GaryRissling wrote:It doesn't have to be. In fact, it would be much better IMO if we supported a non-sectarian democracy in Israel that recognized the equality of man; but that is never discussed. Segregation is the preferred solution. I don't for the life of me understand unconditionally supporting any racially/sectarian-based geo-political ideology is in keeping with what we believe as a nation.
Perhaps it is, but what options do the Jews have? Their first and foremost interest is not being killed. Saying they need to move to a democracy provides no assurances, as a democracy is perfectly capable of monstrous atrocities. A favorite quote of mine from British author Theodore Dalrymple comes to mind: “The first thing to remember is that freedom and democracy are not necessarily the same thing at all. A people may easily vote into power a government that wishes to massacre part of the population.” Or as author Terry Goodkind said, “Gang rape, after all, is democracy in action.” A democracy in greater Israel that incorporates everyone with equal voting rights would leave the Jewish residents in the minority. Does anyone think the Arab majority would not, at that point, pull up its sleeves, sharpen its knives, and cheerfully announce “It’s payback time!”?
A good reference for what might happen is Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
by Ilana Mercer, which I’ve reviewed over in the “current book” thread. Basically, when the whites in SA agreed to end apartheid and give blacks full voting rights, it became “payback time.” And because all of the post-apartheid political parties aligned themselves on racial lines—certain parties being “black” parties and certain parties being “while” parties—the control of the government is not based on whose parties or leaders have the best ideas or propose the best policies. Instead, control is based on strict demographics: there are more blacks than whites, so the blacks rule. And because the dominant political parties are racially biased, their primary interest is benefiting their race at the expense of everyone else. Blacks not only rule, but they rule at the expense of the white minority.
One of the main lessons, I think, from Ms. Mercer’s book is that a democracy (or even republic) can only work if government is based on ideas
. There must be movement between political parties and political ideas. If government is based strictly on race, religion, tribe, or some other factor, it inevitably turns into a strict us-versus-them game. There’s no way to convince someone in another party of the rightness of your own ideas or the wrongness of theirs if the only thing that matters is the color of your skin or the religion you practice.
Given the animosities between the people in the Middle East, I certainly can’t see a open democracy in Israel working better than what happened in SA. In fact, I think it would be worse. Many of the Palestinian leaders have been crystal clear that their goal is not merely to share power with the Jews, but rather to exterminate them. Would you trust those same people to hold the reins of government over you? The Jews would find themselves both a political and a population minority, with no possible way of changing that state short of throwing away all of their birth control and trying to out-breed the Arabs.