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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Shevat 16, 5769, 2/10/2009

      A Priceless Blessing


      I just returned from the polling booth, where I had the privilege of casting my ballot.

      Yes, it is a privilege and we should never take for granted the freedom that we have. As frustrating as Israel's political system is, as infuriating as its government can be, it is nonetheless a priceless blessing that we have to be able to vote freely.

      Would we all be better off if Israeli parliamentarians were accountable directly to their constituency, rather than to a party bureaucracy? Definitely. Would our democratic system work more efficiently if there were a true separation of powers in place between the legislative and executive branches? Of course.

      But as flawed and imperfect as the system is, I still thank G-d that after 2000 years of exile, we have a sovereign Jewish state.

      May it soon live up it to its prophetic promise.