The Times of ...." 27 Nov. 2015, Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  6. "Jacob Zuma - Wikipedia." Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  7. "State Capture: Jacob Zuma, the Guptas, and corruption in South Africa ...." Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  8. "President jacob zuma - EWN." Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.

Recommended Reading: “The President’s Keepers” by Jacques Paauw. There appears to be an uncanny similarity in as far as the defenders of the leaders of the two countries are concerned even though the circumstances are very different. The lowest common denominator is corruption and the defence of the respective leaderships. This is a real eye-opener on the corruption of President Zuma and the ANC