Beyond the Cusp

November 4, 2016

As the Pacific Far East Crumbles Away

 

Eight years of steering the United States away from even the slightest whiff of conflict or controversy leaving virtually every former ally stuck out in the wind swept stormy seas of fate have started to leave some palpable damage along the Asian Pacific Rim. These damages may only last until the few weeks after the next Presidential Inauguration or may be cemented with more to follow; it all depends on the coming, and it can’t come too soon, American Elections. The slow tear between Washington and Manila may have just torn well past the turning point as the State Department may decide to hold on an agreed arms shipment for the Philippine Police because a single Senator, Benjamin Louis “Ben” Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, informed them he would block such a request. It seems unusual for an already approved arms deal would be held, maybe cancelled, because a single Senator raised his displeasure unless his displeasure was requested from a higher source who preferred hiding in the shadows this close to the election. No reason to risk the Philippine and other related votes in what might be a closer election than the media has painted. The reason, apparently, for Senator Cardin demanding the weapons be withheld was due to the violent manner in which the Philippine authorities are carrying out their resolute and determined crackdown on the drug lords and their criminal enterprises. The claim is that the Philippine government is using extrajudicial killings against the drug gangs because obviously there is little chance the drug gangs might be resisting the efforts to close their operations down. It is interesting to note that extrajudicial killings is exactly the same charge made by leftist Europeans, leftist Americans and the Arab lobby to throw at Israel whenever a terrorist is killed instead of coddled like a harmless puppy.

 

In nearby Malaysia, Premier Najib Razak also had some suggestions for Washington, though he directed them at the West in general referring to the former colonial powers when he cautioned, “It is not for them to lecture nations they once exploited on their internal affairs.” He was referring to the July lawsuits filed by the United States Justice Department implicating the Premier in a money-laundering scandal referencing more than three and a half billion dollars which were allegedly misappropriated. The Justice Department charges could not have anything to do with Najib is looking to strengthen ties with China and his recent six-day visit to Beijing. The United States State Department cannot be overly happy as Premier Razak’s China visit followed on the heels of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit. Not to worry folks, it’s all part of fundamental change President Obama promised in his October 30, 2008, speech where he stated, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” We would say job well done except that the entire job is not near finished. Yes, the news from the Far East, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia, but many allies of the United States have held silently strong knowing, or at least hoping and praying, that the United States would return to its former policies and things returning to previous normal. The four year hopes died hard and the eight year prayers will be determined within the coming five days even if there are states making recounts.

 

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

Malaysia Philippines and Indonesia

 

There is a theory that no matter the results of the Presidential Election there is one coming end of term surprise from the White House, a surprise President Obama wants the visceral satisfaction of performing personally. This is one that is so personal that President Obama may even take a vacation and visit Turtle Bay and the United Nations in order to call a Special Session of the Security Council to hear a proposal to solve what he has determined is tantamount to the root of all problems in the Middle East if not the world, solar system, galaxy or potentially the entirety of the Universe and all creation, Israel and the formation of an Arab State for the ‘Palestinians’ in Judea and Samaria with East Jerusalem as its Capital City. President Obama would be sure to relate how the recent UNESCO decision which removed all Jewish and Christian connection to the Temple Mount or the Old City of Jerusalem, which is most of East Jerusalem, and that it is solely a Muslim Holy Site thus would serve as a natural capital for a new Islamic Palestinian nation. This would be his argument along with the seeming international itch to take away a fair sized additional chunk of the lands originally promised for the Jewish State and form yet another doomed to fail Arab Muslim State reneging yet again making a mockery of international treaties. The only surprise would be such a move being vetoed by one of the other four permanent members of the Security Council; Britain, France, China or Russia. Is such likely? In a word, “Yes.” As to which one, that remains to be seen. Our guess has three in the following order least to most likely, China, Britain, or Russia.

 

That leaves a single pair of questions. One is whether nations which have started to distance themselves from the United States could be gathered back to the warm bosom of Washington and all the wondrous prizes that includes? Should the next President and advisors in the administration return to a more traditional set of policies, then time will reset most relations. Some of those who have moved away or distanced such as the above mentioned Malaysia and Philippines and includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan and an additional small selection largely in Eastern Europe will move further from United States orbit unless concerted and deliberate efforts are expended. Even then the chances of returning all will prove near impossible. Nations such as Iraq and Egypt may be lost for the foreseeable future as Russia and China pick up influence. Still. The majority of estranged nations would gladly return given the slightest of efforts. That is the good and the bad side, but there is a worse possibility.

 

What could be worse than losing as many as a half dozen or potentially more lost due to the changes made during President Obama’s Administrations? Well, the continuation of this path which is and always was an idea which found favor in the State Department no matter the President and their policy preferences. Many Presidents since some time after World War I and the infestation of Progressive, Leftist anti-American policies siding with virtually every enemy of the United States changing hands while the highest levels nurture whatever opposing force of the moment that faces the United States with the chain simply altering as the leadership is always passed to those supporting the subversion. These State Department employees are Civil Service workers who are protected by Civil Service rules and very strong unions, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) or the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). There have been instances where these unions have been suspected on working on campaigns, something quite unethical if not illegal. Should the advisors from the State Department continue in their privileged positions for setting foreign policy, then the current damage will only come closer to becoming permanent and the United States losing her position as leader of the free world. There are those who are claiming that continuing the current policies will lead to the death of the free world. Our comment is to say not so fast. There are places where freedom is still strong and others where freedom is slowly growing. Will there be a terrible and rough period? There are always such, the areas affected simply change with time. Hope should never be lost as cycles are a constant and things constantly change and that is unavoidable. As for what level of hope one should hold? Wait just a bit and we will get back to you on that.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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June 29, 2016

Treating Terrorism in a Modern Democratic Governance

 

Terrorism and a Democratic free society pose problems which are not present in any of the totalitarian style governances such as Communism, Monarchies, Fascism or Religious totalitarianism. In these governances the security forces can literally close down almost all activity relegating their populations to carefully orchestrated movements. Work transportation can be set by government, shopping for groceries can be set to limited times and all other such commerce limited extremely or closed for the time period of the emergency. By turning the society into regulated movements with careful choreography then anything not conforming to the plan is immediately obvious and a concentration of forces will quickly return things to the ordered schedule. In such a society the comfort of the people is secondary to security. If a society is prepared to give up all freedoms for the appearance and possibly improved security, then security will be increased, but at what price. In a Democratic form of governance the people’s freedoms come before anything the government desires to do and the people presumably set the level they desire on freedoms and government works around those freedoms.

 

Let’s look at a simply example that any man will understand and women will be amused though they would never admit so. It is Sunday morning and there is a one day sale at the mall and her favorite department store is adding additional savings above those the mall offers on purchases. Of course the Big Game comes on at 2:30 PM in the afternoon and it is approaching 11:00 in the morning and she demands that the two of you go have brunch at the mall and do a “little” shopping. Hopes of seeing the Big Game getting dimmer and dimmer, you do what any husband knows is the less painful thing and ready for the mall as quickly as possible so maybe, just maybe you will catch the last period of the game where you will have to provide your own level of excitement that the rest of the game presumably had generated. In a democracy such a decision would be voted upon and hopefully in the entire community men would all watch the game and the women, or most women, would converge on the mall and all would be happy. The real world is never that smooth and the bumps are always unexpected and raise the ire with government as somebody has to be blamed and they are as good a target as anybody, especially when you are changing the burst tire after hitting a pothole at fifty miles an hour on your way to work. You know the boss will be less than understanding, so the government is all to blame for not repairing the road; and if they are repairing the road, then why during rush hour making you late for work. Face it, government is always wrong, period.

 

So, terrorism, where is it that life sits on this. First thing is we all know that the routine of insanity we go through at the airport with the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) experts makes life miserable and searchs every octogenarian while ignoring any profiling which might prove effective. This is the very TSA which misses detection of 90% of items in tests run by the agency itself. This government employment boondoggle offers somewhere between none and a miniscule amount of professionalism or competence and adds nothing to the safety of flying. We all know that if each airline was responsible for their own security, then we would see automated detection systems installed around the concourses and they would work together to provide such airtight security systems which have proven well over 90% effective in detecting suspicious persons. One of the, if not the, safest airports in the world, Ben Gurion outside Tel Aviv, has some innovative security as described in this article. But then Israel had little choice but to be on the top of security and anti-terror systems, and there lies one of the greatest terror fighting tools Israel had to develop and was likely the most difficult, but establish this system they have.

 

Israel is the one place you see just as many people running towards the explosion or gunfire of a terror attack as are fleeing. The ones heading towards the attack are IDF personnel with weapons (yes, the IDF soldiers trained in use of their weapon in the public sphere carry their weapons with them 24/7 and consider themselves always on duty), police, security personnel, first responders, health care professionals, emergency care personnel, motorcycle first responders (they treat survivors and perform triage and necessary emergency life-saving treatment such as stopping bleeding and immobilizing injured areas etc.), and armed citizens licensed to carry weapons (in Israel to own a weapon you must pass a course or have proven training in public use of weapons as all owners are encouraged during heightened security times to carry their weapon and these were many of the responders who saved lives during the stabbing intifada recently faced in Israel). People you pass every day on the streets and in the halls in Israel may very well be the person who saves your life in the instance of a terror attack and this does not cover others with military and security expertise who are retired or in new professions who also are likely to run towards the attack instead of away. A trained public is the first and best line of defense but takes decades to get trained and functioning as intended.

 

But Israelis have developed systems which work with minimal input or even independently monitoring entire crowds of people looking for particular actions some of which are subconscious but found by researchers to appear on people who should be suspected and potentially watched more closely. Another system asks each individual four simple questions which are as innocuous as anyone could be asked and upon the facial expressions it picks out things which would be mostly unnoticeable to even a professional but are cues to subliminal indicators and uses these to warn of potential criminal or terrorist activity potentials. These systems have been tested in trials and have proven their effectiveness. Within a couple of years such systems will be placed in airports, malls, movie theaters, at public events, sports stadiums and across the length and breadth of many major metropolitan areas monitoring everything people do throughout the monitored areas. These systems may become so sophisticated as to be capable of using even marginally decent camera images or cities might offer purchase subsidies in exchange to hooking their systems up to the city surveillance systems expanding their web even more intrusively. But currently we need to rely on more basic human fallible systems with people watching and taking off our shoes and who knows what else just to fly off to visit the grandkids or whatever. The United States has established a frequent flier and wealthy folks go around for airport security where one goes through a precheck and is given a biometric card such that a finger print or other measure scanned and matching the card electronic record they pass right through shoes still tied and belts in place without the aggravation and indignity of the TSA rigmarole.

 

Currently most terrorist prevention must be carried out in secret and without the public being aware of their successes. We will most definitely hear about every fail as that will be the headlines for days, possibly weeks. When they fail then their following investigations are often very public which puts the government in a tough spot as the public demands to know what they have discovered and what is being done to assure such an attack never again strikes their fair city and government needs to keep much of what they learn and what they plan to do and change in their techniques known only to them if these changes and new lines of information are to remain effective. New procedures and lines of gathering information and other intelligence gathering systems must remain unknown to the terrorists in order for them to remain viable. That is why much of what we are told after a terror attack seems so lame, lame the terrorists already know or can know and it will not make their operations more efficient and capable of being undetected, everything else must remain hidden for the people to be best protected. Such secrecy is technically undemocratic and more autocratic making those involved in such security aspects of life more informed than the average person on the street. For reasons which are less than logical many people get all forms of upset when they know the government is not being fully open with them, especially on a subject as vitally important as terrorists and the dangers they pose. On another side, would the public expect that every physicist working on the latest nuclear warheads as government workers reveal everything about their work in the New York Times? Of course not, that would be foolish and dangerous. Defending against terrorism is exactly the same, it needs to be kept unknown generally if it is to serve to the advantage of the nation and make everybody that much more safe.

 

That understood, there is still much we can know which will not compromise or stop terrorism. We can know that the Islamic State is not the JV and where the average terror fighter in the Islamic State is not Kobe Bryant, their top planners and bomb makers are Kobe Bryant as far as their line of specialties are concerned. That is important for us to realize as is the fact that they want the entire non-Muslim world to either convert to Islam, pay a special tax to them for the privilege of not becoming a Muslim or dead, and by dead we mean as painfully, embarrassingly, and video-shockingly as humanly possible. Anybody who has watched their videos they chose to showcase to the world realized that they are as imaginative as they are sick and mentally disturbed. What else we need to realize is that these people are considered great minds who are making Muhammad’s and Allah’s dreams for the world be realized. Think Inquisition and you begin to realize that the Western World already survived and moved past the concept of a single world religion. Some religious groups in the West moved beyond that earlier than others, but no need to go into that.

 

The other thing one need realize is there is no such thing as religious terrorism. All terrorism is political. Your religion can drive your politics but terrorism is all about who rules over who and that is political. Catholicism, also known as The Church, was as much a political body as it was religious. Think Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne (of Austria) and the Three Musketeers? The Church in France had their own armies and the King had two armies, one of the Realm with which he would defend France herself and a royal guard, the Musketeers, who protected the crown mostly from British intrigues and the forces of Cardinal Richelieu. There was another French Monarch who was very well appreciated by the Church; his name eventually became Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, King of the Franks and protector of the Church. Those were earlier times when a small kingdom could come close to conquering half the known world; think Ottoman Empire where a small tribe from northeastern Turkey conquered much of the Caliphate and held the lands of Middle East and Northern Africa slowly losing ground before being felled during World War I. One could say that the world changed breaking between before and after World War I. Before World War I where the world had empires and royalty ruled absolutely and post-World War I where the Ottoman Empire and Austrian-Hungarian Empire were split into individual countries and the rule of Kings and Queens in Europe gave way to representative governments and the Middle East and North Africa were ruled as colonies presumably to prepare for eventual representative governments which proved expensive and was untenable leading to simply deserting these nations soon after World War II and soon after dictators rose to rule in the vast majority of these countries and their arbitrary borders were much to blame and are now collapsing.

 

What will rise to replace the dictatorial monarchial governances in the Middle East and North Africa will also have much to do with the potential of terrorism growing worse or lessoning into the future. Democratic governance with a separation of Church, Synagogue, Mosque and State will result in a decrease in terrorism as each elected government will face the threat as well as the West and will thus find their bases being destroyed by the governments of the countries they use as their bases currently. On the other side there is a possibility that something of the ilk of the Islamic State could become resurgent and reinstate the Caliphate on the lands which originally constituted the Ottoman Empire and striving to reestablish the entirety of the original Caliphate which at its largest stretched from Spain and southern France ending at Tours, see Charles the Hammer Martel, all the way through then Persia stopping in northern India, see Taj Mahal. The likelihood of an empire rising across the Middle East and Northern Africa are very low as long as there is an elected and largely secular government in Egypt. I would be more concerned with a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt than the Islamic State as Egypt has a very modern and powerful military as far as equipment of arms. They have modern fighter-bombers, tanks, rifles, artillery along with support, control and communications systems. Most of their current systems are from the United States with some older USSR equipment and are contracting for modern, state of the art Russian equipment. The Saudi Royal Family also stand in command of a modern military as does Iran who have the advantage that much of their equipment is manufactured in Iran. Then there is Israel, the cork in the bottle as many a military expert has referred to her. The instability in the Middle East and parts of Northern Africa is rife with terrorist entities, some intertwined fighting one another such as Islamic State, al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda), Hezballah (Iran/Syria) and numerous smaller terror entities all embroiled in the remains of Syria and into Iraq and then the tribal groups some aligned with Islamic State, some with al-Qaeda and still others Muslim Brotherhood and some just for themselves in the imbroglio formerly known as Libya, aka the mess that Hillary made.

 

Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne of Austria

Cardinal Richelieu against King Louis XIII and Queen Anne of Austria

 

The solution to bring much of terrorism to an end is not that simple. One of the people at the forefront of this and with the correct idea is the current, as of this writing, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who has called for a religious reformation of Islam and demanding that a path forward must include the ability for Islam to exist amongst the other religions and under secular governance and end its supremacy complex where it demands it be the sole religion and rule over everything which can be within its domain. Islam currently has no limitations on the extent of its domain and demands at a minimum it rule over the entire earth and that every person be a Muslim, eventually the exact same sect and potentially even learning from the same Imam. Wars in Islamic history have been fought over which leader was the legitimate leader of all Islam and that remains a point of contention to this day. There is the split between Sunni and Shiite which is the largest divide plus there are the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, al-Qaeda and who knows how many other lesser sects or teachings all of which claim to hold the only true and pure form of Islam. As we have said here is the remarkable similarity to Highlander as in the end, there can be only one. Some of this is a direct result of the creed of an old Arab Bedouin saying: “I, against my brothers, I and my brothers against my cousins, I and my brothers and my cousins against the world (the stranger).” This mentality refuses anything or anyone different and is incapable of incorporating anything new or different into their lives or their ethics and politics. This is what has led to centuries of warfare as it was once the belief of humankind the world over. The initial expression of treating the stranger as a welcome guest was formalized in the Old Testament as was exemplified by Abraham and the way he would greet strangers by doing everything to be a gracious host. But such has not become the accepted norm around the globe with many cases as far from the norm as possible. Some areas on the globe have even moved further from such an open and accepting model. Much of the world still sees the other as a threat and as something or someone to be conquered or worse, destroyed completely. Until the world reaches a community of inclusiveness, terrorism will exist as a method to intimidate and destroy the other, the more technologically and often sociologically advanced and accepting ethos from what classically would be called the barbarians at the gates, or within the gates, depending on the realities. Many in the West are not seeing the barbarians at their gates and are opening their gates wide to allow them in in the mistaken belief that their great loving and accepting nature will win them over. History teaches us otherwise. We once before lost the technologically most advanced culture to the barbarians even if Rome had devolved spiritually and socially. The question is will we repeat that history again. The last time it brought on a darker age for much of the globe and allowed another culture to spread across much of the known world stopped only at some of the least expected of areas. Will we watch the world take a huge step backwards? More than likely as there is an entire liberal elite who thinking they know all better than anybody else are rushing headlong to disaster just to prove they were right, what if they are wrong?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 9, 2016

Israel is the Nation in Need of a Constitution

 

Israel is not going to change all that soon as the thirty to fifty people who run the nation are quite happy to fiddle while things slowly burn down. Part of the problem, and it is a large share, is that over half of those who run the government are not elected but all but self-appointed. There are the Justices who sit on the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, The Supreme Court selection for replacing a retiring Justice is one of, if not the, item which should top the list of systems which require change. Currently the Supreme Court Justices are chosen by a committee consisting of nine members. These are the Justice Minister who acts as the Chairman, a Cabinet Member chosen by the Cabinet, a Pair of Knesset Ministers usually one from the coalition and one from the opposition, two members of the Bar Association and finally the Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Justices who are often chosen due to seniority. This starts to look like a conspiracy to continue the same policies with no real ability to alter the path when one additionally looks at the committee for selection of the Attorney General which consists of five members; a retired Supreme Court Judge, a former Justice Minister or Attorney General, a Knesset Minister tapped by the Constitutional Affairs committee of the Knesset, an attorney chosen by the Israeli Bar Association, and one legal expert chosen in the subjects of civil and criminal law chosen by the heads of the university law schools in Israel. When all it takes to select a Supreme Court Judge is five votes and three are cast by current Justices, one vote from the current Attorney General who is themselves appointed on the advice partly of a retired Supreme Court Judge, a former Justice Minister and an attorney from the Bar Association and you have what can be conveniently called an echo chamber and it becomes sufficiently evident why the Supreme Court votes almost to the Justice exactly the same as the Supreme Court has since its inception. Add to that the interpretation of the law such that the Justices operate under the auspices of the concept that everything and anything may be brought before the Supreme Court for a final decision.

 

One interesting thing is the Israeli Supreme Court consists of fifteen Justices where one could fairly say that the majority, vast majority, are left leaning or so far left the middle ground cannot be seen through the fog and rose colored glasses. The Supreme Court may appoint any number of judges to hear cases often with as few as three to as many as all fifteen for the most serious of cases brought to the court. Further, for the decade from 2000 through 2010 the Israeli Supreme court heard over 11,000 cases each year. The Israeli Supreme Court can be petitioned directly to hear a case without having it first heard in a lower court. This process is abused by NGOs, often NGOs registered in Israel but primarily funded by foreign governments. Quite often if an NGO states as its aim to serve the support and importance of human rights and/or the rights of minority and oppressed peoples, then you can bet that NGO is financed by the European Union, European governments and foreign NGOs so as to conceal their actual financiers. In any other Western Democratic or Republic such NGOs are required by law to be registered as foreign agents and are not granted official standing as an NGO representing that nation. Israel has twice passed such legislation only to have these very same NGOs bring suit in the Supreme Court where the laws were shot down and nullified. One need keep in mind that the Knesset input in selecting Supreme Court Judges is minimal when one remembers that should the opposition Knesset Minister vote with the Chief Justice and two other Supreme Court Justices and any one of the Bar Association lawyers that makes five votes and the judge has been appointed. The Prime Minister gets no real input and the Knesset does not need to ratify the choice, or simply put, the people have little if any influence on the Justices sitting on a court which has ruled that it can strike down any law, rewrite any law and all but, and possibly including, write laws they feel are necessary or would further empower the Judiciary over the remainder of the government and the people. We have also seen instances where the heads of the Police forces have banned people from visiting areas of the country including the currently extended ban forbidding Ministers of the Knesset from ascending to the Temple Mount. There was a recent case where the Security Shin Bet under the guise of investigating a crime rounded up teens and young men as young as twelve and held them without legal counsel at a secretive location refusing to allow their parents information about their child and used what in many nations would be considered at the least coercive measures and at the extreme torture to try a force confessions from youths they knew were innocent but whose suspected political leanings were not to the head of the Shin Bet’s liking.

 

One young man was held for almost ten months, refused to be permitted to attend his first son’s birth, ritual bris (circumcision), and whose major crime was supporting the Hilltop Youth, a group of youths who support nationalist and Zionist policies and desire a return to Davidic Rule, have never committed an act against the government, most serious offense they commit is camping out and building rudimentary outposts on hilltops overlooking trouble spots which are less dangerous when being surveyed by these youths. The young man in question though had committed a grievous crime, Meir Ettinger committed the crime of being the grandson of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a Zionist and Nationalist Rabbi who argued for his causes and predicted the future extremely accurately before being struck down in New York City after giving a talk. His murderer was acquitted as his act of assassination was seen by the Jury as justifiable as the Rabbi had “extremist views” deserving of being shot. These “extremist views” were best expressed as “Am Yisroel Chai” (עם ישראל חי) , the People of Israel Are Alive, and he also continued the cry of “Never Again” which is a chanting that means the Jews will not go silently to their deaths ever again and murdering Jews will have a price. As was known by even the average Israeli who pays attention to anything political, Meir Ettinger and his friends in the Hilltop Youth were innocent of any wrongdoing and they were hauled in, denied council, denied parental access, held in a secretive location, arranged orders to allow stressful interrogation and extreme interrogation techniques and were sleep deprived for up to three days until their bodies shut down from exhaustion, placed in uncomfortable position, stripped of clothing and made to sit in metal chairs and even denied to have showers or change of undergarments. This was beyond anything used on actual terrorists who when denying and refusing to cooperate have been released for lack of evidence while here their evidence was they knew these kids were guilty of something even if it was not what was being investigated.

 

Another problem are the Basic Laws, laws passed by a simple majority just as any other legislation but deemed special and thus take their place as part of an ever growing excuse for a Constitution. Most of the Basic Laws were passed from 1948 through the early 1960s when Israel was an agricultural socialist society with many Israelis residing on communal farms. These Basic Laws have their place but as they can be amended, refuted, and new ones passed should the Knesset decide any law passed belongs incorporated into the Basic Laws such that they tend to lose their importance and meaning as they can be rescinded by a simple majority vote. Then there is the problem that the Supreme Court can also decide which ones can be amended, removed, added, deleted, twisted, beaded, braded, twisted, spindled and mutilated at will by a majority vote of the Knesset or orders from the Supreme Court. This again placed the judges of the Supreme Court as the ultimate rulers of the land and the Supreme Court had granted the Supreme Court absolute authority over all parts of everyday life including silencing us if they so choose to do so as it was Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak (August 13, 1995 to September 14, 2006) stated that all things are in his writings some of the following:

 

Aharon Barak, “Judicial Philosophy,” pp. 477 and 485

In my eyes, the world is filled with law. Every human behavior is subject to a legal norm. Even when a certain type of activity-such as friendship or subjective thoughts-is ruled by the autonomy of the individual will, this autonomy exists, because it is recognized by the law…. Wherever there are living human beings, law is there. There are no areas in life which are outside of law.

 

Barak, “The Constitutional Revolution,” p. 30

The basic values of Judaism are the basic values of the state. I mean the values of love of man, the sanctity of life, social justice, doing what is good and just, protecting human dignity, the rule of law over the legislator and the like, values which Judaism bequeathed to the whole world. Reference to those values is on their universal level of abstraction, which suits Israel’s democratic character, thus one should not identify the values of the state of Israel as a Jewish state with the traditional Jewish civil law. It should not be forgotten that in Israel there is a considerable non-Jewish minority. Indeed, the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish state are those universal values common to members of democratic society, which grew from Jewish tradition and history.

 

Barak, “Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation,” p. 208

When the attempt fails, and the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish state cannot be reconciled with its values as a democratic state, there is no escape from the need to decide. This decision must be made, in my opinion, according to the views of the enlightened community in Israel. This is an objective test, which refers the judge to the full set of values which shape the character of the modern Israeli.

 

Barak, “The Constitutional Revolution,” p. 34

If up until now judges were given “conventional weapons” to deal with legislation by way of interpretation and the creation of Israeli common law, now judges have been given “nonconventional weapons,” which allow nullification of legislation which does not observe the Basic Laws’ criteria.

 

This was a definitive part of Aharon Barak’s judicial philosophy which devolved, not developed, as his tenure on the courts and in practice where he gained contempt for the Zionistic, nationalist conservative swing the people of Israel took over his lifetime. The gaining of a distinct and traditional Jewish, and in many cases Israelite, determination and movement from secularist to a religious Zionistic populace where he saw the only way to salvage the utopian leftist dream was for ultimate power to be vested in the Judges which by their manner of selection remained stuck in 1958 Israel with its collectivist society and socialist governance could be maintained even if that required the judges to decide on each law if it should stand or be struck down or even rewrote to the judicial review standards which precluded change. His view of such is further described as we continue.

 

United Mizrahi Bank, p. 352

With legislation of [the new Basic Laws] a substantial change occurred in the status of human rights in Israel. They have turned into constitutional rights. They have been given supra-legal constitutional status. A “regular” law of the Knesset cannot change them. Regular legislation cannot infringe a protected human right unless the demands set out in the Basic Laws are met. Nonobservance of the constitutional demands turns the regular statute into an unconstitutional statute. This is a statute which bears a constitutional flaw. The court can declare its invalidity.

 

There is this infamous quote often attributed to Barak is that “everything is adjudicable,” which was often presumably the motivation and empowering ideal through which the meaning was taken that the High Court should be able to rule on any matter, including cases involving Israeli military activity in Judea and Samaria and breaches of civil liberties, and not just on issues relating to national laws. Even if Aharon Barak had not stated such, the courts in Israel today, and especially the Supreme Court, are acting as such and seldom refuse a case where they are the sole practitioner of whether legislation passed duly by the representatives of the people who instructed the members of the Knesset with their support to produce legislation as an unwritten contract bound in the ballot box now sits beneath the raised gavel which determines whether or not the people and their elected officials are capable of self-governing or are they merely children who have no right to address the issues of the day as they see fit. This is why it is long past time for the Knesset to appoint a select committee, they may wish to make sure the Supreme Court does not get wind of this as they would strike down the committee as a threat to the state and its omnipotent judiciary, and direct them to draft a Constitution based on the theories of limiting the power for a King such that he collects no amassed wealth and must serve the people faithfully and beyond their best abilities. A solid Constitution which places all before the people’s elected officials to decide and limits judges except in the most drastic and obvious of errant departures into forbidden grounds protected by the constitution and not the will of the adjudicator, are left to apply the law faithfully and with the intents of the people. A Constitution which places the police, military and secret services under civilian control and where any officers or enlistee speaks out defaming the state or its elected and appointed individuals which are empowered by the people is punished under codes of proper conduct for military personnel in uniform or representing the State. The Knesset should remain as the house which appoints the Prime Minister but the second half of the legislature should be directly elected by the people. The nation of Israel could be divided into proper districts. These Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House might be considered as the Negev, Jerusalem & Area, Coastal Plain & Dead Sea, Tel Aviv, Sharon Valley, Western Galilee & Mt. Carmel, Sea of Galilee & Valleys, and Upper Galilee & Golan with each receiving with Five Seats Each for forty seats plus, Three Super Districts; The North (Western Galilee & Mt. Carmel, Sea of Galilee & Valleys, and Upper Galilee & Golan), Central (Jerusalem, Sharon Valley and Tel Aviv), and the South (, Coastal Plain & Dead Sea with the Negev) with Five Seats Each for a Total of Fifty Five.

 

Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House Totaling Fifty-Five

Israeli Voting Precincts for Upper House Totaling Fifty-Five

 

The Upper House described above, let’s call it the New Sanhedrin, will ratify appointments to the cabinet and senior appellate judges including the Supreme Court. The Knesset (lower House) as stated will appoint the Prime Minister. This method allows the Parties to make their coalition and the Knesset would run exactly as it does now with elections when their term ends after four years while the New Sanhedrin terms will not be dissolved should the Knesset coalition crash and burn, they will serve three year terms with the vote being taken every three years on a set date on the Hebrew Calendar. With the Prime Minister who was appointed as the leader of the coalition and was initially tapped by the President, who will remain being chosen as they are now, after all, we would not want to end the good old party people never change ever and the same problem people show up just in a different Cabinet Ministerial location so that the incompetence gets spread through all of the government. That is why the small adjustment where the Cabinet Ministerial position first have to be validated by both houses thus there will be less if any invent a cabinet post to make this one feel important and receive additional pay while preening around. Then the people placed in these positions must be approved by the New Sanhedrin upper legislature. Hopefully this will lead to placing people from outside the Knesset body into Cabinet posts such that the person responsible for an area of the government actually knows something about the work the department actually performs.

 

The shuffling of the deck chairs on the HMS Knestitanic sailing the icy-waters of incompetent Ministerial appointments will come to an abrupt end. One example is the leader of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman, who during his career thus far he has held Minister of National Infrastructure, Minister of Transport, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Strategic Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and currently is Minister of Defense. Either Avigdor Lieberman is one of the most intelligent and diversely capable or he had to be ill-prepared in at least one of his positions. Ehud Barak is another regular Minister having been elected not only to hold many varied positions but also served in cooperation or as a member of a number of parties. Israeli politics can confuse even those familiar with parliamentary systems as politicians make new parties, merge parties and change parties sometimes like they change socks. Tzipi Livni has headed two parties while serving in four, where one was a merged pair of parties. Her Career began and appeared steady and content with Likud but then Ms. Livni got the idea that she was destined for greater things and saw her opportunity with Ariel Sharon and his breakaway party from Likud forming Kadima which has a mixture of numerous Ministers from other parties across the political spectrum from Likud to Labor. Kadima started to fail after Ariel Sharon fell into a coma eventually passing. Rather than bite the bullet and join a party Tzipi Livni founded her very own party with some of the remnants from Kadima and a few others who believed there was opportunity as the signs were right, well, almost. Her party was called Hatnuah, meaning “The Movement.” Then she saw this party sinking fast and she made herself an opportunity to share the Prime Minister position with Labor Leader Isaac Herzog. Then problems began as it was noted she was not bringing the numbers of voters hoped and the Labor rank and file felt they were sacrificing too much to gain too little and the Zionist Union, the merger of Labor and Hatnua which the media wanted to defeat Likud that there found Zionist Union defeating Likud going into election day by a margin of 24 to 21 on average. The election result was slightly different with Likud garnering 30 seats while Zionist Union did receive their 24 but obviously insufficient to lead a coalition. This bode poorly for Livni who if she desires a future may have to simply swallow hard and join Labor and hope to rank sufficiently well enough to gain a seat in the Knesset. Tzipi Livni has been Leader of the Opposition for which she is eminently qualified as she has spent much time opposing everything while sitting in the opposition or in the government. Her other positions is a list of many positions including Minister of Regional Cooperation, Minister Without Portfolio (for which she is eminently qualified), Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Minister of Housing and Construction, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice. She must be a very capable person. The advantage of having a bicameral legislature which divides responsibilities and a Constitution which defines every branch of government with specific capabilities, responsibilities and limitations, and it is the limitations which often are the most important. The described government arrangement for Israel with a bicameral legislature with the Knesset remaining as currently configured but with the courts made at least indirectly controlled by the people rather than controlling the people and everything else it desires while all but replacing its Judges all but by themselves without any limiting factor within the control of the people. The arrangement was just an idea for the sake of offering and starting the discussion and not a serious suggestion unless the Israelis, my fellow Israelis, read and decide that the framework described has potential as an idea with which to start a national conversation. The described system also would encourage the Prime Minister to find some ministers from outside the government or assure that those chosen from within the government actually are competent and not just blindly pretending to manage something they actually do not understand. The real reason for this discussion is to limit the judges, especially the Supreme Court which even cancelled the financial agreement made on order to start production of the offshore gas fields demanding that the profits be invested in welfare and other socialist, virtually communist, programs because the people who invested in the drilling and took all the chances and took the risks should not reap benefit from their venture, not when foreign funded HGOs can petition the Supreme Court to spread the wealth making sure they get a share with which to further attempt to destroy Israel. That should have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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