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Arab paradox and Israels dysfunctional response

Reader comment on item: Israel's Arabs, Living a Paradox

Submitted by Sigmund Derman (United States), Mar 25, 2012 at 23:44

Virtually any minority in any country faces paradoxical conflicts of loyalty and affiliation. For the Arabs in Israel, this is exacerbated, in part, by an increasingly strident islamic fundamentalism sweeping over not just the Middle East but the entire world. But as Dr. Pipes so correctly points out, the real problem for Israel is its own ineffective and dysfunctional response. It is "stymied" by this problem. Why is that?

I don't know all the answers. I don't even know many of them. But I think one factor is Israel's political system which allows coalitions of marginal political parties to exert inordinate amounts of control This frustrates the government's ability to govern effectively. Israel sorely needs political reform, but the very problem that must be reformed, the influence of small ultra Orthodox parties, prevents the reform. If Israel could improve its governance it might not be "stymied" by the issues of Arab demographics.

Here is one possible solution. Ram through a law stating that no political party will be recognized unless 3/4 of its registered voters and 3/4 of the candidates it supports have served in the IDF. This would reduce the influence of those groups who do not have a life/death stake in the issues of war and peace. It would help focus the political process on essential rather than marginal issues. In fairness, this need be done only for the Jewish voters. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and everyone else could have all the political parties they want. But the Jewish parties should not be those who continually take from the government but rarely give in return.

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