In previous blogs I have bemoaned the parlous condition of democracies in today’s world. Now Israel, once a shining example of a brilliant, open society, is enmeshed in profound ethnic antagonisms, intra-faith conflicts, and corruption charges leveled at its highest office-holder (who clings to office in the hope of staying out of gaol).

Israel is a nation very different from its neighbors
Where each ruler’s a dictator or a king.
Through science and technology and unremitting labors
It’s a fundamental challenge that they bring.

Moreover it survived attacks by hostile Arab forces
Who were aiming its pretensions to defeat.
Yet despite the great advantage in the size of their resources
The invaders suffered absolute defeat.

So Israel would survive but there was constant agitation --
Two nations there must be and not just one.
With settler expansion and resulting agitation
No two-state resolution was begun.

Now to add to all their problems when they’re holding an election
A split right down the middle has occurred.
On the one side Netanyahu leads a right-wing coalition,
On the other moderation is preferred.

Moreover the conservatives are riven by dissension:
From the draft should pious students all be freed?
Yet others have responded with the skeptical contention:
Can Torah students be the tonic that we need?

To add to the confusion, Netanyahu as their leader
Was indicted on the charge of taking bribes
Which even in the judgment of the inattentive reader
Does not suggest the most appealing vibes.

So when Britain and the U.S. are clearly less than ample
As examples of a democratic state,
Until it gets its act together Israel’s not a sample
Of a model we should try to imitate.

Posted on Friday, January 17, 2020 (Archive on Thursday, October 13, 2022)



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