Audio: Flawed Decision Making In Israel - How Small Forums Make Policy

Interview with Charles Freilich, a former Deputy National Security Adviser, and interview with major philanthropist Michael Steinhardt.
12/9/2012, 11:06 PM

A7 Radio's "Walter's World" with Walter Bingham
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Flawed Decision Making In Israel

How small forums make major government policy.

This programme illuminates what is in my view not really a democratic system of deciding government policy.

Charles Freilich, a former Deputy National Security Adviser for the Israeli government also Senior Analyst at the Ministry of Defence explains the processes that lead to Israel’s political and security policies. He shows how a non constituted group of 8 or 9 people with no statutory authority formulate policy that is then invariably adopted by the Knesset which is just an ineffective talking shop, where debates centre more on the interests of the debaters’ parties and constituents, than on the greater good of the country. That is also true of the Cabinet, which, at 1/3rd of Knesset members far too large and incapable of agreement because almost everything is politicised. It’s not policy making, but politics making.

Unfortunately major decisions are often made at the final hour, so short term compromise and improvisation is the order of the day, instead of long term planning.

This programme is an absolute eye opener.

Also in the programme an interview with Michael Steinhardt a major philanthropist for Israel’s causes such as Taglit-Birthright Israel, that was first broadcast 7 years ago and is as topical today, as it was then. It shows that little has changed in the Jewish world – and what did, was not for the better.

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Walter Bingham was born in Germany. Just days before the outbreak of WWII, with the help of a Zionist youth movement he was selected for a place on the ‘Kindertransport’ to Great Britain. Walter saw front line action during the Normandy invasion of Europe and was awarded the Military Medal for ‘Bravery in the Field’. In England Walter also acted in films including several Harry Potter films. On the day of his Aliyah in August 2004 he transferred his programme ‘Walter’s World’ to Israel National Radio as a weekly Magazine programme and it has been running here regularly ever since. Walter is an accomplished public speaker and was a member of a visiting panel of lecturers at schools throughout the UK, where he spoke on events in the Third Reich. He has also spoken at schools in the USA and addressed audiences in Israel.
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