Eretz Yisrael Time

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Thursday, December 04, 2008
Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed: "A totalitarian regime crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul" Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

"A country cannot have negotiations about its control over its citizens." Ehud Barak.

The words coming from various government official and Ehud Barak in particular should strike fear in the hearts of every member of democratic society.

Every statement is how the settlers are a danger to the State, how the State must be protected from the Settlers, how the State take precedence over all.

The State exists to serve the citizens – in a democracy. But in a totalitarian regime, the citizens are there to serve the State and follow the orders of its leaders (and they tend to remain in their seats of power for a very long time, sound like any local government you know of?).

But what about the Right of the Individual?

In a democracy, the Rights of the Individual is foremost, and only curtailed with trepidation and much discourse.

You would think that one word on the rights of the individual to buy property would be part of the discussion here, but of course it isn’t.

Instead what is discussed is that the individual using what should be his basic right to buy, own, maintain, and utilize his property is considered a threat to the very existence of what is now an apparently very fragile State.

But I have a surprise for you - Ehud Barak is right.

If Israel were a healthy democracy, then Jews buying land would never be considered an existential threat, but if Israel were a totalitarian regime with power being shared and rotated among the same individuals decade after decade, and some private citizens came along and utilized what should be an inalienable right, except under a totalitarian regime, then yes, those people would be a threat, but not the country or its citizens, but rather those clinging to their seats of power over the rest of us.

As Barak says, a State must control its citizens. There's no better description for what kind of government we find ourselves with.


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