Independent

Do the UK media ever tire of erroneously predicting the ‘end of Israeli democracy’?


In an op-ed published at The Independent Donald MacIntyre (their former Jerusalem correspondent) lashes out at a proposed amendment to Israel’s Basic Law which would allow the Knesset, with a 90 vote majority, to suspend a sitting Member of Knesset (MK).

The grounds for suspending a MK would be identical to those listed in the basic law for banning a party or person from running for election – incitement to violence or racism; support for armed conflict against Israel; or negating Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.  (For instance, in 1988, Meir Kahane’s political party was banned for running afoul of the “incitement to racism” clause.)

MacIntyre claims that, if the bill was passed, hundreds of thousands of Arabs could be “disenfranchised”.

That is simply not true.  In the unlikely event that an Arab (or Jewish) MK was suspended, “he or she would be replaced by the next non-MK on the party’s list”.  The party would still retain the same exact number of seats in the Knesset. No Arab citizen of Israel (or any citizen) would be disenfranchised.

However, the biggest problem with MacIntyre’s op-ed isn’t his mischaracterization of this specific law.  The most misleading element of the piece pertains to how it contextualizes the proposal by arguing that “the Bill, if passed, will undermine Israel’s just claim to be a full democracy in a region dominated by autocracies“.

Indeed, such erroneous predictions about ‘the end of Israeli democracy’ are nothing new within both the Israeli and British far-left.

As Jerusalem Post reporter Herb Kenion recently observed about the use of such “run-away hyperbole”:

If a controversial law such as the NGO transparency bill begins meandering its way through the Knesset, the legislation’s opponents can’t just oppose it merely as an ill-advised measure that will cause the country more harm than good, they must show that it is nothing less than a threat to democracy.

Moreover, those who engage in such dark prophecies seem undeterred by the fact that Israel’s democracy always seems to survive unscathed from each putative ‘assault’ – a phenomenon our colleague Gidon Shaviv explained in the following diagram. (Though Shaviv focuses on Haaretz, the idea holds true for other media outlets that are similarly hyper-critical of Israel.)

Of course, Israel’s democratic institutions are vibrant and robust by any standard, and certainly don’t teeter on the edge of extinction based on the trajectory of one controversial bill – a fact which critics of Israel within the foreign media would be best to remember if they want to be taken more seriously when opining against the latest ‘legislative outrage’. 

74 replies »

  1. By the same token, the suspension of any British MP for contravening the rules will herald the end of British democracy. Perhaps that’s why no action was taken against Gerald Kaufman for his antisemitic diatribe.

  2. Of course, when something like this happens in the UK:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12117407/BBC-charter-review-consultation-hijacked-by-left-wing-campaign-group.html

    Its strange how there are no outcries against the UK government in the same vein as when Israel’s culture minister decided to stop funding organizations that follow an anti-Israeli line – no wide-spread claims of the end of democracy as we know it, etc. etc., in the international press (or Ha’aretz).

          • Why Comrade Eddie you’re spouting bigoted crap again.

            Let us not forget that apart from you supporting Donald Trump, there are also your bedfellows David Duke and Louis Farrakhan and this collection of F*ckwits!

              • Comrade Eddie try as you might to divert attention away but the glaringly obvious truth is that YOU are supporting the same candidate as David Duke, Louis Farrakhan and the anti-Semitic trash in the video clip above.

                Shame on you Comrade Eddie.
                Your double standards in criticising others while being a bedfellow of your vomit inducing fellow Trump supporters, is there for all to see.

                Happy Eternal Snackbar Comrade Eddie.

                  • Comrade Eddie as disgusting as that is, YOU are still in denial about your disgusting anti-Semitic bedfellows

                    Twist and turn as much as you like, try to divert attention away as much as you like, but Comrade Eddie YOU are the one who is supporting Trump along with David Duke, Louis Farrakhan and other anti-Semitic trash..

                    • Comrade Gerry, I’m for Comrade Bernie too!

                      The Socialist vs the Capitalist.

                      FYI, Socialism isn’t as ingrained in the US as it is in Eurabia.

                      If you think that Trump is backed by david duke and Sinister farraklan, you are as dumb as the average Socialist who thinks that the US is about to go Socialist.

                    • Comrade Eddie still trying to cover up by diverting attention away.
                      The shame is Comrade Eddie you are not very good at it.

                      Stick with your simplistic slogans for the simple minded. Thinking and being independent minded are obviously not your forte.
                      But tell me Comrade Eddie, one thing I have always wondered about.
                      As a Klansman does your pointed head go to the top of your silly pointed hat?

                      Oh, and Happy Eternal Snackbar.

                    • Comrade Gerry said:

                      > still trying to cover up by diverting attention away. The shame is Comrade Eddie you are not very good at it.

                      The title of this blog entry is…
                      “Do the UK media ever tire of erroneously predicting the ‘end of Israeli democracy’?”

                      And you are doing a pretty ineffective job of diverting attention away from the topic.

  3. I fail to understand why foreign governments (UK, US, Germany) with their own considerable problems, have any right whatsoever to lecture Israel. It’s outrightly anti-Semitic imperialism.

  4. You notice how that amusing flowchart says “HaAretz runs editorial…” – not “UK media”. Why is it not OK for the British media to tap into Israeli public (and published) opinion?

    • Because it only taps into Ha’aretz opinion which is a minority of Israeli public and published opinion.

        • It would be better if the media, British or any other, covered the FACTS and did not rely on opinions.

            • Webber your comprehension skills for a graduate and freelance journalist are either very poor or you are pretending not to understand the contents of my post.
              I had thought that you were higher up the evolutionary intellectual scale than Stevie Bellend, but now I’m not so sure.

    • I guess you’re new to this website. The UK media also excuses Palestinians for stabbing pregnant women to death, while turning around and quoting Palestinian Sources who claim it was an Israeli airstrike wiping out a hospital and not an errant Hamas fired missile.

      In other words, Gabby, the UK Media knows shit about Israel. So why wouldn’t they Goyishplain Israeli laws?

      • OK, but suppose that there are two different views in Israel about Israeli laws: the Haaretz view and the (let’s say) JPost view. How is the UK press supposed to work out which one would be ‘goyishplaining’ and which one wouldn’t?

        • Well, Gabby, the UK media can start by not claiming certain laws mean certain things with a certain amount of sincerity. That would be a nice start.

          The next time your reporters tell me that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel, or that the only reason why Israelis are being stabbed in the street by 13 year olds is because of Occupation and not Incitement (even though Israel bent over backwards to make a 2 state solution possible), consider it Goyishesplaining, the act of Non-Jews telling other Non-Jews what Tohse Joos are really trying to do.

          Nothing racist with anti-Israel assholes. In fact, I’m a racist for pointing how stinky and shit filled anti-Israel fucks are.

            • Ever notice how sane and smart Gabby is? No? Maybe it’s time for a slow motion replay!!!

              Question: How is the UK press supposed to work out which one would be ‘goyishplaining’ and which one wouldn’t?

              Answer: Well, Gabby, the UK media can start by not claiming certain laws mean certain things with a certain amount of sincerity. That would be a nice start.

              Retort: You’ve not really answered my (genuine) question, which is a shame.

  5. I call this Goyishesplaining. You didn’t know that Tel Aviv is the cultural capital of Israel? You didn’t know that Sderot is a logical target against Occupation? You didn’t know that Israel never provides any military support to Western armies in the Middle East?

    Now you know.

  6. Gabby Gabby, keeps demanding that we answer questions the only way Gabby Gabby wants us to. Which is how Gabby Gabby dictates us to answer questions.

    And if you’re wondering why this is important, it’s because Gabby Gabby is so much smarter than us, we all need to learn from Gabby Gabby.

    It’s going to be fun!

  7. Ever notice how sane and smart Gabby is? No? Maybe it’s time for a slow motion replay!!!

    Gabby: How is the UK press supposed to work out which one would be ‘goyishplaining’ and which one wouldn’t?

    KFM: Well, Gabby, the UK media can start by not claiming certain laws mean certain things with a certain amount of sincerity. That would be a nice start.

    Gabby: You’ve not really answered my (genuine) question, which is a shame.

    • This professor encountered a student in a college refectory

      He said ,,,young lady yours was a damn stupid answer to my assignment question

      She said ……yes sir but it was a damn stupid question

      Maybe Gabriel wants to avoid the the regrets that the young lady was undoubtedly having

      • Except I didn’t ask a question. I answered a question. My answer wasn’t considered related to the question by the guy who asked the question who thereby claimed I didn’t answer his question. Do you, now, see the problem with your analogy?

        Thanks, Steve, for reminding me how stupid you are.

      • You got the story all wrong . I know because I was the professor . I was there .

        I told the young student that she still had an F . My purview was to ask the questions and her purview was to think and answer them using her intellect , not her ignorance . The clues were in the reading list of books available from the library . Plus my lectures and seminars .
        She apologised and promised to try harder. The next essay she handed in , I awarded her F again . The same for the next 2 assignments .
        She came to me at the end of the term . She said to me that she had made a real effort to understand the questions and deliver an answer that to her was both coherent and logical . She had spent hours in the library researching and working on her assignments . Why did her grade never improve from a fail
        I said that even though clearly she had put much more effort into her essays and she had demonstrated her poor intellect . What she had demonstrated was the intellect of someone not worthy to study at this prestigious college . Her essays were badly written, poor sentence structures , hardly any proper punctuation . She had read the books on the reading list . But had failed to understand the books or the message within . She was a cut and paste student . Thinking that she would get a B for regurgitating someone else’s ideas and not thinking of her own .
        She replied ” but I thought I was giving you what you wanted ”
        I apologised to her . And terminated the meeting . The student: It was impossible to explain to someone who didn’t understand the topic, the issues , the controversies and the questions. Ergo, she failed to provide an answer that was staring her from the pages of the reading list

        Knowledge without understanding, experience and wisdom is hollow . I am a kinder person now .

  8. Oh yes . I was a Professor in political theory and social philosophy .
    I gave her Marx, Lenin, and Gramsci to read . But sometimes you can grow a rose from the shit

  9. This is exactly what I mean . Peeps think the question is stupid but really its their answers that are . Bellamy = lack of insight . Thinks the answer is clever but its an F Fail .
    Gramsci is quite readable actually .

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4778895,00.html.
    It could be your time spouting anti Semitism is up . Especially on the ol public internet waves . You better get to Gaza toute de suite