Feb 092003
Authors: Bryce Chapman

Bryce Chapman

Terror largest factor in Israel election results

A lecture on the 2003 Israel election results turned into discourse on the nation’s security crisis Friday at the Lory Student Center.

Gideon Doron, an Israeli political advisor, author and professor from Tel Aviv University, spoke to approximately 75 people about the instability the young nation, which became sovereign in 1948, continues to endure. The lecture was sponsored by Hillel, a Jewish student advocacy group.

The almost-daily terrorist attacks that plague Israel was by far the most significant factor in last month’s election results, Doron said.

“The citizens of Israel send their children to school everyday with a sense of anxiety,” he said.

Despite the horrible economy, unemployed people are still voting for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon because he presents the only security option, Doron said.

Nearly doubling the amount of seats from the previous election, Sharon’s Likud party garnered 37 out of the possible 120 seats available in the Israeli parliament.

Blaming much of the violence on Yasser Arafat, president of The Palestinian Council, Doron said that Arafat was a dictator who has no desire to attain peace among the region.

“Arafat is a coward,” Doron said.

Fighting in the region can be traced back to biblical times; however, a wave of terror in the region has arisen since the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks began to collapse in 2000.

“I don’t think peace is likely to be attained in my life because the conflict is more than just political; deep spiritual and cultural issues are at stake,” said Bethany Miller, a junior political science major who attended the speech.

Doron also focused on needed reforms of the Israeli government.

The professor stressed that the fluidity of Israeli political leadership hinders the parliament from achieving substantive lawmaking.

“Every one in five years we have a new government,” Doron said. “This makes us very unstable.”

In addition to extending lawmakers’ terms, Doron also said that a restructuring of the Israel’s unicameral parliament is necessary in order have effective policymaking.

A system of government, very much like the United States, with separate and distinct branches of government would be ideal for Israel, Doron said.

“We need a check of balance,” he said.

Doron said that although reform is needed in Israel, he believes the state has come a long way in a short period of time.

“It’s not all dark, we’re doing very well for only being in existence for 54 years,” he said.

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