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October 27, 1989 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I LIFE IN ISRAEL

The HIGHEST Money Market Rate
Among Major Financial Institutions
in the Detroit Metropolitan Area for

291

Consecutive Weeks
INSTANT LIQUIDITY

INTEREST RATES AS OF: 10-18-89

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

MONEY MARKET RATES'

7.45

Franklin Savings

National Bank of Detroit

7,20

Manufacturers

6.90

Standard Federal

6.75

Comerica

6.65

First Federal of Michigan

6.50

First Federal Savings Bank & Trust

6.50

Michigan National of Detroit

6.50

First of America

5.75

Electoral Reform Plan Will Solve
Some Of Israel's Political Woes

`Based on $10,000 deposit. Some minimum deposit requirements may be lower.
Higher rates may be available for larger deposits.

18 MONTH QUARTERLY ADJUSTED HIGH INCOME C.D.

8.75%

Annual Percentage Rate

9.11%

Effective Annual Yield
Monthly check may be issued or reinvested to another
Franklin Savings Account

Variable Rate Certificate adjusted quarterly at the 90 day T-bill plus 1%. Balance
of 5500 or more. Additional deposits to the account allowed at any time.
Limited time offer. Early withdrawal subject to penalty.

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42

FRIDAY, OCTOBER

27, 1989

775-6310

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at Woodward Hgts. (91/2 Mi.)

544-3322

DAVID HOLZEL

Special to The Jewish News

L

ast November's elec-
tion results in Israel,
leaving Labor and
Likud wooing small relgious
parties in an attempt to form
a coalition, almost resulted
in disaster.
In their push for power,
both Shimon Peres of Labor
and Yitzhak Shamir of
Likud agreed to the agenda
of several small religious
parties, including redefining
who is a Jew.
Watching Israel's leaders
bow and scrape before these
small parties was enough to
make Israelis look more
cynically askance at their
leaders than ever. And it
was enough to make
Diaspora Jews throw up
their hands in despair.
But was it enough to make
Israelis change their system
of elections, which tends to
give enormous influence to
small parties?
The jury is still out. Elec-
toral reform became the
battle cry of those
dissatisfied with the out-
come of the elections and
others fearful that Israel's
electoral system has become
permanently deadlocked.
After finally forming a unity
government, both Labor and
Liud agreed to work out
some kind of election reform
by next year and a bipar-
tisan committee has made
its recommendations. But
skeptics abound.
Israel has a long history of
attempts at electoral reform,
none of which succeeded,
primarily because they
would require the small par-
ties in the government to

David Holzel is staff writer at
our sister publication, the
Atlanta Jewish Times.

vote themselves out of
power, a prospect that is
highly unlikely.
Further, changing the
electoral system would not
even begin to address those
dilemmas caused by having
large Orthodox and Arab
minorities and a nearly 50-
50 split in public opinion on
the disposition of the ter-
ritories.
Israelis cannot neatly be
converted into Republicans
and Democrats. Israel is not
America.
Still, a group of serious
Israelis is hopeful that its
recommendations, if
adopted, could lead to true
progress, if not total success.
Dr. Arye Cannon, presi-
dent of the Israel-Diaspora
Institute, a Tel Aviv Univer-
sity think tank advising the
government's bipartisan
commission, says he follows
Voltaire's dictum, "the best
is the enemy of the good."
"We're not shooting for the
best," he said during a re-
cent visit to the United
States. "We're shooting for
the possible."
"There is a deep danger in
believing the myth that solv-
ing the electoral problem
will solve the problems of
democracy in Israel," he
says, while noting that "the
real push [for electoral
reform] was the trauma of
the last election."
The danger to democracy
runs deeper than political
stalemate at election time. It
goes to the bedrock of
Israel's society and political
culture, according to Car-
mon.
"First, democracy was
never a major premise of the
Zionist idea. It emerged from
practical needs and re-
quirements. Second, in the
1980s, Israeli society is
highly diversified. Any polit-

ical change must take this
into account."
Besides a well-defined left,
right and a floating center,
Israel's political map also
includes an Arab minority
and religious sectors of vary-
ing stripes.
Adding to the strain on the
system is the mutual
distrust of Labor and the
Likud. Ostensibly coalition
partners, each is always
looking over its shoulder to
the next election, laying in
ambush for the other, Car-
mon says.
Electoral reform will not
solve these problems. But
they will help, he maintains.
The type of reform supported
by Cannon's Israel-Diaspora
Institute is modest change
"aiming at achieving ac-
countability and strengthen-
ing governability."
To achieve accountability,
voters must be able to choose
at least some of their repre-
sentatives directly. To
strengthen governability,
the prime minister's role
must be solidified.
Israel's electoral system is
proportional. Each party
drawg up a list and wins
seats to the Knesset in pro-
portion to the number of
votes it receives. A Knesset
member thus owes every-
thing to his party and
nothing to the voter, because
he is motivated to please his
party to win a high place on
the election list.
Proposed reforms would
retain the proportional com-
ponent, but would divide the
country up into districts.
Each district would elect
three members to Knesset.
About half the parliament
seats would be filled by such
local representatives. The
other half would be won
under the current arrange-
ment.

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