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Israel's Wayward Prime Ministers

Reader comment on item: Israel's Wayward Prime Ministers

Submitted by Robert Sherer (United States), Jul 5, 2004 at 12:50

The problem is the political system in Israel, which insulates the politicians from the wrath of the voters. The members of the Knesset, unlike the members of the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures, feel no need to answer to the voters for their actions, since they are not chosen by the voters. They owe their seats to the respective parties' central committees, which puts them on the ballot and gives them a (hopefully) safe seat. If I, while visiting Washington, walk over to the House Office Building, and into the office of Barney Frank, and intruduce myself to his staff as "I live in Brookline", the Congressman's staff will treat me with respect, welcome me to Washington, and ask, "What can we do for you, Mr. Sherer?" Members of Congress face the voters every two years in the House, every six years in the Senate. Each of them periodically sends mail to his constituents informing them what he is doing, what he has accomplished, and explaining why certain things were done or not done. And, if no voters ask the questions , people like Daniel Pipes and other reporters and columnists are more than happy to do so. Does MK Shlomo Shmendrik have to go through anything like this? All he has to answer to are the members of a committee who decide where "on the list" MK Shmendrik is going to be -put. So, if the ordinary MK can disregard the voice of the people, does the Prime Minister need to be any more responsible to them Yitzchak Rabin showed the people of Israel what he thought of them when protests were made at his breaking all of his campaign promises. His reaction to the protests was, "They can spin like propellers!"

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