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Why judicial reforms is vital for Israel's democracy, far reaching oppressive court like on Aryeh Deri and anti-democracy Haaretz's censorship

Reader comment on item: Spelling Out Israel Victory

Submitted by Liat (United States), Feb 1, 2023 at 05:16

THE LAUD VOICES BY THE LEFT SUPPOSEDLY "FOR DEMOCRACY."

BRIEF 'We will not be daunted': Netanyahu stands firm in support of legal reform
'The changes will bring Israel in line with the leading democracies.'
Jan 16, 2023
https://www.jns.org/we-want-to-align-with-the-leading-countries-in-the-world-they-say-we-are-destroying-democracy-are-they-saying-that-france-and-the-u-s-arent-democracies/

Smotrich: Israel's democracy will be strengthened by legal reforms
Jan 17, 2023
"The more I hear the counter-arguments ... the more my understanding grows of the critical importance of this reform," says Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
https://www.jns.org/smotrich-israels-democracy-will-be-strengthened-by-legal-reforms/

Americans shouldn't be swayed by the Israeli left's freakout
The apocalyptic rhetoric about Netanyahu's government and its judicial-reform proposal is about maintaining the power of a minority and thwarting democracy, not protecting it.
Jan 16, 2023
https://www.jns.org/opinion/americans-shouldnt-be-swayed-by-the-israeli-lefts-freakout/

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ON THE LEFTY COURT BANNING ARYEH DERI

After Deri's disqualification, in TJ they attacked: "High Court - a dictatorship like Putin"

After the High Court invalidated the appointments of Deri Lesher, MK Israel Eichler, who serves as chairman of the Labor and Welfare Committee, was interviewed by Ofer Hadad at the High Court where he claimed that "from a moral point of view, the High Court has no ability to demand that someone obey their rulings when they do not obey the law."

Aviad Glickman, Eli Senior, Sefi Ovadia, Jan 19, 2023

Deri's disqualification at the High Court: Less than a day after the Supreme Court in its session as the High Court ruled that it is unlikely that Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri will be appointed a minister in the government, MK Israel Eichler of TJ, who serves as the chairman of the Labor and Welfare Committee, was interviewed This morning (Thursday) to Ofer Hadad at the High Court where he claimed that "the High Court has no right to demand that they obey him - he is a dictatorship like Putin." According to Eichler, "the Putins think they are right and can occupy Ukraine, kill innocent people for six months, and the world - is silent."

According to him, "From a moral point of view, the High Court has no ability to demand that someone obey their rulings when they do not obey the law. There is a culture war here, a slow conquest that took 20-30 years." Eichler also said: "Even when Begin came to power there were people who said there would be shootings in the streets, but then the elitist hegemony managed to reduce it, and leave all the governing systems in its hands."

Referring to the public protest against the legal reforms of Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the MK said: "This demonstration is very important, I am in favor of freedom of speech, but listen to the style - 'They are the rulers, they are the elites, and the people are stupid - it should be limited.'" Eichler added: "We don't want a war in the streets, we democrats want a battle of minds. The legal mountain came out as small as a dictatorial mouse."
https://13tv.co.il/item/news/domestic/crime-and-justice/bagatz-deri-903398909/

Israel's Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Political Appointments

The intervention is a timely illustration of why the new government seeks to reform the tribunal.

By Eugene Kontorovich
Jan. 22, 2023
Israel's Supreme Court last week invalidated the ministerial appointment of Aryeh Deri, leader of one party in the new governing coalition. The ruling didn't even pretend to be interpreting Israel's Basic Laws, which lay out the basic structure of government. The Knesset had specifically passed a law authorizing someone in Mr. Deri's situation (he had pleaded guilty to criminal charges) to hold cabinet office. But the court said it would be "unreasonable" for Mr. Deri to be a minister.

In other words, it canceled the prime minister's appointment of a cabinet member on grounds that it was technically legal, but gross—a kind of impeachment by judiciary...

Their opponents, on the other hand, seem to believe that a system created by a small elite is unalterable holy writ.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/israels-supreme-court-claims-a-veto-on-political-appointments-deri-judicial-review-us-knesset-reform-11674409011

An article in the Wall Street Journal: "No judicial system has such far-reaching powers as in Israel"
After the editorial in the important magazine on Friday criticized the decision of the Deri High Court, tonight another article was published in the magazine criticizing the same decision

By Makor Rishon writer, the 5th of Shvat of 5783 (23/01/2023)

Early today (Monday) an article was published in the important magazine "Wall Street Journal" sharply criticizing the ruling of the High Court and the disqualification of Aryeh Deri Malkhan as Kosher in the government. This article is published only two days after another article published in the Wall Street Journal criticizing High Court ruling. The editorial published on Friday criticizes the conduct of the Israeli court in its session as the High Court in general and the disqualification of Deri in a specific manner.

The article published this morning was written by Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor specializing in constitutional law and international law. Kontorovich strongly criticizes the High Court ruling and writes that "the ruling did not even pretend to interpret the basic laws of Israel" but contented itself with stating that "the appointment is legal but disgusting", as he put it.

Kontorovich continues and writes that "no judicial system in the world has far-reaching powers over the government like Israel. The court has assumed these powers in recent decades without approval from the legislators or national consensus, and there is no reason why it would not be possible to change these powers"

Kontrovich later expresses support for the reforms planned in the Israeli legal system and writes in reference to the issue of invalidating laws by the High Court of Justice: "The ability of a court to declare that a law violates the constitution of a country is an American invention. Israel has no constitution. The Israeli court received this authority in 1995, when it declared that the Knesset had given it the authority to repeal laws. The law from 1992, according to which the court claims that it has such authority, passed by a majority of 32 to 21. Most of the members of the Knesset did not show up to vote at all because they did not know that the court would later claim that the law is a kind of constitution. So why would a law passed with 32 votes in the Knesset prevail over one passed with 61?"

Kontrovich goes on to say that the Israeli court "gradually eliminated all restrictions on jurisdiction and status, and allowed itself to rule on any issue in public life at any time it chose, without the restriction of lower court proceedings or fact-finding. It used the doctrine of "reasonableness" to block government action , including the composition of the government. The court claims the authority to decide whether new basic laws, or amendments to old ones, are valid, and thus it stops the pretense that it is subject to the law."

At the end of the article Kontrovich attacks the opponents of the reform and says that they "believe that a system created by a small elite is unalterable holy writ."
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Who's Threatening Israeli Democracy?

Israel's Supreme Court makes the best case for its own reform.

By The Editorial Board

Jan. 20, 2023
Every time a right-wing government wins an election these days, the immediate refrain from the dominant global media is that it's a threat to democracy. Israel's new government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting this treatment now, and a brawl over that country's Supreme Court illustrates why the issue is more complicated than the media narrative.

Israel's Supreme Court has more power than America's but without the democratic checks. Unbound by any constitution, and loosed from requirements of standing and justiciability, Israel's court strikes down laws that it finds merely "unreasonable," which can cover most anything. Israel's court even has a veto on the appointment of new justices, in contrast to the U.S. where the President and Senate share the appointment power.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/israel-supreme-court-revokes-appointment-aryeh-deri-cabinet-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-11674230927

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Lavrov compares West's approach to Russia with Hitler's 'Final Solution'
Jan 18, 2023.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday (18 January) that the United States had assembled a coalition of European countries to solve "the Russian question" in the same way that Adolf Hitler had sought a "final solution" to eradicate Europe's Jews.
https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/lavrov-compares-wests-approach-to-russia-with-hitlers-final-solution/
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Nissim Ze'ev to Channel 7: If Deri was in the Lapid government, the High Court would embrace him, everything is political
A former senior Shas official is convinced: if Deri had joined the Bennet-Lapid government, they would have sung hallelujah for him. The High Court of Justice waited for the right moment with its decision.
Dudi Ben Hemo
25 Tevet 5783, 18.01.23
https://www.inn.co.il/news/587161

Israel's Supreme Court rejects Deri as minister in Netanyahu government

"The court threw into the trash the votes of 400,000 voters," the Shas Party said.
Jan 18, 2023
https://www.jns.org/israels-supreme-court-rejects-deri-as-minister-in-netanyahu-government/

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ANTI-DEMOCRACY HAARETZ'S CENSORSHOP

In 'Haaretz' it is forbidden to tell the truth about the reform - the censored article

Gadi Taub, Mida, 01/25/2023

Dr. Gadi Taub in the article that the left and the High Court judges do not want you to read: How they took over the regime in Israel and why we must correct

There is no doubt that most of the participants of the demonstrations against the reform of the judicial system believe that they are fighting "to save democracy". This is what judges, academics, intellectuals and senior journalists told them. Under this ideological turmoil, it is not surprising that the possibility does not occur to them that they are not fighting to save democracy, but the opposite: to save the minority rule of the leftist elite from democracy.

There are those who buy the "saving democracy" bluff and there are those who create it. This does not mean that the creators are necessarily cynics. Many of them probably consider the deception that they are orchestrating a necessary move to save the unenlightened public from itself. But I have great doubt, whether professors like Barak Medina, Yaniv Roznai or Mordechai Kermanitzer, and Supreme Court Justices like Aharon Barak, Yitzhak Zamir or Esther Hayut - all senior members of the junta who testify to their complicity - are acting in good faith. After all, they are all distinct ideologues of the anti-democratic view that seeks to fortify sovereignty beyond the reach of the citizens. They have been calling the legal oligarchy "essential democracy" for years.

Their arguments against the reform, it must be said openly, are not only misleading but also incredibly shallow. And the first is what they seek to hide: Israel is the only "democracy" in the West where 15 judges hold sovereignty (plus a veto on the appointment of their members).

This is neither a voyage nor a metaphor; This is a fact from the field of political science. The final decision-making authority in Israel passed to the court , in any matter - any matter, including the drafting of an alleged constitution. This "constitution" was created by the words of the court which on its own initiative and without authority gave constitutional status to the fundamental laws. There is no action by the other authorities that the court does not claim the authority to intervene in, including - as it announced in May 2020 in response to petitions against the formation of the government by Binyamin Netanyahu - the power to cancel the election results. This rule of judges has no parallel in any reformed democracy, and Prof. Shlomo Avinari rightly called our strange form of government 'Bjzocracy'.

In a reformed democratic state, each governing body acts by virtue of an authority granted to it by law, and can vote on it. Our court has freed itself from being subject to the law - practically, because it empties laws of their content or alternatively ignores them at will, and formally because it has abducted the power to cancel them without being authorized to do so.

An important part of the illegal revolution through which Aharon Barak's court granted itself the authority to invalidate laws, lies in a declaration devoid of a solid legal basis, according to which the Basic Laws have the status of a constitution in order to invalidate ordinary laws based on them. But from the moment the court took upon itself the authority to limit the constitutive authority of the Knesset (in a strong ruling regarding a fundamental law: Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people) and even authorized itself to abduct fundamental laws (in a benign ruling), it freed itself from any limitation and placed himself above all norms, including the "constitution". And we haven't even talked about the sparrow he called himself out of loyalty to the explicit meaning of words (through the "purposive interpretation"), and the freedom he gave himself to disqualify even what is legal but not to the taste of the judges, under the elastic title known as the "complex of reasonableness".

Yariv Levin's reform is far from perfect, and there are still too many loopholes left in it that will allow the elite to disrupt the will of the voters. The prosecutor's office, which functions as the Praetorian guard of the Supreme Court, and has undergone far-reaching politicization, managed to dismantle the only body that was supposed to supervise it, and, as expected, completely failed in clarifying the corruption in its midst (Ruth David cases, the Perinian brothers, Abu Al-Kiyan, the concealment of wiretapping in the Ramon trial, Tax and other); Another half-century of radical rulings will pass before the change in the composition of the committee for the selection of judges will introduce some diversity in the activist and "creative" staff of the Supreme Court; And the postmodern theory of interpretation introduced by Barak will not soon make it possible to return legal certainty to the halls of justice.

Behind inflated legal jargon, which often hides ignorance in the theory of the regimes, slogan makers like the 'Israeli Democracy Institute' are asked to issue to journalists demagogic kits full of idle arguments: that "Israel does not have a constitution" (but Barak turned the basic laws into a constitution with his words) , that the reform will "abolish the separation of powers" (but it was the court that trampled it when it invaded the territories of the other authorities and created for itself an unbridled governmental power), that "in Israel the Knesset is controlled by the government" (he told Idit Silman), and that "the system is being crushed The trial is to save one person from prison" (but the reform does not concern the Netanyahu trial that started years ago and there is nothing in it that would allow him to be arrested). And of course, at the top of the parade is the far-fetched claim that in order to prevent the "tyranny of the majority", for some reason we need the tyranny of the minority.

We are short of answers to every slogan issued to us by the representatives of the legal oligarchy and their agents of ignorance. But it is possible to point to the general conceptual framework of going astray: the judiciary is described not as a governing authority, but only as a brake, and therefore there is nothing worrisome in that there is no defined limit to its power, and there is nothing to balance or restrain it.

But the court is not just a brake, it is one of the government authorities and the uncontrolled power it has accumulated, on its own and against other authorities, endangers the sovereignty of the citizens and also cuts the important democratic link between authority and responsibility to the public. This is a situation that is not only corrupting and undemocratic, but also destructive to the entire governmental system and its functioning. All the more so when such a court imposes an agenda and values ​​from above in contradiction to the express wishes of the majority of the public in Israel. On this conceptual deception rests the popular falsehood that claims that without an all-powerful court, nothing will stop the trampling of individual and minority rights. In reality, the opposite is of course true. The unbridled power in the hands of the court and its praetorian guard in the prosecutor's office has given rise to the dismal situation of Israel today in the field of human rights: in the criminal law where these rights are most necessary to protect against the arbitrariness of the government, the Israeli citizen has no real protection.

The presumption of innocence has become an empty shell in courts where skyrocketing conviction rates are recorded. The arrest policy of the police, which the prosecutor's office backs up and the courts approve, has crossed every sane boundary. It was the Knesset that sought to preserve the human rights of the accused, with enlightened and humane legislation; The court trampled the law, and the rights that the law grants. The claim that the court "protects minorities from the tyranny of the majority" also does not stand the test of reality, because it depends on which minority you belong to. Ask the settlers about their right to protest in secession, about arrests until the end of the proceedings of 14-year-old girls, about prolonged administrative arrests or alternatively about the closing of Channel 7. This is evident in the enforcement of the principle of equality (which does not appear in the Basic Laws) unequally on ultra-Orthodox (whose exemption from conscription is not Nice in the eyes of the High Court) and Arabs (whose exemption from conscription is actually nice in his eyes).

The left can continue to deceive itself that "the Likudniks did not vote for the reform", but on the right side of the map it has been clear to all of us for some time that no right-wing policy will pass as long as the legal oligarchy rules over the heads of the elected officials, and draws for them the limits of the policy that the left dictates. Binyamin Netanyahu realized that although the reform would probably turn the system against him, the camp would not forgive him if he tried to stem the tide of anger over the continuous shredding of election ballots by jurists.

But the most blatant of the lies of the propaganda machine to save the minority rule lies in the claim that in the absence of an all-powerful court, there will be only one, all-powerful authority in Israel, and that is the government, which controls, so we are told, the Knesset. Prof. Yitzhak Zamir, invented an innovation in the description of the Israeli regime as a "coalition democracy", and added that the government is controlled by its head, so we actually have a single government in Israel.

It is not clear to me where the owners of this strange theory lived in the last decades. Probably not in real Israel, because in real Israel, in front of the government and in front of the Knesset stands the biggest brake. It's called elections. Not even that: if the owners of the innovative theory had looked at their own message pages from a month ago, they might have remembered that they claimed under every fresh tree that Netanyahu is weak and blackmailed, captive in the hands of a coalition, each of whose members is ripping off a piece of his rule. And maybe they didn't notice that in our system the entire Knesset is full of obstacles in front of the government, since the coalition factions can - and they often do - overthrow governments, and sometimes even a single member of the Knesset can do it.

I will therefore conclude by calling on the Minister of Justice Yariv Levin: do not be impressed by the cry of the Cossacks being robbed. This is the swan song of an elite running amok in the face of the dying throbbing of its undemocratic rule. Act forcefully and return democratic sovereignty to its rightful owners: the citizens of Israel.
https://mida.org.il/2023/01/25/%D7%91%D7%94%D7%90%D7%A8%D7%A5-%D7%90%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A8-%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%9E%D7%A8-%D7%90%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%90%D7%9E%D7%AA/

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