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Israeli Politics: How it works. And why it doesn’t. With Dr. Martin Sherman

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_calendar/item/israeli_politics_how_it_works._and_why_it_doesnt._with_dr._martin_sherman

Dr. Martin Sherman will explain the limousine theory of Israeli politics: understanding how it works and why it doesn’t.

Time and time again “right” wing parties (or rather parties that promote a relatively hawkish agenda) win elections in Israel, but soon after taking office they adopt the failed policies of the dovish “left-wing” predecessors.
The Limousine Theory offers an explain for the “paradox of politics” in Israel where, repeatedly, the parties elected to power, not only discard the platform on which they were elected but act to implement the very policy rejected by their voters at the polls—despite the fact that it has be shown to a disastrous debacle.

To use an analogy from the world of sport, according to the Limousine Theory, the reasons for this detrimental phenomenon, which in itself is comprises a grave distortion of the democratic process are not to be found flaws in the Israeli electoral system or the system of government (i.e. in the rules of the game); or in the personal defects of the elected politicians (i.e. the quality of the players).
Rather they are rooted in in the sociological structure of Israeli society—particularly the personal and professional priorities certain civil society elites (i.e. the topography of the playing field).

By virtue of their un-elected positions of power and prestige, these elites have both the means and the motivation to impose on the elected incumbents the implementation of policies they were not elected to implement; or to prevent the implementation of policies they were elected to implement.
Dr. Martin Sherman served for seven years in operational capacities in the Israeli Defense establishment. He was a ministerial adviser to Yitzhak Shamir’s government and lectured for 20 years at Tel Aviv University in Political Science, International Relations and Strategic Studies. He was the first academic director of the internationally renowned Herzliya Conference and is the author of two books and numerous articles and policy papers on a wide range of political, diplomatic and security issues. He was born in South Africa and has lived in Israel since 1971. Dr. Sherman is currently involved in an endeavor to establish an independent policy center –the Israel Institute of Strategic Studies.
Why a “Limousine”?

The answer will be provided in the course of the lecture.

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