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ELIANY Marc The Struggle for a Moral Israel
The Struggle for a Moral Israel
ELIANY Marc 2013 ©
Liberal democracy allow for a multitude of values to co-exist in its midst, hence its pluralistic character. Israel, like other liberal democracies, is going through a process of increased pluralism. In this process, competing elements seek to shape its moral character, (i.e., religious versus non-religious groups, elected versus non-elected parties and so forth).
As a significant disenchantment with politics and politicians due to failures* and disappointments** occurred in recent years, the courts, legal authorities such as solicitors and policemen, technocrats and bureaucrats, as well as, the media, adopted critical approaches, which aim to clear politics of what is labeled as corruption.
There is a general belief that corruption is widespread In Israel. International reports confirm it. And there is no doubt that it needs to be dealt with. The question is whether politicians are the only ones to blame, and if so, who is to take their place? Politicians are elected while competing elements such as legal authorities, bureaucrats, and the media are not. Vehement criticism, relying on claims of corruption and illegal behavior, undermine the status of elected politicians, and hence democracy, according to research (Shain, 2010), taking into consideration that critics are not elected, tend to be self serving and are not unblemished. Some of the corruption claims forced politicians out of office, although investigations yielded little evidence of wrongdoing, raising questions as to critics’ motivation and sincerity. Therefore, thinkers concerned for the stability of democracy in Israel, have called for reforms to prevent removal of politicians from office prematurely (i.e., professor Friedman).
Some researchers propose that the widespread lack of respect for the law in Israel may be due to the culture of marginality brought from countries of origin such as Eastern Europe and the Orient, i.e., the perception that one has to work around existing oppressing authorities and laws (i.e., Sprinzak). Others suggest political processes are to blame.
* (i.e., October and Lebanon Wars)
** (i.e., concentration of wealth in the hands of a minority and increased poverty among the working poor)
Shain, Yossi, 2010, The Language of Corruption and Israel’s Moral Culture, (Hebrew), Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan, Dvir – Publishing House, Or Yehuda

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