As the Knesset positively voted on the pullout from Gaza and parts of the West Bank the question on the minds of many in the opposition to this plan should be that of legitimacy. Is it right for one man, the Israeli Prime Minister, to have the power to pull though something that was not mandated by either the people that elected his party or the members of his party that elected him to be the country's leader?
For comparison, let's consider the office of the President of the United States, which in the opinion of many is the most powerful office in the world. Yet, no American President has the power or a mandate from the people to pull off something like what was done by Sharon. No U.S. president can reshuffle the legislature in order to form an alliance that would give him or her the power to pull off a personal political agenda.
Likewise administrative and secessionist divisions cannot be accomplished by a mere group of politicians. In the U.S., a Vermont town recently voted to secede from the state and to join New Hampshire. It was not done a handful of politicians, and is still due to be voted upon by the resident of the state of Vermont. Similarly, a secession proposal for several cities incorporated into the Greater Los Angeles area were put up for a public vote, rather than that of city leaders. Outside of the U.S., Canadians citizens voted on the issue of Quebecâ€”another example of democracy at work.
Sure Israel isnâ€™t the U.S. or Canada, which begs the question about what is different. I have to say that the problem is the lack of clear separation of powers. This may not be a problem in the current state of affairs in the Israel, but it is a problem for the country if it wished to be a democratic one because democracy implies the rule of the people. A rule of one man over people in the way of bypassing people by manipulating the ruling coalition memberships is not that.
So whatâ€™s the solution? I believe it lies with the separation of powers. As it stands, Israel does not have separate legislature and the executive branches of the government. Rather, the PM is the man that has the ability to control both. Hence the government has become something other than that of the people and for the people, and this is something that needs to change.