October 7, 2011

Democracy is not about majority

 Democracy is not a problem in itself. Democracy provides for a Jewish state
just as it provides for an Arab or a Christian one—a state of hollow
symbolism. Arabs can accept hollow Jewish symbolism, but not a real Jewish
state. True values can only be forced by a minority upon the majority. As we see
in the Bible, ancient Jews were massively idolatrous, yet the few—whether they
were righteous kings, prophets, or Maccabean fundamentalists—forced them back
into the fold. Democracy seeks a common denominator for the masses. States start
around values, but democracy votes the values away like any other restrictions;
people vote for the most simple, unrestricted, loose life. Democracy shows the
entropy in social systems: eventually, such systems lose any distinguishing
characteristics and descend into the morass of value-less homogeneity. This is
not the typical homogeneity of a repressive regulatory society, but a uniformity
of moral deprivation.

       Democracy plays a trick on peace-loving Jews. As various polls indicate that
the vast majority of Palestinians support a two-state solution and Israeli Arabs
are overwhelmingly okay with Israel's designation as a Jewish state, the
assumption is that the deal is done. Wrong. What matters is not a democratic
majority, but the extremely hostile minority of 25–35 percent who would fight
Israel no matter what. In crises, the most determined group prevails, never the

At any rate, the democratic solution is closed in Israel: Arabs and leftists
make the majority.
       Conservative Jews—and we don’t count the Likud supporters among them—just
cannot prevail by democratic means. But could they revolt? A frog does not jump
out of hot water if boiled slowly. Not annexing Sinai in 1956 and Hebron in
1967, being expelled from Yamit and Gush Katif, conceding to Muslim pollution of
the Temple Mount and the banning of Jewish worship there; concession after
concession has beaten Jewish conservatives into unconsciousness.

       Add to that the conservatives’ traditional laziness. Leftists seek to change
society, and are active. Conservatives seek to preserve, and are passive. Even
Meir Kahane failed to collect money for his campaigns. Out of his hundreds of
thousands of supporters, he could not muster eight thousand poll watchers to
prevent the left from stealing his votes.

       On a positive side, democracy is very weak, unsuitable for wartime or a
perpetual conflict like the one Israel finds herself in. A major upheaval such
as a victorious war, or perhaps a revival of Torah Judaism, could allow the
conservatives to prevail over public institutions. I imagine that many centrists
(people with no values of their own) would sigh with relief if military
putschists would take over the government and impose a  pro-Jewish, anti-Arab
agenda on society, without the need for the majority to make that welcome but
uncomfortable choice.
You may view the latest post at
You received this e-mail because you asked to be notified when new updates are
Best regards,
Obadiah Shoher

No comments:

Post a Comment