Feb 15, 2023Liked by Arieh Kovler

Superb piece. One small note, though, about this: "In America, we are reminded, the President gets to choose the judges...". But, the Senate has to confirm the judges, which, as Merrick Garland can attest to, can be a high hurdle.

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“People complain that the system gets log-jammed and it can be hard to get anything done, but that’s a feature, not a bug.” Hallelujah! Well said brother I never thought of that before - how the slowness is a necessary (and cherished) feature of a system that has many checks & balances in place to stop a ‘winner’/president/majority from doing whatever they want/is popular regardless of how it affects the minority/‘losers’ (which may in fact constitute 49% of the citizenry) - but it’s a striking and obviously correct observation.

I fear that the ‘pandemic’ has exposed the zombie-like state of democracy in the entirety of the ‘free world’ and how all political parties are subservient to their corporate sponsors and powerless to resist even the most undemocratic/unconstitutional directives by the military-industrial complex but perhaps the courts & the checks & balances you mention will be revived & energised by their failures to act in time (in the case of covid ‘mandates’ & the wild enactments of ‘special laws’ to better suit a few individuals making enormous profits & the army getting to experiment on joe public etc with all usual requirements/definitions of what constitutes an emergency or pandemic/safety checks thrown out the window or “no longer applicable” etc) and are in fact strengthened and motivated to do better in the aftermath.

I too am watching the state of Israel/Palestine with interest and alarm as the elected right-wing government guts the judiciary but am also kind of grateful of the (hopefully) big wake-up call and big red-flag provided by Yetanhahu as he demonstrates how easily democracy can be hijacked by unchecked tyranny! *

*Obviously ‘grateful’ is the wrong word and I do not observe the struggle of Israel/Palestine’s people as though they were dying specimens in a jar that can helpfully point out what is poisonous… I lack a better way to say: “this is alarming and I hope everyone is paying attention!”

If the ‘opposing party’ is actually made up of the same demographic with the same views & beliefs (and especially if you stack it with your own cronies) and the international mainstream media is largely complicit than obviously an independent judiciary that has the potential to block or slow-down immoral & unjust legislation and to keep a head of state in-check however narcissistic a fascist they may be - however POPULAR they may be or appear to be! - is the only legitimate protector of democracy (besides the citizenry itself of course but more and more in the ‘free world’ citizens’ rights to peacefully protest or even to GATHER are being eroded.

“I keep coming back to the same, depressing thought: you don’t pass laws giving the government untrammelled, unreviewable power unless you’re pretty confident you’re never going to be in the opposition, on the receiving end of that power, again.”

:o Indeed. What can people do? How can people best defend democracy?

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