Israeli Democracy by the “Selector” from Moldova

Tuesday, 19 July 2011 05:16 Michael Warschawski, Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Ivet Lieberman was not yet the minister responsible for approving citizenship of the people indigenous to this land. Back then the new immigrant from Moldova served as a selector in one of the bars of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When he finished his work he would lend a hand to pogroms against Arab students,


and his name went before him: the educated amongst the students of the Left dubbed him “Chmielnitzki”, after the Ukranian organizer of pogroms in the 17th century, Bogdan Chmielnitzki. His positions in the Likud were gained through his heroic acts on the university campus, in which he even surpassed his teacher and mentor Tzachi Hanegbi.
Throughout his entire political life, the Moldovan bully has remained a selector. The election campaign slogan of his party – “no loyalty no citizenship” is a prominent example of his role as selector: the state/leader/loyalty committee will determine who is eligible (and who is not) to be a citizen.

In defence of the man it could be said that he never had the opportunity to learn the foundations of democracy, not in Stalinist USSR and not in colonial Israel which, by the time he moved there, had already lost its strikingly small democratic space.

This is also how the selector and his friends work in the party and the parliament: They, and not the voters, will determine who is eligible to be a Knesset member (or not). Hanin Zoabi was elected by numerous voters? So what: The selector, who did not manage to completely prevent her entry into Knesset, decided to suspend her membership and rights, as was done to MK Azmi Bishara and his pension…

Recently numerous pundits are writing about the disappearance of Israeli democracy. Let’s be precise: the state of Israel never was, and never pretended to be, a democratic state, but a Jewish-democratic state. This oxymoron justified and allowed structural discrimination against the indigenous population of the land and its transformation into second-class citizens. This is how Hanin Zoabi became not only a conditional Knesset member, but a conditional citizen.

This definition of a “Jewish democratic state” also allowed an immigrant from Moldova and those like him to become kings of the land.

When we add any kind of adjective to the concept of democracy, it destroys the very essence of the concept. From a Jewish-democratic state it is not hard to become a Jewish-selector state, and the current Knesset is marching in this path.

The selector will rule.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)


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