Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Supreme Court’
In a move reminiscent of Woody Allen who he sees the school bully approaching and steps on his own glasses, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday announced that he is ready to freeze construction outside the Judea and Samaria settlement blocks as part of the understandings to be reached with the Trump Administration.
Proving he never read The Art of the Deal, Liberman suggested that Israel’s aspirations in negotiating with President Donald Trump should be to ask for his confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings that recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements (also known as “outposts,” or, according to the Talia Sasson 2005 government report, “illegal outposts”).
The settlement blocks, outside eastern Jerusalem, which, according to the Obama Administration, is also one big settlement, consist of the regional councils of Gush Etzion, Mount Hebron, Matte Binyamin, Samaria, and Jordan valley; the local councils of Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh-Ofarim, Beit El, Efrat, Elkana, Giv’at Ze’ev, Har Adar, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Ma’ale Efraim, and Oranit; and the cities of Ariel, Betar Illit, Maale Adumim, and Modi’in Illit. As of 2014, the Jewish population there is estimated at 400,000. At the current growth rate, in 2030 this population is expected to hover just below 600,000.
To be fair, this idea was not originally Liberman’s. In 2009, newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared: “I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank… But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements.” Then, on October 15, 2009, Netanyahu said the settlement dispute with the Obama Administration had been resolved.
Sources inside the Liberman camp have suggested that the reason for this defeatist statement from one of the biggest hawks in the current cabinet has to do less with the incoming Trump people than with the outgoing Obama people, who can still cause a lot of damage in the two months or so left on their calendar. Once the evil teacher is gone, we’ll bring out the balloons and cake for the substitute teacher, those sources are implying.
Meanwhile, the defense minister was very critical of those MKs and Ministers who welcomed Trump’s election as the coming of the Messiah for Israel and the settlements, and cited messages received from the president elect’s camp “expecting us to behave humbly.”
Perhaps. But Liberman appeared to be in a “humble” mood about more than just future construction in Judea and Samaria — he was also giving up hope for existing Jewish communities, such as Amona. This community, built with government support, is slated for demolition and evacuation come December 25, by decree of the Israeli Supreme Court. Incidentally, on Nittel Nacht, the Jewish name for Christmas, eastern European Rabbis forbade married couples from having relations, and studying Torah was also forbidden, as this was a day destined for evil occurrences — a historic and cultural fact completely missed by the court, apparently.
Humble to the point of outright depression, Liberman criticized the Arrangements Act the coalition had just passed in a preliminary vote, which takes care of Arab claims on Jewish land in the liberated territories without having to destroy Jewish communities. For one thing, he pointed out, “it is clear it won’t cover Amona because it cannot be applied retroactively.”
“Sometimes truth is also an option, even when it’s very bitter,” he said, stating that “anyone who says Amona can be preserved in its current location is just spreading delusions and fantasies.”
Or, as Bogie says in Allen’s Play It Again, Sam, “Nothing that a bit of bourbon wouldn’t fiksh.”David Israel
Agudath Israel Knesset Member Rabbi Israel Eichler responded in his remarks at the Knesset plenum on Wednesday to a demand by the Supreme Court for his party to show cause within 60 days why it refuses to include women in its list of Knesset candidates.
“I ask why there is no general election, on election day, to the courts,” said Eichler. “If the Supreme Court justices want to set rules and limit the rights of Knesset factions and political parties, then why can’t citizens have the same rights to limit the intervention of the courts?”
Eichler pointed out that the state could not “restrict the right of pensioners to form a party for the elderly, and religious [Jews] to set up a religious party, [or] the Arabs to establish an Arab party.”
Eichler called the idea that Supreme Court judges would attempt to invalidate the right of Agudath Israel to determine the composition of its party list, based “on what the Torah sages have instructed,” to be a “declaration of war against democracy, and against hareidi-religious citizens in particular.”Hana Levi Julian
One of the most disturbing aspect of the way in which the state handled the investigation of the Arson-Murder case in the Arab village of Duma, was not so much the fact that the accused are two Jews, one of them a minor, but the fact that the country’s military, police, government and even the judiciary have colluded in an effort to get a confession out of those Jewish suspects, even at the cost of using torture.
Media reports from the time of the investigation clearly indicated that then Attorney General Yehuda Weinsten, and the Supreme Court, gave the GSS (Shabak) permission to employ “aggressive” means of interrogation. Defense attorneys called for press conferences in which they decried the fascistic nature of such orders, warning that no matter what confessions the authorities manage to squeeze out of their clients using these brutal means, in the end no court could possibly accept them considering the manner in which they were extracted.
Not really. To paraphrase the old pseudo-philosophical adage: if a fascistic permission by the court to use torture disappears, does it still count against a conviction?
In a revelation that brings to mind some of the worst regimes in history, the Honenu legal aid society on Wednesday issued a press release accusing the state of losing documents pertinent to the case of one former Duma case suspect, said documents being the authorization to use torture in interrogating him.
The accused, who was initially part of the Duma investigation, was interrogated for a full month by GSS employees using violence and forceful shaking, until it became clear that he had no connection to the case. At that point, the prosecution indicted him on the charge of attacking an Arab during a brawl that had taken place two years earlier.
His attorney, Sinaia Harizi Moses, of Honenu, has been requesting for month to be shown several documents from the investigation, and her requests have been ignored. Among those documents, she asked to see the specific documents that supported the prohibition against letting her meet with her client, as well as the full protocol of his GSS interrogations.
According to the Hunenu release, during a court hearing last week, the prosecution declared that some of the investigation documents had “disappeared” and that despite many efforts, they could not be found. As to a few other documents, the prosecution objects to sharing them with the defense. The court will have to decide on those.
According to Moses, the “disappeared” documents were the alleged permission issued by the Attorney General to GSS employees to brutalize her client for a month in their dungeon. Other documents, she alleges, are the false statements issued by GSS interrogators to persuade the AG and, in turn, the courts, to permit her client to stay behind bars without seeing his lawyer or his family, and to be interrogated “aggressively.”
Which brings us back to the Duma case which rattled the country when it literally burst in flames on July 31, 2015, and has since been relegated to the far regions of media and public memory. The case, should it ever come to court again, could become an indictment of former AG Weinsten as well as the players and coaches of the much hallowed Israeli Supreme Court team.
Unless someone conveniently loses the documents.
Stay tuned.David Israel
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) may end up being the politician who broke the iron hold of the judicial civil service on Israel’s democracy — when all along we were certain it would be his teammate, Ayelet Shaked.
In years past, when the Attorney General, who serves both as the executive officer for Israel’s law enforcement agencies and as the government’s legal counsel and litigator, would tell ministers that he could not defend a certain legislation before the Supreme Court, that was the end of said legislation. Which is why, early on in her term as Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) was looking to cut the job in half and hire one person to manage law enforcement, and another to manage the government’s legal affairs. But she couldn’t find enough support for the idea and, possibly, didn’t want to appear too radical so early in her administration.
Now, as the government is mulling legal means of bypassing a draconian Supreme Court decree calling for the demolition of the community of Amona in Samaria over a lawsuit by phantom Arab owners—the entire affair has been managed by Peace Now and other anti-Zionist NGOs—the AG, Avichai Mandelblit, on Sunday announced, through his deputy, Avi Licht, that he could not defend the proposed Regulation Act before the high court.
The bill compels Arab claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be treated like similar claimants inside green line Israel: if it can be shown that the land indeed belongs to them and the construction on it had been done illegally, the court rules on an amount, usually fair market value plus a fine, to be paid out by the defendant. No one inside 1949 Israel has ever demanded that standing buildings be struck down to remedy such a situation.
But over in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli Supreme Court has been riding high for years, insisting that the only remedy, even in cases in which there is no living and breathing claimant, the only acceptable remedy is destruction.
The cabinet decided to delay their discussion of the proposed Regulation Act until next week, to give the state time to petition the court for a postponement of the demolition date, December 25, 2016. It’s doubtful the Miriam Naor court, which has already voiced its exasperation over the Netanyahu government’s failure to carry out its demolition order for Amona given back in 2006, would grant yet another delay. As we noted earlier, should the court not grant a delay, Deputy AG Licht told the cabinet that his boss is not prepared to defend the proposed law before the high court.
Minister Uri Ariel then issued a statement saying, “I regret the prime minister’s decision to postpone the debate on regulating communities, most importantly Amona. It is an unjust decision which contradicts the prime minister’s own announcement two and a half months ago. We will continue to promote the Regulation Act despite the difficulties.”
And then Ariel released a shot across the bow of the AG’s office: “The AG’s statement regarding his inability to defend the state under certain conditions is unacceptable, and I hope he will change his mind. Should the AG not be willing to defend the new law at the Supreme Court, we’ll demand private representation, rather than give up our righteous struggle.”
And that’s how you teach a civil servant about the limits of his office.JNi.Media
Meretz Chairwoman MK Zahava Galon forced the Israeli Supreme Court to desecrate Shabbat, with an appeal which was already irrelevant when she filed it, argued pundit, author and Holocaust scholar Itamar Levin in a column he published on the News1 website.
Galon appealed to the court on Shabbat day, Sept. 3, asking that it order the Ministry of Transport to carry out the scheduled works on the Railroad infrastructure which had been halted on Friday night due to Haredi party pressure. “This meant that the employee on call at the reception had to receive the appeal and pass it to the Justice on call, which happened to be Anat Baron,” Levin wrote, suggesting this could also mean that the people on call in the Justice’s chambers had to work on Shabbat as well.
But, as turns out from the Justice’s ruling, also given on Shabbat, the appeal was not urgent and did not justify forcing a state employee to desecrate Shabbat. Justice Baron wrote: “The appeal was submitted today, Shabbat day, at 3 PM. When it was submitted, the infrastructure works had been ceased yesterday, following the prime minister’s order shortly before the start of Shabbat. Under these circumstances there is no point in issuing the requested injunction in response to a situation which the appellant claims was created on this weekend.”
Justice Baron instead ordered the State to respond by Monday, Sept. 5, to Galon’s appeal for an injunction — an appeal she could have submitted Saturday night, Levin wrote.
Israeli courts, including the Supreme Court, maintain skeletal Shabbat and Holiday shifts to respond to the most urgent needs. These include police requests for injunctions to prevent the smuggling of children, or for arrest warrants. But Levin wrote that he did not recall any other time when the Supreme Court was compelled to desecrate Shabbat to deal with an administrative issue such as the works on the railroad.JNi.Media