Churchill was wrong saying that democracy is the worst of all political systems except for every other which was ever tried. We can counter with Keynes’ quote, “In the long run, we’re all dead.” Every system, including every political system, is always exploited, loopholes found in its checks and balances, and the system is taken over by unscrupulous men and deteriorates. That is equally true of clans, monarchies, feudalism—any form of government. In historical terms, democracy is not even the most resilient system: for most of human history, people were governed by paternalist clans. In every country except the United States, monarchy has outlasted democracy, and even there dynasties emerge, such as the Bushes.

So the real question is not what political system can exist eternally? None can. The question is also not what political system outlasts all others? There is nothing inherently wrong with societies changing their system of government. The question is what political system conforms to our best goal right now?

Our goal in Israel cannot just be safety, for we would never be safe in a sea of Muslims. Even if we totally submit to them as dhimmi, Muslims are unlikely to offer Jews the relative protection we enjoyed with them for centuries. Modern Muslims are experiencing the death pangs of their failing civilization, or rather their way of life, as they have failed to develop a civilization. They are desperate, and desperation often makes people aggressive.

Our goal in Israel is a kind of Jewish state, vaguely defined as something between the Left’s “state with a Jewish majority” and a religious Jewish state. The “Jewish majority” definition is evidently unworkable: even before Arabs reach a majority, they have already been proven to exert considerable influence over Jewish lives. Israeli Arabs side with Jewish defeatists in the Knesset, attack Jews and threaten riots throughout the country, and even judge the Jews, especially the thousands of Jewish women who married the Arabs. Also, the “Jewish majority” goal is actually a means: the majority is supposed to vote the Jewish way.

What is a Jewish way? Like any other people except for religion. There is no Jewish blood, culture, or cuisine worth fighting for. Jewish people are only distinct in terms of religion. Now, many might think the prohibition against using an elevator or turning on a light on Sabbath is silly, but there is no argument that work is prohibited on the Sabbath. The Israeli state needs an ideology, a raison d’etre, like any state, and only the Jewish religion offers such ideology. When we fight the Arabs, it is evidently more inspiring to fight for “cities of our God.” When we claim our right to the land, it is simple enough to assert that God gave it to us—without dubious and humiliating references to the UN resolutions. When we want to live without Arabs, we can easily justify such policies by the religious commandment to expel the aborigines. Judaism offers valuable suggestions on dealing with the Amalek from Gaza, on cleansing the Temple Mount of the Aqsa abomination, for refusing to give away the Promised Land.

Goals of divine service and comfortable life are not mutually exclusive. In every country, people accept upon themselves certain prohibitions in order to live comfortably. We don’t turn on loud music at 3 a.m. even if our mood is great and we would love for every neighbor to know it. Comfortable social life is, first of all, the realization that all your neighbors share your way of doing things, if not your way of thinking. Comfort lies in knowing that your neighbors are like you – and they are likely to like you, and you like them. You wouldn’t want your children to socialize with the homosexuals next door, or learn from defeatists in school, or encounter missionaries on the streets. I’m not a haredi, but always feel an almost physical wave of comfort upon coming to their Mea Shearim or Bnei Brak neighborhoods. I know that I have more in common with them than with the commies from the kibbutzim.
So the question is if we can accept a degree of religiosity as a common denominator for Jews? In very basic terms, the requirements are quite simple: we don’t eat pork and rabbit, refrain from going to the office on Shabbat, keep short fasts and go to synagogues once in a while, and refuse to give up the Promised Land to Arabs within or without. In my experience, just about all the secular persons who started observing commandments in their most basic form eventually accepted upon themselves the Yoke of Heaven. Such progress is, however, voluntary. Society doesn’t look into your home fridge, but it would also not tolerate Tel Aviv restaurants serving pork. No one checks to see if you have read the Kiddush on Shabbat, but at least you’re expected to refrain from driving on Shabbat; you can drive on Sunday, which would also be a weekend holiday. Believe me, after a year of not driving on Shabbat you will start reading Kiddush, too, if only to justify your not driving. The society where all the people share basic religious values and act coherently would be fantastically comfortable.
The Jewish law in Israel would make her a very strong society. Pressing a religious society to give away the holy land is pointless. Our Arab enemies would only remain outside the country, and they will know that Jews fight the biblical way, so there is no point provoking us.

Jewish theocracy closely parallels original, unadulterated democracy. Early democracies had an electoral barrier: not everyone could be elected, but only the people whose age and status offered a good chance that they would lead society wisely. So Jewish democracy is based upon Sanhedrin rather than the Knesset. In practical terms, that means that only rabbis can be elected. Messiah, of course, doesn’t belong to Shas, but even the Shas rabbis are much more intelligent and decent than the average MK; rabbis are certainly preferable to Meretz or the Arab MKs.
Religious parties exploit the system of government, but all the parties do likewise and often squeeze much more public funds and for much more useless purposes than religious Jews do. In a Jewish theocracy, the ruling rabbis would be constrained by halacha, just like constitutional monarchies are constrained by basic law. Jewish theocracy makes for a very decent society with a laissez-faire economy with 10 or 20 percent non-military taxation.

What is the alternative to religious ideology? Zionism was the idea to bring Jews to a state of their own; that idea is fulfilled and is not moot. Zionism as seen by Herzl is irrelevant today. In post-Zionist Israel, conscription will become increasingly unfashionable, something for the lower classes. This process is known from the USSR and USA: military service, once an attraction and a matter of pride, suddenly becomes unattractive. No amount of propaganda in school can stem that development: Israeli children would soon laugh at the empty militarism: stupid people fight the Arabs, and smart people do business with them or conduct peace talks. The army would have to accommodate religious Jews, and they will change the army and become actively involved in the state’s affairs.

Eventually, even such a state would deteriorate. Religiosity would become unfashionable. The observance will become automated, and the sense of religious identification will diminish. First-century Judea retained attributes of a religious state while actually becoming an assimilationist hotspot. Its Temple, built by the non-observant non-Jew King Herod, could not possibly attract the Divine Presence. Judea was polluted—and controlled—by idol-worshiping foreigners who erected their altars throughout the country. Jews were content with shrinking the Land of Israel’s sanctity to Jerusalem, which was the only city relatively free of paganism. The dissidents fled to Qumran. Judea was not ruled according to Jewish law. The country’s destruction saved the Jews by sending us to semi-isolated Diaspora communities rather then allowing Jews to assimilate in their own country.

Theocracy and a halachic state wouldn’t last forever, but would be the best thing for now.