Beyond the Cusp

March 26, 2012

Supreme Court Declares They Rule Israel

The recent events and controversy around the community of Migron has revealed some extremely frightening realities. First some background to set the stage. Migron is a fairly large community which has stood outside Jerusalem east of the Green Line for many years. Peace Now, an NGO with an extremely leftist view brought a suit against parts of the community of Migron in the Supreme Court claiming their usual claim, namely it was built upon land owned by some Palestinian Arabs. They found a couple of Palestinians to claim before the court that they actually owned the lands in question, a procedure they have plied numerous times with a fair amount of success before. When they were pressed for a deed or other proof of ownership, the Palestinians relented confessing they had no proof and they had fabricated the whole claim with the assistance of Peace Now activists, also a common occurrence in many of these cases. The Supreme Court proceeded with the hearings even without any Palestinian claim to the land but solely on Peace Now’s contesting the ownership. The citizens of Migron produced the bill of sale from their purchase of the land but the Supreme Court refused to allow it admitted into evidence ruling that they were not the proper court for determining ownership, they only could rule on whether or not Migron should be destroyed. The Supreme Court ended up ruling, as was easily predicted, that Migron was not a legal community and that the area in question and the homes built upon the land were to be torn down by the end of March 2012.

Here is where everything really gets interesting. The Knesset and the Prime Minister’s office worked out a compromise with the residents of Migron that would have allowed them to remain in their homes until new homes had been built upon lands which were not under question by the Supreme Court. This process was painstakingly difficult and where it was not the best of worlds, it was one everybody was willing to live with. Well, everybody except Peace Now. Peace Now challenged the agreement between the Government and the community of Migron back in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that the government had overstepped their bounds in making a contract to move the questionable parts of the community and the Court ruling must be carried out. Due to this being decided at such a late date, the Supreme Court set the date of August 1, 2012 as the infamous date for the destruction. Now the Knesset has been called back into session to consider whether they will challenge the Supreme Court’s legal standing to decide such cases by passing an actual piece of legislation setting forth a mechanism for the government to decide the legality of the different communities which may come into question in the future. Should such legislation be passed and signed into law we can be fairly sure that Peace Now will march back to the Supreme Court demanding they overturn the new law. It is simply beyond the ability of the overly righteous Peace Now activists to allow any Jew to live beyond the Green Line. They are insistent that all lands east of the Green Line be made into the Palestinian state and be free of any Jewish presence, just as Mahmoud Abbas has claimed it must be. This would include half of Jerusalem and all of the Temple Mount and Old City.

One fact that galls many who oppose Peace Now is the fact that the NGO is mostly funded by monies coming from European Governments and contributors from outside of Israel. Many in Israel are also becoming greatly aggravated with the Supreme Court usurping power and challenging the Knesset, Prime Minister and the electorate placing themselves as the final arbiter of all things even those performed by the elected government. Since the Supreme Court also has a fairly large influence over the appointment process for new justices who will sit on the Supreme Court, they have over the years become a core group who mostly all support the same policies and have grown further and further away from the elected government and the people.

The Supreme Court could be classified as very liberal, anti-religious, overly secular, and excessively anti-Zionist, thus against anything and everything concerning the settlement movement. The Supreme Court has also taken upon itself to determine which legislation passed by the Knesset and signed into law by the Prime Minister will stand by declaring any law that does not meet with their leftist standards to be unconstitutional. What makes this so interesting is the small fact that Israel does not have a Constitution as Americans would understand the term. Israel has what they refer to as the Basic Laws which loosely acts as the closest thing Israel has to a constitution. Since the committee which was assembled to draft a constitution was unable to reach an agreement, what a surprise, the first Knesset passed what are known as the Basic Laws. Interestingly, not every of the Basic Laws are held as superior to the rest of the legislation passed into law unless actually noted as such. For an overview of the ideas that influenced the passing of the Basic Laws look here and for full texts here for links to the actual texts.

Should this seeming overstepping by the Supreme Court continue and they decide that the Supreme Court shall be obeyed regardless of the will of the Knesset, Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the will of the people, I dread to think what might follow. This situation is steadily getting more and more dangerous as the chips pile up and the pressure builds, eventually something is going to have to give. Eventually this will become a direct confrontation between the Knesset and the Supreme Court as to which body has the rightful power to rule Israel. The obvious solution would be to form a constitution committee and to fashion a framework for a constitution and then allow the Knesset to coordinate with those chosen for the committee and resolve the minutia and set an actual framework before the people who should be allowed to vote on its acceptance or rejection. Anything else will simply continue the challenges and build up the bad blood between the two branches of government until something breaks which may be a tragic event. The current situation cannot continue unchecked as it will be the people who suffer the most from this contest for control over the State of Israel.

Beyond the Cusp

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