Beyond the Cusp

November 9, 2018

The Courts Cannot be Completely Independent

 

Recently, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked expressed her dismay and disdain for the attacks which have been leveled against her from those in the opposition. This immediately led to their slamming her conduct regarding the appointment of the next police commissioner, and her approach towards the court system. If you wish to read the bile spouted by the likes of Yair Lapid, never at a loss for self-congratulatory rhetoric; Shelly Yachimovich, still believes she should be leader of the Zionist Union and Prime Minister; and Meretz Chairman Tamar Zandberg, it’s Meretz which speaks for itself; an article can be found here. The actual dispute can be put in much clearer and more succinct language, they are upset because they are not, have not been and probably will not be in power for a while. They are especially upset with the Justice Minister because she is not appointing far leftists to the courts and does not agree with their choice for the new police chief. That is their complaint, why are you not running the government how we demand and instead following the mandate of the people who make up the coalition and in particular are from your party. (We must be honest here and report that Jewish Home is the party in which we belong.) Somehow, we are willing to bet this does not surprise many of our readers. We would like to actually discuss one point which was brought forward to refute the disgruntled leftists, where Ayelet Shaked stated, “You have never been fans of the court, you really want it to be a submissive body rather than an independent and strong one. As long as it serves you, it is the center of justice, the minute it rules in a slightly different way; you are ready to burn the place, no less.” She hit the nail on the head and pounded it home, which is probably why they attempted to savage her on social media. Well, at least they played to their ever shrinking base.

 

The left in Israel in particular and the Western World generally, believe that especially the highest court of the land should be the most powerful arm of government and the arena of all final battles. They desire that the court be able to strike down any law even Constitutional Amendments, or Basic Laws in Israel, and even beyond. Their hopes is that the court can change the intent of any law, write new laws and put them into action, change anything in the legal system and they must always be of the most liberal of justices it is possible to appoint. You are seeing examples of their acts in the United States with Justice Kavanaugh. They want the courts to supercede the law, to act above the law and be supreme with the power of a god. I am sure that if they were to get their wildest dreams, they would desire that the Supreme Court could summarily change who won the election simply because they desired the other candidate. This is another reason that Judges must always be from the left. This had been the case for years in Israel as the left ruled undaunted and unchallenged in Israel from 1948 until the election of Menachem Begin in 1977. The means by which replacement Justices were chosen for the Supreme Court were also slanted such that the court itself had a generous influence over who was chosen to such a point that opinion articles often claimed that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court basically named his own Justices. Well, it eventually had to happen, a conservative became Chief Justice and there was a conservative Justice Minister and between them, the face of the court has been altered. The Justice Minister also was responsible for some alterations by which some of the unilateral power of the court was transferred to lower courts where proof was required to be presented rather than a complaint filed and a ruling made out of thin air. No longer can an NGO simply present a claim that Jews are residing on Arab land and have their homes destroyed without showing any proof. These were necessary changes but the latest brouhaha was over Justice Minister Shaked politely informing the Supreme Court that she did not care how many people filed complaints against the new Nationality Law, they were not to overturn this law because it was enacted as a Basic Law, the closest thing that Israel has to a Constitution. Again, the left desired a court which had unlimited and unfettered power.

 

Let us discuss what power courts should and should not have. Interpret the law is within the boundaries of a Supreme Court, but lower courts should be restricted to the application of the law as currently interpreted. Even the Supreme Court should take care when altering the meaning of a law from its original intent, this is partially why the debate with Kavanaugh over how he would interpret intent of the law. The courts cannot be above the law; no branch of the government should be above the law. Courts should never be permitted to make law out of their own desires simply because they see the need for such a law. A court with such power could completely alter a society with highly unpredictable results. There is a reason that the branch of the government which is assigned the power to make laws has the greatest numbers of people from the widest representation of the people, the people must have the greatest influence on the laws, as they must live within them. Courts should have stringent and defined limits on altering or ordering a new election such as signs of tampering with the way the ballots were cast or in the way they were counted. They should need proof beyond any doubt and this would include such tampering such as having more votes cast than there are registered voters, an area where there is a sizeable population with some definable variety in affiliations resulting in 100% of the votes falling to one candidate, verified proof that additional ballots were injected into the count or additional votes were used to replace actual votes and other provable reasons. Courts actually should have limited or no influence beyond recommendations upon request as to whom will be chosen to replace a retiring justice. Courts should, over time, change with the variations in public opinion though their lagging such changes is to be expected when their justices are chosen to serve lifetime on the bench, or until a mandatory retirement age if such is the law. Courts are not the law but the application of the law. Legislatures write the laws, Prime Minister or Presidents sign them into the books and then and only then the courts get to apply the law as written. The courts do not get the power alter the wording, alter the punctuation nor add or omit words as they believe the law should have been written.

 

Israeli Supreme Court building

Israeli Supreme Court building

 

Back we return to the situation in Israel. The left is becoming downright dejected and forlorn. Their biggest upset is with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaken as she apparently has, in their opinions, broken their favorite toy. They and the Supreme Court for seemingly nearly forever had ruled over Israel as they pleased often to the chagrin of the elected officials, but because of concessions to seemingly moderate parties in the coalition being granted Justice Minister, the courts, especially the Supreme Court, ruled supreme. Along came Ms. Shaked and things began to slowly change. The tide of change started to escalate, but was still quite leisurely. Things really did not appear to be all that different and there had been no explosive volcanic upheavals but suddenly they realized that there had been a seismic shift and they had apparently been asleep. It was probably easy for them to sleep through the changes as things had been going their way pretty much from 1948, so after a while it appeared that things would never change. Things have this way of sneaking up on people and once they notice, it is often far too late to do much about the changes. This is where the frustration and anger originates and the left is furious that Ms. Shaked broke their Supreme Court Muppet Puppets. Their Supreme Court Muppet Puppets were no longer a complete set and the new replacements were not going to just rubber stamp the leftist agenda, and this must not be tolerated. The fact that they are this upset is close to real joy over here but we refuse to get complacent because, as Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” Of course, he was also purported to have written, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” While we have little problem with the first quote, the second is a bit extreme, but Barry Goldwater had something to say about that as well, stating, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” Perhaps that is sufficient wisdom for one writing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 12, 2018

The Kavanaugh Circus Came to Town

 

We watched and listened to one day’s worth of the confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh for the position of Justice on the Supreme Court. It was at least a two-ring circus where the two rings were apparently from completely different planets. In one ring they were speaking very cordially with a person they respected and were offering him the time to explain himself and his relationships with others and many of his accomplishments and even the manner and procedures he uses and would use were he to be approved, or even not approved, as then he would return to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In the other ring, they were burning some evil and demonic half-human beast which had been plaguing man for almost an eternity in order to return it to its rightful level of the underworld. The demands were for this thing before them to admit his evils and confess. They held up big poster-boards delineating their accusations just in case nobody could hear their shrill cries. Some shook papers demanding explanations for the wording, some from back before the new millennia. No context was permitted; just confess to the crimes of using code words in messages sent likely before that was even an issue, let alone a well-worn issue. The difference was so far beyond stark that even our thesaurus was of no assistance in finding the best word.

 

We also watched parts of the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh for his current position on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. What a difference a mere decade makes. He was confirmed for the position and apparently all they way back in 2006 Justice Brett Kavanaugh was like mother’s milk and kindness for all mankind. Kavanaugh was confirmed by a vote of 57-36 in the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, and received commission on May 29, 2006. Fifty-three Republicans and four Democrats voted “yea,” and seven members did not vote. Yes, the vote was still partisan back then, but we have noted something ever since Justice Bork was nominated and pilloried into regretting being born and requesting his nomination be retracted; when a Democrat President nominates a Justice, they are usually confirmed with a fair to large number of Republican Senators voting to confirm but when a Republican President nominates a Justice, they are roasted alive and receive virtually no if a mere few Democrat votes and this has only gotten progressively worse as time passes. We fully expect that Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be approved and are willing to predict that in the final vote, he will receive approximately three Democrat Senator’s votes for appointment, which also is sufficient to cover any recalcitrant Republicans.

 

Justice Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing Photo Shoot

Justice Brett Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearing Photo Shoot

 

The grilling from the Democrat side of the committee was actually frightening and would be sufficient for any rational person who could avoid such to do exactly that and avoid being vindictively accused of every potential criminal act which can be construed no matter the extent to which facts would need be twisted. Brett Kavanaugh was accused of racial bias code words for racial profiling which proved his racist decision for which, and here is the clincher, he wrote the decision for his side’s vote, the actual paper record of this horrifically racist vote. When the other side of the room got their turn, one Senator insisted on making a comment for the record, namely that Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote the decision for a unanimous decision of three Appellate Court Justices and that one of the three was appointed by President Clinton. But that leads to the basis of the problem which, we must point out, started from the top of the government and spread from there like a virus, a potent and virulent virus, spread across the entirety of the United States and possibly beyond unfortunately even affecting some here in Israel. This is a sad but honest assessment and one we make with regret as Israel can ill afford this split between progressive liberals and the nationalist, religious conservatives.

 

The United States is being ill served by the violence which has resulted from the left and their new cause of the “Resistance” which is their words for their belief that Trump somehow came by the Office of the President through some diabolical, fiendish, nefarious, malicious, criminal conspiracy involving Russian President Putin and possibly a pact with the devil himself. Their faith in the media prediction which claimed Hillary Clinton could not lose the election and two days before the election had a double-digit lead in the popular vote. What amazed people reading the hourly updates on election day was how, starting from the late afternoon and evening before the polls opened, the Hillary Clinton lead began shrinking and got smaller and smaller and by early afternoon on election day it was that she would win but it was somehow turning into an actual race which it was conceivable that Trump could become President. Here is the catch, there were many people, especially outside of the United States, who had taken the temperature of the people in the heartland, you know, flyover country, not the coasts or major cities, and they saw a Truman style win in the cards, you know, Dewey Defeats Truman style win. Those who made up what Hillary Clinton referred to as that ‘Basket of Deplorables’ in one of her off the cuff remarks, one that may have gotten Trump exactly the votes he required. The question many have is why there are so many people still this angry two years almost after the election. We did not see such activity and open hatred for any President before, not even George W. Bush for whom the denotation of suffering from BDS, which then meant Bush Derangement Syndrome, was worn with pride, but pretty much without any vile hatred of the kind we are witnessing now. And, as the “Resistance” is fond of pointing out, there was no such pushback against President Barack Obama because he was universally idolized by all Americans; otherwise, there might have been some form of opposition. The sad news they refuse to believe is there were very many people who were as, if not more, upset about President Obama as there are against Trump. They must have forgotten the Tea Party, though they tried to destroy and mischaracterize it at the time as a bunch of gun nuts and hicks who did not know anything about anything.

 

The problem is not that there is disagreement, that is often good for a democracy or republic. The problem is the differences have become a reason for hatred and the desire to destroy the other side. There have been people who have claimed that when they get power back, and that will come sooner or later, they will hunt down the Trump supporters and place them in reeducation centers so they can be brought to understand the correctness of the arguments and positions of the people who should be in charge because they are superior and their positions are the only morally acceptable positions. Others claim that the Trump supporters are all fascists because they refuse to understand the superiority of the leftist ideology and they have the audacity on insisting that nationalism is not an evil concept. Simply, those who love the United States and who also have firearms are a danger to the future of the world which can only be perfected by destroying the United States and merging it with the world at large. There are those who claim that the United States is what is wrong with the world and that the United States represents racism, classism, nationalism, fascism and is filled with hatred and inappropriate wealth which should be taken from them and distributed to the entire world. That would cure wealth in the United States for about nine months, and then most of that distributed wealth would be right back in the same people’s pockets from which it was removed.

 

We have seen how people are treated in the United States and in Israel. I have had jobs where the company chooses where they located by the price of the building and have witnessed the treatment of the homeless in both countries. There are more government provided shelters in the United States than Israel which makes sense as Israel is nowhere near as wealthy a nation nor near the size (Israel is the size of New Jersey). The difference is what I have witnessed in Israel is an almost universal feeling of caregiving. Many people who are not particularly wealthy themselves give to those most needful. A rare few give to all they come across who are in need, but most everyone has a few people whom they assist at every opportunity. In this manner, none of the homeless are going to starve and with some, the giver sees to it that their money is not spent on drugs or alcohol, or at least do their best to guide the needful off of these destructive tracks. Often I have seen people tell their “friend” in need that they will not give them anything when they smell of alcohol or drugs and only when they have worked themselves to better their lives. The people honestly care and it is contagious. What is even more remarkable is that these homeless individuals often enter a Synagogue and place some of their own money into the collection box, giving their Torah tithe of ten percent. There is no means of computing the amount given to these needful people; but from what we have witnessed, Israel should probably be ranked higher than its current ranking which is in the high thirties or low forties depending on source. The problem is that when this type of disruption such as what has afflicted the United States and has at least reached some media and far left political parties in Europe and Israel, then people harden their sympathies and charity tends to lessen leading to other problems.

 

As if the anger depicted in the hearings for Justice Kavanaugh and some of the spite and hate on social media are not bad enough, the people who broke into the Senate chambers disrupting the hearings by screaming and swearing showed a complete lack of respect and disregard for social niceties while imparting the deepest disrespect to all which actually makes the United States special, the fact that such hearings can prevent a President from placing friends or unqualified people into positions of power and respect. Justice Kavanaugh, though, is a very qualified, decent, honorable man who has a history of deciding cases on the laws as written and not as some people wish they were written, and that is how a nation of laws and not people or man should be adjudicated. About the only decent joke we have heard about the Kavanaugh hearings was a cartoon where the complaint was that Justice Kavanaugh had once left the seat up in the bathroom and for that he should be disqualified. What was the least funny was the report that members of the Senate upon hearing his name repeatedly said that his first name, Brett must mean that he was one of those jock frat boys. Such is plainly disrespectful. It is a shame that that might have been the highlight of the opposition.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 15, 2018

Leftists, the Israeli Nationality Law and President Trump

 

We threw in President Trump more to get your attention than as anything shockingly real. The reality where the leftists have gone berserk in the United States and Israel over things which if they were behind similar concepts or power, that would be considered normal. When anybody else is in power, then things are upside down, dangerous and just wrong. And we all know when things are just wrong; the left is out in the streets demanding their right to correct all wrongs and make things correct, correct defined as them in control and nothing less. When President Obama was elected and there were some who protested briefly, the left had a great saying, elections have consequences. Now that Trump was elected President, we learn that elections in deed do have consequences, when the left wins the consequence is everyone must just be quiet and accept their superiority and when the left loses an election we have to listen to their scare-mongering and consistent conspiracy theories which simply demand that the election be reversed and their candidate declared the winner or they will never be quiet. There may be some really bad news coming in 2020 should President Trump run for reelection, though with the treatment he has received, one can barely understand why he would desire going through the mistreatment, but he probably will simply because he believes in what he is doing and, despite what you might believe, he really does love his country. But we would rather talk about what a limited number of American and European leftists along with Israeli leftists are screaming about, the new Israeli Nationality Basic Law.

 

We thought, we wonder if any other nations have nationality laws which define the basic citizenship theme and how others can, if at all, become citizens and other similar processes. We found a little information. To save everyone the bother of going to the link, the following nations are listed by Wikipedia as having nationality laws: Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, People’s Republic of China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iraq, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom and also the United States. Should we expect leftists in all these countries out with great indignation. For some odd reason, we figure this will not happen while the world over people are denouncing the right of Israel to act exactly as have most other nations. One question, have you ever actually read the document, and that is all it is, a document which is declaratory in its nature and does absolutely nothing to anyone, for anyone and simply states the original Zionist dream which, like it or not, is to establish a Jewish State. It actually became necessary to reestablish the actual dream that is Israel. We are not there as of this time, but in many ways, things are starting to head in a healthier future. Nobody will be finding that anything in their daily lives changed absolutely by nothing. Nobody was granted additional rights that already did not exist and equality remains unchanged in business, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and every other right with an improving court system that is a work in progress and hopefully continues under similar or the same leadership. Israel is the same as it was before the Nationality Basic Law.

 

Almost All Nations Enact Nationality Laws

Almost All Nations Enact Nationality Laws

 

What is sad is those who have simply deciding Israel is an illiberal who placed eleventh happiest nation as well as being the happiest nation in the Middle East. Yes, the Druze are a well accepted and are very wonderful Israeli citizens who live in an interwoven fabric, as do many others no matter their ethnicity. The fact that those who are screaming, sometimes accusatorial in nature, all of your protests are largely formed upon word of mouth, gossip, rumors and disaster scenarios. As a service for the public, we have seen and copied the document of the “Basic Law: Israel – The nation state of the Jewish people” so those who have yet to read the actual legislation, here is your chance to pick what in the actual law you find so offensive to protest with such exuberance. We provided a link so anyone may check and see if we reworded anything, we didn’t.

 

There is one thing which nobody ever speaks about, such as protesting with others who are truly obsessed with Israel and only Israel, except in the United States and among fellow news addicts. The truth is many protests are great excuses to miss work and possibly still paid as you are representing all the right people. You and a group of friends go to numerous demonstrations and others actually make a living going to protests where often there was free food and other benefits. Not every protester even knows what they are protesting, but whatever it is, it must be one of the worst and most serious concerns or why would there be so many people here. It’s fine as some of the same happens with right wing and conservative gatherings, the difference is in the numbers the leftists gather, they are much more fun. Israel simply fell presumably on the, to be protested over everything listing and as such cannot help but be protested by all the right, or is it correct, people. Actually, recently it has been rather hot and humid enough to make protesting less comfortable. But the true believers will be out, and we salute your zeal.

 

The truth is below and yes, we read it and do not believe it requires our commentary. We do support this law and do believe it was necessary considering the lack of stability in the area and all of the world, national, NGO, leftist protests or other pressures are going to overturn this “Basic Law” passed by a majority of the entire Knesset. That is the sole means for altering this law, not the courts as this is not just any legislation, this is a law thought important enough to go to the lengths for making it a Basic Law. Now, only another Basic Law can alter or overturn the Nation State Basic Law. Sometimes the courts, even the Supreme Court, are required to stand down and simply enforce and act in the interest and any influence which they may have felt reading the actual law. If only the leftists would simply settle down as should the minorities and work to legally make your case within the Knesset, after all, that is the body we elected here in Israel. New elections will come in 2019 or as soon as Bibi had all his eggs in place and starts a ripple which breaks those eggs one after the other. Some parties really took one for the team last elections and now they are back in the bottom representative wise, but the climb back will be made as difficult as possible as some of these parties have a future if only they were not sniped upon. Politics are the same wherever the people are truly free. Unfortunately, far too much of our world has little if any freedom to act and be whatever they pleased. Israel is not amongst those nations and has little plans on ever being anything else other than free to think and act as one pleases within the law. It is up to the people to choose their leadership with great care and after deep concentration and even a little consternation. Below is the actual law, please read and be educated by the simplest method, sources. Please note paragraph eleven which explains exact method which is permitted for this law to be altered, changed or annulled. The Supreme Court would be overstepping their authority if they attempt to annul the Nationality Basic Law as well as declaring an intense conflict with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

Basic Law: Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

1. The State of Israel
a) Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people in which the State of Israel was established.
b) The state of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, in which it fulfills its natural, religious, and historic right to self-determination.
c) The fulfillment of the right of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

2. National symbols of the State of Israel
a) The name of the state is Israel.
b) The flag of the state is white, two blue stripes near the edges, and a blue Star of David in the center.
c) The symbol of the state is the Menorah with seven branches, olive leaves on each side, and the word Israel at the bottom.
d) The national anthem of the state is “Hatikvah”
e) [Further] details concerning the issue of state symbols will be determined by law.

3. [The] unified and complete [city of] Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

4. The Language of the State of Israel
a) Hebrew is the language of the state.
b) The Arabic language has a special status in the state; the regulation of the Arab language in state institutions or when facing them will be regulated by law.
c) This clause does not change the status given to the Arabic language before the basic law was created.

5. The state will be open to Jewish immigration and to the gathering of the exiled.

6. The Diaspora
a) The state will labor to ensure the safety of sons of the Jewish people and its citizens who are in trouble and captivity due to their Jewishness or their citizenship.
b) The state will act to preserve the cultural, historical and religious legacy of the Jewish people among the Jewish diaspora.

7. The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.

8. The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the secular calendar will serve as an official calendar. The usage of the Hebrew calendar and of the secular calendar will be determined by law.

9. National Holidays
a) Independence Day is the official holiday of the state.
b) The Memorial Day for those who fell in the wars of Israel and the Memorial Day for the Holocaust and heroism are official memorial days of the state.

10. Saturday and the Jewish Holidays are the official days of rest in the state. Those who are not Jewish have the right to honor their days of rest and their holidays. Details concerning these matters will be determined by law.

11. This Basic Law may not be altered except by a Basic Law that gained the approval of the majority of the Knesset members.

 

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