Character, and a constitution, by Yuri Shtern (archive)

Peace, prosperity, even the integrity of the country's borders are at stake.

By YURI SHTERN
January 16, 2007 11:49
3 minute read.
yuri shtern 298.88

yuri shtern 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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The Israeli electorate will make a decision of enormous consequence in this election. Peace, prosperity, even the integrity of the country's borders are at stake. On Tuesday we can decide if we want a government that will do what it was elected to do, or ignore its solemn campaign pledges the moment it is elected. Israel's fortunes have fallen so far so fast because our governments have not been responsive to the will of the people. At stake in this election is whether we can elect a government that will pass the laws necessary to creating accountability in our elected representatives. As we face the threat of a nuclear Iran and, on our doorstep, a fundamentalist Islamo-fascist regime that does Iran's bidding, we must ask ourselves whether we want a government that carries out the will of the people, or one that does as it sees fit because an elite group of men think they know better than the people. The system is designed to give one man almost absolute power once he is elected. That means our only solution is to elect men of character, who mean what they say and say what they mean, men whose words are their bond. There is no more intelligent, hard-working, brave, or resilient electorate on the planet than the people of Israel. I, for one, do not believe that complacency and apathy will win on Tuesday. The Jewish people will stir themselves to action and pull the plug on a government that is out of solutions, out of ideas, and out of control. WHEN WE vote on Tuesday, we must pay attention to the character of the candidate. Can this man be trusted? Does he have the character and integrity to put the nation's interests ahead of his own and his party's interests? Does he intend to be a servant of the people, or our master? It is a question of character and, as in every area of life, character is everything. We cannot, as we did the last time, elect men and women who are unresponsive to the people. We must not allow the future of the Jewish people to be decided by a tenured elite who act as if they were born to rule us. Yisrael Beiteinu is made up of principled men and women who appreciate their roles as public servants and their duty to serve honorably, honestly, and in the best interests of the people who elected them. Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of our party, keeps his word. He has fought waste, fraud and mismanagement in government throughout his political career. His word is his bond. Everyone saw him leave his ministry without hesitation when principle demanded it. How many Israeli politicians would relinquish the advantages of a seat in the cabinet, and leadership of a government ministry - for any reason? YISRAEL BEITENU is the first and only party that has championed a new constitution with a separation of the awesome powers of government, so one man cannot gather all the power to himself, as we saw happen last year; and a constitutional court that makes government responsive to the will of the people. Yisrael Beitenu supports the establishment of a presidential republic with an independent legislature and an effective separation of powers to replace the current chaos. This reform of our system of government is essential; without it no other true reforms are possible. A system of government, like any other mechanism, must first and foremost do the job it was constructed to do. If we want a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we have a model of government that has produced the most wildly successful, free and prosperous society in history. Yisrael Beiteinu will make creating a presidential system on the American model the first order of business. We believe in the wisdom of the Israeli electorate. No man, or group of men, can say they know better than the people. We pledge to govern in accordance with the will of the people, and to keep our promises to the electorate because we understand that that is what democracy is all about, and that the people of Israel deserve no less.

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