During my time in the United States, first as a student and then as Israeli ambassador, I came to admire many facets of American society. I believe at the root of what makes the United States the nation of exceptionalism remains its political system.
At the base of the federal republic stands the United States constitution. This founding document represents the wisdom of America’s founding fathers, who created the concept of real freedoms for the individual - a true division of power and a balance between the different branches of government.
While the system has evolved and enhanced, the constitution, criticisms notwithstanding, has stood the test of time, and by its many successes, the American political culture has borne witness to this accomplishment.
In Israel, while our reestablished sovereignty is only a fraction of its age, there is much we can learn from the American political system, especially as the Jewish State’s evolving needs are continually stymied by our own system, which has outgrown its original purpose.
The Israeli system has to readdress the imbalance within it between representation and governability. While we are proud of our democratic institutions - built by a majority who had no experience of representative democracy - we need to find a system that will allow us to meet the changing requirements of the twenty-first century.
We can do a lot worse than look for inspiration in the United States, and while taking a strong note of our different raison d’être, I believe that the way America has maturely addressed issues like allegiance, service, and incentivizing contribution to one’s society, has meant that it suffers far fewer of the problems that we face.
While not seeking to import the American system holistically, I truly believe that most of the challenges that we face as a nation in Israel can be met successfully with a more governable system. This is what I learnt during my time in the United States, and this was the reason I entered politics.
Congratulations to the Unites States of America on its 236th birthday. Thank you America. The world is safe and better with your leadership.
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