web analytics
September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Israel’s Dictatorship Of The Judiciary

Front-Page-033012

Prosecutions in Israel have also been infected by this systemic bias, not uncommonly under the influence of the predilections of the judiciary with whom prosecutors must deal, as well as by the impact of prosecutors’ own aspirations to ultimately achieving a place within the judiciary.

Innumerable examples of prosecutorial bias can be cited. One that received much publicity at the time was the aggressive prosecutorial pursuit of Benjamin Netanyahu, after his first term as prime minister, for allegedly having engaged in illegal activities connected to contracting work done at his private residence while he was in office and also his allegedly having kept gifts received while in office that properly belonged to the state. In contrast, pursuit of then-President of Israel Ezer Weizman for allegedly having been given large payoffs to advance left-wing political goals – the amounts involved were considerably greater than those entailed in the allegations against Netanyahu – was much less vigorous.

The blatant political use of prosecutorial actions prompted Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, hardly a right-wing zealot, to address the matter in a letter to Haaretz back in August, 2000. Dershowitz noted “Israel’s long history of prosecuting, often unsuccessfully, some prominent public officials, while foregoing prosecution of others.” He went on: “Even those who want to see Benjamin Netanyahu prosecuted appear to acknowledge that if the same test that was applied to Ezer Weizman were to be applied to Netanyahu, there would be no prosecution.”

And he warned: “It would be discriminatory in the extreme to apply a less demanding evidentiary and prosecutorial standard for Netanyahu than has been applied to other political figures in the past.… Any less demanding standards would reasonably raise the specter of political partisanship and discrimination.”

* * * * *

Again, there have been innumerable instances of such partisanship and discrimination, with prosecutors pursuing in prejudicial ways those on the political Right.

Thus, for example, in advance of the dismantling of the Jewish communities/settlements in Gaza, as well as four in the West Bank, in the summer of 2005, an entirely new and extraordinary body of prosecutorial procedures was created to deal with anti-evacuation demonstrators and resistors.

Among the novel guidelines was an order that cases brought against those accused of threatening a civil servant in the course of the expulsions “cannot be closed by the investigating unit because of lack of evidence or lack of public interest, but only with permission from the state prosecutor.”

In an April 2007 hearing for a senior reserve officer who had tried to resist his expulsion from Kfar Yam in Gaza, Judge Drora Beit-Or, deputy president of the Beersheba Magistrates Court, acknowledged, “We dealt differently with the cases from the Disengagement.… We [in Beersheba] dealt with many cases including minors and threats. Most of the defendants were first time offenders and all [cases] received special treatment.” This included the months-long imprisonment of young teenagers who had committed no crime and had no previous criminal record.

The perennial bias of the Israeli judiciary, and particularly the Supreme Court, has had an impact on public opinion. In a poll conducted by the Maagar Mohot Survey Institute and published November 11, 2011, only 14 percent of respondents believed the Supreme Court represented all elements of the nation while 51 percent believed it did not. By 54 percent to 46 percent, those polled viewed the court as politically slanted. Of the 54 percent who declared the court politically biased, by 75 percent to 11 percent they saw it as slanted in favor of the Left.

The vigorous opposition of the Israeli Left to reforms of the judicial selection process that would bring it more in line with democratic norms calls to mind a television interview conducted in June 1977 with Itzhak Ben Aharon, a former Labor member of the Knesset and head of the Histradrut Labor Federation. The occasion was the election of the first non-leftist government in Israel’s history. Ben Aharon declared: “The [election] results are a mistake.” The interviewer responded: “But Mr. Ben Aharon, this is a democracy and the people have spoken.” To which Ban Aharon retorted, “The people are wrong.”

No element of Israeli national governance is more in need of constitutional controls than the judicial system. Short of introduction of a constitution with a system of checks and balances, the corrective of legislating Knesset vetting of candidates for the judiciary is the least the public should demand if the nation’s judiciary is to move toward conforming to standards of judicial power and judicial constraint characteristic of functioning democracies.

Kenneth Levin is a psychiatrist and historian and author of “The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People under Siege” (Smith and Kraus Global, 2005; paperback 2006).

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Israel’s Dictatorship Of The Judiciary”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party.
Lapid Slammed by Secular and Press for Shabbat Press Conference
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and  David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

Why has his death been treated by some as an invitation for an emotional “autopsy”?

Starck-091914

SWOT analysis: Assessing resources, internal Strengths&Weaknesses; external Opportunities&Threats.

Kohn-091914

Strategy? For the longest time Obama couldn’t be bothered to have one against a sworn enemy.

Miller-091914

Seventeen visual skills are needed for success in school, sports, and everyday life.

We started The Jewish Press. Arnie was an integral part of the paper.

Fear alone is substantial; without fusing it to beauty, fear doesn’t reach its highest potential.

Fortunate are we to have Rosh Hashanah for repentance, a shofar to awaken heavenly mercy.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

National Lawyers Guild:Sworn enemy of Israel & the legal arm of Palestinian terrorism since the ’70s

A little less than 10 percent of eligible Democratic voters came out on primary day, which translates into Mr. Cuomo having received the support of 6.2 percent of registered Democrats.

The reality, though, is that the Israeli “war crimes” scenario will likely be played out among highly partisan UN agencies, NGOs, and perhaps even the International Criminal Court.

Peace or the lack of it between Israel and the Palestinians matters not one whit when it comes to the long-term agenda of ISIS and other Islamists, nor does it affect any of the long-running inter-Arab conflicts and wars.

Rather than serving as a deterrent against terrorist attacks, Israel’s military strength and capabilities are instead looked at as an unfair advantage in the asymmetrical war in which it finds itself.

Sisi:”The religious nature of the Middle East creates challenges for the governing authorities.”

More Articles from Kenneth Levin
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

Any blueprint from the secretary of state to incorporate what Rabin defined as areas vital for Israel’s defense.

Front-Page-033012

Much of the Israeli Left – including cultural and political leaders, journalists and academics – has in recent months engaged in hyperbolic, defamatory claims that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to destroy Israel’s democracy through proposed legislation such as that aimed at modifying how Israeli Supreme Court justices are selected.

If Palestinian leaders indoctrinate their people to pursue genocide and TheNew York Times doesn’t report it, is the indoctrination nevertheless of consequence?

Many are puzzled by the widespread support in European democracies of Palestinian groups and Arab states that promote genocidal anti-Semitism. After all, Palestinian and broader Arab anti-Semitism draws heavily, in its anti-Jewish propaganda, on Nazi models, and Western Europe and the European Union are supposed to be opposed to everything touching on Nazism and its genocidal policies.

The Obama administration’s high-profile focus on Israeli settlements and demand for a total freeze of construction beyond the pre-1967 armistice line have delighted many around the world, some of whom may even believe that settlements are the major obstacle to peace. But such views, like the administration’s slant on the issue, are based on false premises and oft-repeated misinformation.

The core of the Arab-Israeli problem is Israel’s “territorial addiction.” So declares a December 3 Haaretz article by one Alex Sinclair.

As to the solution, Sinclair does not quite echo Haaretz’s former executive editor David Landau, who urged Condoleezza Rice a year ago to “rape” Israel. Rather, he advocates a friendly but forceful stand by President-elect Obama to break Israel of its addiction – promoting, in the jargon of addiction treatment (although Sinclair doesn’t use the term), less violent-sounding “tough love” instead of rape.

Amos Oz never tires of finding ways to blame Israel for the absence of Arab-Israeli peace, no matter how clearly the voices on the other side, in Palestinian and broader Arab media, mosques, and schools, declare that their idea of peace is the annihilation of Israel and the destruction of its people. Nor does the celebrated Israeli novelist tire of grossly rewriting history to serve his blame-Israel narrative.

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, in a July 18 op-ed on the current fighting between Israel and Hizbullah (“Hunkering Down With History”), declared that Israel’s creation was a “mistake.” He based this judgment of Israel on its Arab Muslim neighbors’ opposition to its existence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/israels-dictatorship-of-the-judiciary/2012/03/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: