The Israeli Freedom Party
The fundamental principle of personal liberty
The Israeli Freedom Party
The fundamental principle of personal liberty
We support the voucher system that creates a correlation between the number of pupils learning at the school and the governmental budget the school receives. We think competition between schools is critical to improving education and also supports compensating teachers according to their skills and not based seniority. This will raise the teachers’ status, their professional satisfaction and the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
We will not let the teachers’ unions continue to foil every structural reform in the education system.
Finally, we support the right of parents to choose home education, and will ease the bureaucracy involved with this practice.
6. Taking gambling out from the clutches of organized crime. Israel’s government started a war against gambling and poker. This war has led to the gambling market being run by criminal organizations, which derive hefty profits as a direct result of this governmental policy.
We see this as blatant hypocritical given the state-run gambling monopoly in the form of the “Pais” and “Toto” enterprises, which enable and even promote gambling. Moreover, this prohibition on gambling prevents Eilat and other cities from joining many Western tourism cities in offering casino services, and thus a great potential for tourism is lost.
Therefore, we will endeavor to lift the ban on gambling, but also provide oversight to prevent people from losing their entire fortunes on gambling. As for poker, our stance is that poker is a skill-based game and should not be lumped together with gambling games. Legalization of poker will develop tourism, weaken organized crime and positively affect civil liberty.
7. Let us dance in peace. In the years 2018-2019 five different festivals were cancelled by the police. These events were cancelled due to police objections based on various claimed “intelligence information” focused on the possibility of drug use in these festivals. This turn of events caused anger among the festivals participants that claimed the way the police and courts went about “protecting public safety” by completely shutting down these events was an overreach and un-proportional. This is an injury to the citizens’ rights to freedom of culture and entertainment and the entrepreneurs’ rights to freedom of occupation.
Even when there are risks there is a limit to State intervention in personal decisions of the citizens regarding their own bodies. Unfortunate – and extremely uncommon – tragedies that happened at festivals and outdoor parties cannot justify an all-encompassing prohibition of outdoor events or certain types of recreation and music, just as driving automobiles cannot be forbidden due to car accidents or the sea be closed to swimming due to instances of drowning.
Judiciary elements also raise justified doubts as to whether it was appropriate to let down 15,000 party goers because of information regarding drug dealers. Should not the police arrest them on site instead of cancelling an event after effort and money were already invested in preparations? Could this reaction be due to prejudice against certain musical styles or audiences?
We will endeavor to lift the prohibition on the freedom to party and replace it with straightforward and lenient arrangements, which will allow the organizers to make a living without draconian interventions, and allow the partygoers to keep on partying freely as they see fit as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others.
8. Liberating the telecommunications market.
We will endeavor to disconnect the media from politicians and the state. A Media outlet whose existence depends on the establishment it is supposed to criticize cannot properly perform its function.
Everyone should be allowed to operate a television channel without the need of government franchise or oversight. Internet channels will remain completely free from any oversight, licensing, or any other sort of government intervention. The Ministry of Communications, The Second Authority (“Harashut Hashniya”) for television & radio, council for public broadcasting and council for movie review – should all be dismantled. The public broadcasting channel and army radio should be closed or privatized, for these are not among the roles of government.
1. Separation of religion from politics. We believe that marriage is the purview of adult individuals and should not be subject to the control of politicians and bureaucrats. Similarly, we are against government and bureaucratic intervention in citizens’ personal affairs and intimate lives.
We believe the state should not be allowed to dictate the opening hours of private businesses, for it not only infringes on personal property rights but also creates religious tensions. It can be reasonably assumed that supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants in Tel Aviv have a commercial interest in being open for business on Saturdays. In contrast, a kiosk located in Bnei-Barak will soon go out of business if it chooses to open on Saturdays as most costumers will ban it. There is no need for government coercion to settle such matters.
Additionally, we will break the monopoly of the state rabbinate over Kashrut. Similarly to the practice in Jewish communities abroad, “Kosher certificates” will be awarded by private, reputable rabbis that will have to maintain their reputation in the community so that their certificates are respected by the diners. A free competition between the rabbis will lower the costs involved with “Kashrut” and improve the efficiency and transparency of the process.
2. Heeding the voice of reason and putting an end to the “war on cannabis”. The war on cannabis is essentially a war against over a million normative citizens. This war has not reduced cannabis consumption, but it has created an illegal industry for the smuggling, growing and distribution of drugs that is at the core of a widespread criminal enterprise that ties down the resources of law enforcement and the court system and hinders the governments’ ability to protect its citizens from violent crime.
This destructive policy must come to an end, and as is the case in other advanced countries, be replaced with full legalization of cannabis. In addition, we will expunge the criminal records associated with cannabis.
As a top priority we will stop the grievous maltreatment by the state of patients requiring medical cannabis. The medical cannabis crisis in Israel is a frightening example of the state’s ability to destroy lives by unnecessary intervention. The state of Israel must allow every medical doctor in Israel to prescribe cannabis to any patient for any diagnosis and at any required dosage. The patient will be able to choose the type of cannabis strain and brand within the limits of the medical prescription and will be allowed to import the prescription from abroad.
The medical cannabis unit at the ministry of health, which has caused severe and unusual failures which resulted in great distress to the patients, should be closed and replaced by an authority which is in charge only of laboratory examinations to ensure the quality of the cannabis administered.
3. The burden of service in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) is not spread equally. More than half of the population does not enlist at all, and on top of that the service is not equal for those that do enlist: some soldiers are recruited into hard and dangerous positions without significant compensation whereas others are recruited into largely unnecessary units characterized by idleness and inefficiency.
The Ben-Basat, Shefer and Brodet committees, which examined this subject, determined that the service period can be shortened without reducing the operational efficiency of the army. Unfortunately, the current political establishment has not advanced this reform, and so we will.
Along with shortening the service period and the savings in the resources, army roles and positions should increasingly become voluntary and professional with competitive salaries.
4. Preserving or digital liberty. Privacy is an inseparable component of a free society. We will stand against any attempt by the government to monitor the internet traffic of Israeli citizens.
Security and foreign affairs
The security of the state of Israel and the safety of its citizens and soldiers (security personnel) will be our top priority, alongside the aspiration to strengthen Israel’s international position and maintain peaceful and fair relations with our neighbors.
The state of Israel, with the city of Jerusalem as its unified capitol, is the only country of the Jewish people. As long as it is surrounded by enemies there is no choice but to guard its borders and put its military strength at the top of our priorities.
In case a relevant diplomatic settlement is discussed by the Knesset, such as a peace agreement or a territory annexation decision, we will demand that it is brought to a national referendum, as we believe that decisions of this magnitude should be settled directly by the people.
Along with maintaining the national rights of the Jewish people in their homeland, it must be ensured that every citizen has full and equal civil rights and that the rights of minorities are protected.
The right of self-defense
We will demand that all law-abiding citizens, from 21 years of age, that have no criminal or psychiatric history, be eligible for firearms licenses for the purpose of self-defense. The license will be conditioned upon comprehensive training and yearly “refresher” courses.
History shows us that a free economy (also called free-market capitalism, market economy, free competition, free enterprise) dramatically raises the standard of living for the entire population. Moreover, studies show positive correlation between the degree of capitalism and the populations’ fairness and generosity. The Freedom Party will further capitalism in Israel.
6. Turning Israel into a free trade zone and reducing food costs. Freedom of trade is a prerequisite for a strong economy. Tariffs, especially for food products, have caused a sharp rise in the prices of goods. We believe that trade restrictions in the form of tariffs, purchase taxes, bans and limitations on imports benefit special interest groups at the expense of the general public. In fact, the main harm is caused to the lower income deciles since they spend a relatively high portion of their income on food. We will endeavor to abolish the protectionist policy in effect today towards “preferred” industries and gradually transform Israel into a free trade zone. That is, we will gradually cancel all tariffs on import, import bans and import quantitative restrictions, purchasing taxes and unique requirements of the Standards Institution of Israel for every product, even products that were already approved by parallel institutions in the USA or EU. We will work towards instituting an automatic import approval for any product that was certified by any OECD country without the need to involve the Standards Institution in the process.
1. Lowering housing costs, returning the land to the people and streamlining the construction approval processes. There are three main reasons for the high housing prices in Israel.
Firstly, the government of Israel controls the vast majority of the land, through a cumbersome bureaucracy called the Israel Land Administration (ILA). The paucity of this administration’s permits causes an artificially low land supply and exorbitant housing prices. We will endeavor to return the state’s lands to their real owners – the people. We will promote auctioning all the land, with the exception of natural reserves, army and government installations, etc. This will be done by fair and transparent auctions.
Secondly, housing prices in Israel are high due to complex and senseless bureaucratic procedures. As anyone who has ever tried to initiate construction projects in Israel knows, it is years long, agonizing and sometimes corrupt process. When bureaucracy is impossible to get across, is it a wonder that prices are sky high? We will adopt the “Straight Line” (Kav Yashar) blueprint for comprehensive reform of planning and construction approval procedures so that Israel moves up to a Western construction standard.
Thirdly, we will endeavor to correct municipal tax distortions that cause, among other problems, preference for commercial real estate over residential.
2. Freeing the economy to enable true competition – opening government monopolies to competition, striking down laws that prevent competitors from entering and prevent entrepreneurship and innovation. Many of the monopolies and cartels in Israel originate from protectionist legislation that goes against the freedom of occupation. We will endeavor to abolish the prevailing “Boards” system, which dictates production quotas, prices and more – the “Milk Board”, “Olive Board”, “Plant Board”, “Honey Board” and all other boards. We will also strive to cancel monopolies – such as the cement monopoly of the “Nesher” company – and privatize government monopolies such as the Israeli electric corporation and Israeli ports corporation. The employees of the monopolies receive exorbitant pay using the threat of a strike, with no correlation to the poor service they provide and to costumer discontent. We will endeavor to comprehensively reform “Israel Railways”. We will promote the establishment of a new large international airport by a private entrepreneur and without involvement of the Israel Airports Authority. Foreign banks and insurance companies should be allowed to operate in Israel and new Israeli banks should be allowed to open.
3. Reducing the tax burden. Low taxation means more employment opportunities, higher net wages, lower prices and overall greater wellbeing for all layers of society. We will endeavor to responsibly lower the tax burden while concurrently reducing government spending and making government more efficient. It is our belief that the government is inefficiently using tax money compared to the use of capital by the private sector. Low taxation will allow for more entrepreneurship, and productivity in the economy and thus will lead to increased economic welfare. The high tax rate in Israel hurts the citizens, increases migration from Israel, causes the black market to grow, drives price hikes and deters foreign investors from investing in Israel. We will endeavor to simplify the tax code. The current system is extremely complicated and includes a myriad of exemptions and tax credit clauses which distort the economy. Therefore, the tax code should be simplified and exemptions abolished in order to decrease the costs associated with tax collection and reduce the incentive for tax evasion.
4. Liberating the economy form the “Histadrut” stranglehold. We will work towards repealing the “one third” law so that workers who do not wish to unionize won’t be forced to pay union membership fees. We will also endeavor to abolish the legal standing of “ottoman associations” (a legal standing that enables the Histadrut to operate without transparency). We will endeavor to restrict the right to strike in essential services and promote fair strike laws, for example by demanding secret majority vote of the union members before going on strike. Fair unionization laws, that do not place disproportionate power in the hands of either side, are imperative for the functioning of the economy and of the public sector. The strong unions have gathered so much power that even the threat of a strike turns the public into hostages and leads to the workers being compensated according to their ability to inflict harm and not according to their productivity. The current state of affairs, in which employees who go on strike are completely immune from liability for violation of their employment contract and the damage caused by that violation, is unreasonable. Repeal of this immunity method will cause the unions to consider the costs of striking and promote due consideration before taking this course of action. Curbing the power of the strong worker unions will enable the public sector to function more efficiently and reliably. Moreover, restraining the pay rises of the bellicose parts of the public sector will help curb government spending and eventually help reduce the tax burden on the Israeli public.
5. Cutting back the ministerial offices. A small and transparent government mechanism is necessary for proper governance. Therefore, we will work towards limiting the number of ministers. We will endeavor to limit the disproportionate powers of the different ministries, canceling unnecessary ministries and unifying some of the other ministries. Likewise, we will work to abolish the possibility of appointing ministers without portfolios. We consider this to be an important step towards more efficient and transparent management of the government and considerable reduction in the cost of the government apparatus. We believe that any significant deviation from a simple governmental structure of six primary ministries (treasury, internal affairs, justice department, department of defense, department of internal security and department of external affairs – “state department”) is a symptom of government apparatus degeneration, waste of public funds and unnecessary bureaucratic complication. Finally, the state of Israel is to enstate a Classically Liberal constitution which will cement the standing of civil rights.
The autonomy of the individual over his/her body
The Freedom Party believes that the most important freedom is an individual’s autonomy over his/her own body. Therefore, we categorically object to forcing vaccines on, not only by way of direct edict but also through boycotts, barring entrance to businesses, threats of future discrimination and so forth. In the same manner we categorically oppose lockdowns – which infringe upon another important freedom – the freedom of movement, likewise we oppose arbitrary closure of private businesses, which is supposedly done to protect the public health. Adults in a free country should be able to judge the risks by themselves and make their own decisions. Lastly, we categorically oppose the discrimination of citizens based on their willingness to consume pharmaceutical products that the State deems essential. In other words – we categorically oppose the Covid regime.
As stated above, the Freedom Party believes that every individual has complete autonomy over his/her body and the state must not infringe upon the right of the citizens to use their body to make a living. Accordingly, sex workers are also entitled to complete autonomy of their bodies.
Criminalizing sex workers or their clients is not only ineffective in curbing the sex industry but causes this industry to be run by criminal organizations, which often abuse the workers, use violence and do not pay taxes.
Criminalizing sex work does not improve the situation and solve the problem but rather worsen the situation. Of course, sex trafficking and coercion of any kind are a different issue and must be dealt with severely. But adult and mentally fit people that choose to work in the sex industry of their own free will should not be criminalized.
The freedom party supports the struggle of “Argaman – working women organization”, which represents normative and independent sex workers. We will work towards decriminalization of the sex industry by gradually applying regulatory models, which are accepted by developed Western countries. Decriminalization of the sex industry will enable the redirection of law enforcement resources to fight real crime and secure the freedom of occupation of willing sex workers.