Beyond the Cusp

May 14, 2019

Israeli Battle for True Democracy

 

A war of a different kind is brewing to come to a head in Israel. It will be billed as the valiant confrontation to save democracy. This is actually a very accurate summation but who is attempting to save democracy and who is simply vying for power over the future of Israel is to be determined. Another angle to decide this battle is one of political views, the old socialists attempt at a last-ditch effort to retain their stranglehold over all decisions of the realm against the Zionist and nationalist struggle to break that stranglehold and return the rule of law to all the people with the elected representatives deciding the nation’s fates. The rumors over the unfolding coalition agreements has made some strong inferences that included within is a rough sketch for judicial reform and an end to the Supreme Court’s ability to override any decision be they made by the Knesset or even military commanders during a conflict. Part and parcel of this conflict is the method by which justices are chosen. Let us start there.

 

Currently a committee is selected to choose new justices for the Supreme Court as well as the lower courts. This committee had an unassailable makeup giving the sitting Supreme Court Justices along with the Attorney General and a member of the Lawyers Guild sufficient votes to block any nominee of which they have political differences. This had continued the leftward leanings of the Supreme Court solidly entrenched. The next Knesset is set to complete the transformation begun under Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked during the past government. The new selection process being proposed would place the Knesset, the elected Israeli legislature, the power for approving judges plus there will be a twelve year term for judges such that the court will never again be stranded in the politics of two or more decades ago and always being refreshed with new judges chosen by the elected representatives. This will allow the courts to more represent the ideals and aspirations of the people and not become an elite which has fallen out of touch with the people and the government. They also are going to attempt to draft laws which will permit the Knesset to overrule any overturning of a law passed by the Knesset by the Supreme Court, something which has prevented advancement of Israel and galled many Knesset Ministers who sat helplessly being unable to get laws which the people demanded past Supreme Court vetoes. Things had reached a point a few years ago where the Supreme Court flexed their assumed control which was never enacted through legislation but was simply a usurpation of power by Chief Justice Aharon Barak, who postulated that all things are adjudicable. Through this expansion of judicial power, the Supreme Court intervened in any area they believed that their desires were not being met. This led to Israel living under a black robed form of tyranny which the justices, with the blessings of the Europeans who sided with these left-leaning justices, claiming that to limit their power or alter their monopoly on choosing their replacements was an attack on democracy. Accordingly, Israel was often beaten into submission when the United States joined the Europeans in their pressuring of Israel to simply sit back and allow their betters to dictate their laws and lives. Now that battle is about to be waged for real.

 

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

Chief Justice Aharon Barak

 

Already we are hearing the screams that Israeli democracy is planning on being assailed and destroyed if the court’s powers are curtailed in any way and the method for choosing Justices has any modification from their beloved system. Where we are confused is how anybody can confuse allowing unelected Supreme Court Justices to override the elected government, counter orders given by military officers and generally dictate to every entity of the government what their marching orders are and stand over even the Prime Minister making the entire elected governance impotent under the overview of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is already smarting from the change made whereby they can no longer decide who gets to reside on lands which are contested without requiring a proof of the claims against the placement of Jewish homes; the court never found claims against Arabs to be founded, only Jews. This was removed from their dockets and placed in the lower courts ending the practice where a largely European funded NGO would come before the Supreme Court claiming their Arab client, who preferred not to appear out of fear of reprisals, once owned an area in which Jewish communities were built, and they often did not produce any deed of ownership and yet the court nearly always evicted the Jews destroying communities. Now with these cases in the lower courts a new procedure is in place whereby such claims will require the Arab making the claim to appear unless the court can be convinced such is impractical with reason, and the producing of a deed or bill of sale which will stand up to review before such decisions are reached. Further alterations allow the courts to order reparations rather than eviction, something the Supreme Court refused to consider as they appeared to have been operating under the concept that the Jews required being removed such that the Two State Solution could be enacted using the pre-Six Day War borders. The Supreme Court appeared loath to move beyond this idea and spent far too much energy in their crusade to make this happen. Now their screams of the death of democracy echo hollow as the people largely see this as the rescue of democracy from judicial tyranny.

 

The coalition will be formed within the ensuing few weeks and a new Knesset will be seated with very much the same breakdown as the last Knesset, sixty-five nationalist-Zionist-religious-economic capitalist or, as the media calls them, right-wing Ministers and fifty-five socialist-Arabist-two state solution supporting liberal or, as the media calls them, centrist or left-wing Ministers. Isn’t it simply amazing that almost anywhere one goes on this globe, those who are even slightly right of true center are called extreme-right-wing-fanatics, and we do not even want to know what they call true right-wing-fanatics, hint, their name is Nazis or fascists, and left of center is often referred to as centrist and far left are left-leaning. There really is only a true leftist in the more conservative news, the minority of the media, while the rest of the media are often far left and see old-style liberals as right-wing fanatics as they are not even left enough to be called centrist. As some have said, often with remorse, I did not leave the left-wing as a liberal, the left-wing left me and went places I do not care to visit. We will hear the caterwauling from the leftist media in Europe and the plethora of leftist politicians all echoing the same mantra that Israel is having the basis of democracy attacked by fascists in the government. We are confused as to how the elected government which can be changed by the people in any election are fascist while unelected Supreme Court Justices ruling by judicial fiat is democracy. If these definitions are correct, then perhaps I do support fascism as at least it comes with elections, but we all know deep down that those definitions are backwards. Even the Supreme Court Justices realize they are selling a bag of rotten to the core goods and stand against democracy. Anyway, who ever said Israel was a democracy? Israel is a Parliamentary Democracy under the rule of law as stated in the Basic Laws.

 

Now, if people would like a few suggestions for making some needed changes, well, who are we to disappoint. First thing is should they decide that the Knesset can overrule the Supreme Court veto, it should be by some form of super-majority, be that sixty-percent which is seventy-two Ministers, or two-thirds which is eighty Ministers or lastly three-fourths which is ninety Ministers. We would also prefer to see that any legislation require a super-majority for establishing a new Basic Law in place of a simply majority and an even higher bar for the repeal of any Basic Law. Another alteration would require that a quorum be required for any legislation to be voted upon thus making sneaking legislation through would become impossible, a tactic seldom utilized but even once would be too many times. And while we are at making modernizations, how about we make the letters of the law regarding electioneering, elections, term lengths, appointment of judges and Supreme Court Justices by defined methods, qualifications for offices, defining the threshold permanently instead of allowing it to be modified by the whims of each government, removal from office for impeachable and other crimes, and the other definitions required to set straight a framework around which the governing bodies are wrapped including a prescribed method for amending said constitution which would then be presented to the people for ratification. Lets make the Constitution an actual representation of a democracy by allowing the people to have the final say such that they can send the drafts back to the government with a note stating, try again, here are a few suggestions, and eventually the process will produce something we can all get used to and learn to live under. The world is screaming for democracy, how about we give them a real example and a real taste of what a modern democracy can produce and how well we know how to be a democratic country. Perhaps some of those crusted old-school Europeans will be able to learn something from the upstart nation which is over four-thousand years old and has seen all the forms of governance the world has ever produced and found that they all often lacked the protection for the weakest amongst us, and often those weaker ones were us Jews. The world oppressed the Jews for thousands of years and now they demand to tell us how to run our own nation which we finally are returning home after those two thousand years of torment and really have had more than enough of the world telling us what it is we can and cannot do and what we are permitted and how we must listen to them for what is right. We had a code for governance while these upstarts were still living in tribal villages and they want to tell us how to rule Israel. Well, we could simply use the Torah but that would really upset the world, so maybe that would not be such a bad idea, if only to hear the howls.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

1 Comment »

  1. Great post 😃

    Like

    Comment by the #1 Itinerary — May 14, 2019 @ 5:06 AM | Reply


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