Israeli politicians unimpressed by US 'coin toss democracy'

There were also politicians who endorsed the way that the winner of the Democratic Party caucus in Iowa was decided.

February 3, 2016 21:54
1 minute read.

The Knesset plenum . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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The use of coin tosses to help determine the winner of the Democratic Party caucus in Iowa shocked Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum on Wednesday.

They said that while they admire American democracy, the coin flip was unlikely to be adopted by the Jewish state any time soon.

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“This is a really stupid idea,” said Knesset Law Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi), who is in charge of changes to Israel’s electoral system. “It is delusional to decide the fate of people by flipping a coin. I know it’s tradition in America, but God forbid us from ever doing it here.”

Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) said “only the US could get away with something like this.” He remarked that had Israel adopted such a maneuver rather than the US, there would likely have been American condemnations of Israeli democracy.

“If we had coin flips decide things here, the loser would immediately appeal to the High Court of Justice, suggesting a problem with the coin or with the flipper,” said Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria, who gave up her American citizenship last year when she entered the Knesset.

Deputy Central Elections Committee chairman Yehuda Avidan (Shas), who is the most veteran member of the committee, said Israel could never condone “games of luck,” because this is a form of gambling. He pronounced the Israeli system “the best in every way.”

But there were also politicians who endorsed the idea.

“I love it,” said Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett, whose parents made aliya from California.

Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni found herself in rare agreement with Bennett.

“I think we should decide every election in Israel that way,” she joked. “The results could only be better.”

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