THE MEANING OF DEMOCRACY
Democracy has to start at home!
In our home, we were and are very democratic.
When we were an extended family, we discussed everything and acted as the elders told us to.
When we were just 4, we discussed everything, but the kids did as they were told,- by the parents.
They were given freedoms on a long 'leash',- but that 'leash' was reined-in as soon as they took advantage of this freedom to their detriment!
Now when we are jus 2 of us,- we discuss everything, but we do ,- what?
We have to give and take!
That is democracy! A democracy which can work for two very easily,- or you divorce!
Institutional, national or company, etc. democracies are just the same on a grander scale: some take advantage of the freedoms of the individual, to the detriment of everyone else. They have to be reined in, restricted, locked-up, locked-out, expelled, legislated against, or whatever.
There is no one rule that fits all. There is no law that says: we are all equal, -full stop.
We are all equal before the law,- fair enough!
But kids, adults, the able and disabled, the old and the young,- the crooks, the saintly, the clever and the idiots,- the poor and the rich, etc., etc.,- sorry, not one of us would claim equality on all fronts all our lives with everyone else!
One can repeat one's "democracy dogma" as much as one likes. The ideal may be in heaven, but on earth, my/our home is my/our castle and I/we set the rules.
If my home is on Crown land,- or if someone else has claims on my land,- we still have tenancy rights enshrined in laws. I don't expect to be shot at and murdered by the landlord,- but if I overstep my rights, the landlord will have a right to evict me via the correct enforcers of the law. I will have to accept it, like it or not,- if I am normal, of course!
If my neighbors overstep their rights to build a structure which adversely affects my property rights,- then there are also laws and avenues to appeal for both parties. Both will have to accept whatever the rulings,- if we are normal human beings!
On the other hand, if a potential mass-murderer were to live next door to any of us,- whose rights take precedence in a democracy? His or ours? He stays and we move?
ISRAEL,- THE JEWISH PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL HOMELAND.
Every nation has its problems and every nation deals with it as it sees fit, including our Oz (AUSTRALIA).
Dictatorships a-la-Zimbabwe or Iraq or past and present others,- need outside help to free their citizens.
But I don't think that democratic Israel needs anyone's lecturing on how to deal with its potential enemies within, as long as no one comes to help her deal with her actual enemies,- i.e. the former's brethren-, without!
The following is a Letter to the Editor, of The Age newspaper, Melbourne.
Monday 21 May, 2007.
THERE is no doubt that the Holocaust was a terrible crime against humanity and that the establishment of a refuge for Jews in 1948 was a justifiable step. It is also true that Israel has faced many difficulties from its neighbours.
However, to imply that all citizens in the Jewish state have equal rights, as Philip Chester and Danny Lamm do, is disingenuous.
Those with "Jewish nationality" have all sorts of privileges in terms of employment and loans for housing and education. Most land is reserved for Jewish use. Immigration, quite obviously, favours Jews over non-Jews. The fact that the Israeli Government may not discriminate between citizens does not appear to prohibit non-state institutions from doing so.
Israel would like to be seen as a democratic state like any other. However, no other democracy privileges a particular ethnicity the way Israel does. There is a real conflict between a state being defined as "Jewish" and it being truly democratic. This is, no doubt, a difficult acknowledgement to make, but it is an issue that must ultimately be faced.
Instead of being the Promised Land for the Chosen People, if Israel would move to becoming a secular state embracing compassion, freedom and justice, for all citizens equally, it would truly be a light to the world.
John Perkins, St Kilda
My reply to the Editor, The Age.
Disingenuous claim indeed, by John Perkins, St Kilda
If the world had stopped the evil killing and hatred of the Jewish people long, long ago, then perhaps Jews would not have needed to be a "people apart" in their own ethnic State.
But I don't know about being a "chosen people",- I would rather God and the world chose someone else for a change!
As for democracy,- if her neighbors and detractors were trying even 1% to be as fair and reasonable as Israel is trying to be towards all its citizens,- the whole world would be a better place.
For the time being, democracy in Israel is as good as its enemies allow it to be. It is a beacon of light to her neighbors.
But to be a "light on to the nations" requires a willingness by the nations to live in light, not in darkness!