web analytics
August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Supreme Court’

Israeli School Controversy Brings Secular-Haredi Tensions To Boil

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

JERUSALEM – -The showdown between the Israeli Supreme Court and the parents of students at a haredi Orthodox school found guilty of discriminatory practices against Sephardic girls has brought already strained secular-religious relations in Israel to a fever pitch.

A remark by Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy that the court’s decisions are not subject to rabbinical approval went straight to the heart of the matter, with irate haredi demonstrators declaring that if they had to choose between the court and their rabbis, the rabbis always would come first.

The fundamental argument over whether the courts or the rabbis have the ultimate authority reflects a long-standing clash between Herzl’s vision of a secular democratic state for the Jews and the haredi ideal of a Jewish state subject to rabbinical law.

For secular Israelis, impugning the authority of the courts means anarchy. For the haredim, overriding rabbinical rulings means perverting God’s will. At issue is a test of the capacity of the Zionist, secular state to impose its will on a large group of haredim who often are at odds with its secular institutions.

The latest angry confrontation between the state and the haredim began with a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court in April ordering a school run by Ashkenazi Slonim chassidim in the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel to stop excluding Sephardic girls from their regular classes.

In the state’s view, the practice constituted a form of intolerable segregation and violated basic principles of equality and human dignity. The offending Beit Yaakov school agreed to more mixed classes.

But rather than comply, the Ashkenazi parents started their own school next door. They argued that the segregation wasn’t ethnic but religious. The Sephardic girls, they said, came from homes less strictly observant than their Ashkenazi daughters – for example, homes with television sets and Internet connections – and they didn’t want their daughters influenced by those who were less religious. They said Sephardic girls were welcome at the Ashkenazi-dominated school if they met the standards for stricter religious observance.

The court ordered the parents to send their children back to Beit Yaakov or face fines. The parents ignored the court order and didn’t pay the fines. The court found them guilty of contempt and ordered that they be sent to jail for an initial two-week period to reconsider their position.

Amid singing and dancing, 35 of the 38 fathers went to jail last week. The mothers failed to report for their prison terms on the grounds they needed to be home to look after their younger children.

There are conflicting accounts over what caused the brouhaha and what it means.

The Slonim chassidim say that in a true democracy, they should have the right to educate their children in any way they please. They say the Israeli state is interfering in matters of religious principle.

Secular Israelis see things quite differently. Many regard the Emmanuel school case as a reflection of a much wider phenomenon, that of the haredim accepting funds from the state without accepting its authority or performing the ultimate duty of Israeli citizenship: army service.

Haredi schools are largely state funded but do not teach the country’s core curriculum. The secular press in Israel has been inundated with articles blasting the haredim for defying the state’s authority while tapping into its budgets for health, education and welfare.

Many secularists see the standoff as a test of strength the liberal democratic state cannot afford to lose.

“Don’t give in to Emmanuel,” the liberal daily Haaretz exhorted in an editorial.

“We must not surrender,” echoed journalist Yair Lapid, who reportedly is on the brink of launching an anti-clerical successor party to Shinui, the party once led by his late father, Yosef “Tommy” Lapid.

The Orthodox-Sephardic Shas Party was more ambivalent. Shas was created in the mid-1980s to combat Ashkenazi discrimination against Sephardim, so it may have been expected to take up the cause of the Sephardic students and families. But to do so would have seemed like siding with the Supreme Court, which is anathema for Shas. Its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, resolved the dilemma by coming out against discrimination, but more strongly against taking the case to the Supreme Court.

“Anyone who appeals to the secular courts will have no share in the world to come,” Rabbi Yosef declared.

Other recent rulings by the Supreme Court have compounded the strains between the haredim and the state, as well as a string of violent clashes between haredi demonstrators and police. In mid-June, the Supreme Court ruled against state stipends for married yeshiva students on the grounds that similar stipends for married university students were abolished in 2000.

The haredim also clashed recently with police during demonstrations against building on sites where ancient bones are believed to be buried. These often violent protests were led by a small group in the haredi camp known as the Atra Kadisha. In May there were clashes over the removal of bones – believed to be pagan – from the site of a new rocket-proof emergency room at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon; in June there were protests in Jaffa over bones at the construction site of a boutique hotel.

For its part, the Israel Defense Forces is considering launching a new plan that would allow more yeshiva students to enlist, and more yet to join the labor force. Yeshiva students currently must remain in school until middle age in order to stay out of the army.

Meanwhile, with the basis of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government a strategic alliance between Likud and Shas, government ministers have had very little to say on the Emmanuel school brouhaha for fear of upsetting their haredi coalition partners. But it also means Shas is unlikely to do anything that could topple the government.

(JTA)

Yet Another Case Of Leftist Treason

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
              It was even before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir that the Israeli Left, led by the Haaretz newspaper, chanted in unison what has become one of its fundamental political axioms: political violence is a congenital inclination of the Israeli Right and is committed exclusively by right-wingers.
Naturally, after the assassination of Rabin the assertion became a matter of unchallengeable theology.
The media obsession with the alleged violent inclination of the Israeli Right long served to obscure the congenital inclination towards treason and espionage by a great many members of the Israeli Left. The simple fact of the matter is that every single incident of anti-Israel espionage has involved left-wing Israelis.
The scandal that was just made public in Israel, after a local court order prohibiting its publicity was lifted, involves Anat Kamm (spelled Kam in some news accounts), a young leftist who leaked classified military documents to Haaretz. She stole more than 2,000 such documents and passed them on to her Haaretz handler, a leftist journalist named Uri Blau, now in hiding in the UK. Haaretz ran some stories using information extracted from some of the material.
            As alluded to above, Kamm is far from the first Israeli leftist to be involved in treason and espionage. In the 1950s the Israeli communist parties were rife with Soviet collaborationists. Closer to our own time, Mordecai Vanunu, the notorious nuclear spy, was a member of the Israeli communist party. Marcus Klinberg spied in Israel on behalf of the Soviets for years. Azmi Bishara, who spied for Hizbullah, was a leading member of Israel’s Arab Left.
            The worst espionage-cum-terror ring that operated in Israel was organized in the 1970s by kibbutz-born communist Udi Adiv. Leftist Tali Fahima was imprisoned for helping her Palestinian boyfriend plan terror attacks.
And of course there are hundreds of Israeli academic leftists who currently promote boycotts of Israel as well as mutiny and insurrection by Israeli soldiers.
Haaretzhasnever run editorials about the inclinations of leftists to engage in treason and espionage. The Right almost universally denounced Yigal Amir. The Left is celebrating Anat Kamm as a great patriot.
After the assassination of Rabin, every Israeli newspaper and leftist commentator denounced Bar-Ilan University, where Yigal Amir had been a law student. Many even called for shutting the university down. Not one of those same people has called for closing down Tel Aviv University, where Kamm was a student in the history and philosophy departments and where, together with the sociology and political science departments at TAU, one would have to search long and hard to find faculty members who are not leftists or out and out communists.
Not a single mainstream media outlet in Israel is denouncing the radicals at Tel Aviv University for inspiring and breeding Anat Kamm, nor are pundits calling for the university to undertake a complete “critical self-examination” to understand its own guilt, which is what they had demanded of Bar-Ilan.
             In 1940 Winston Churchill shut down all the newspapers and media operated by the British Union of Fascists, the pro-German party led by Oswald Mosley. It was one of his first acts as prime minister. Some 740 leading members of the party, including Mosley, spent the duration of the war in prison. Like Haaretz, their newspapers had launched a “peace campaign” (with Nazi Germany) and reflexively supported the enemies of their country in just about everything.
Until now, Haaretzwas a newspaper given to political stands many deemed treasonous but not a newspaper actually involved in treason and espionage. It has a market share in Israel of 6 or 7 percent, and I suspect that at least half its subscribers get the paper in spite of its anti-Israel ideology and thanks to its business supplement The Marker, the best in Israel. (I am one such subscriber.)
              But now we have discovered that Haaretz has gone beyond merely championing dangerous appeasement. Will Prime Minister Netanyahu have the courage of Churchill and shut down the newspaper for the duration of Israel’s war with Arab jihadists? (At least two Knesset members have called on Netanyahu to do just that.) Will he imprison extremists supporting the country’s enemies in time of war?
            What Kamm did was worse than what Jonathan Pollard was convicted of in the U.S., so Kamm and Blau should be sentenced to a prison term at least as long as that being served by Pollard.
Haaretz for its part is bragging about its role in the espionage and trying to spin it as a great act of patriotism. Really. After all, among the classified documents stolen by Kamm and passed on to Haaretz were a couple that described Israeli military plans to continue targeted assassinations against Hamas terrorists despite an Israeli Supreme Court order commanding the military and executive branch to stop those assassinations.
            Now, if the Israeli military was indeed planning to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling, it should be cheered for doing so. Because the ruling that prohibited targeted assassinations of terrorists was itself grossly illegal and unconstitutional. It was one of the worst outrages by Israeli Supreme Court justices dedicated to “judicial activism,” the anti-democratic doctrine of judicial tyranny that insists that the court need not base its rulings on actual laws or constitutional powers.
          There is absolutely no legal basis for the Israeli Supreme Court to interfere in the management of Israel’s war against terrorism. The court has no legitimate standing to dictate to the military how it should pursue its tasks.

But that, of course, is not how Haaretz is spinning it. Haaretz strongly supports judicial activism because judicial activists in their rulings usually impose items from the leftist agenda upon the country.

            Kamm, meanwhile, has become the poster girl of Israel’s Far Left, which is increasingly open and brazen in its treasonous political positions. For years now, all too many Israeli leftists have supported the enfoldment of Israel into a Palestinian “bi-national” state, promoted the Palestinian “Right of Return,” organized lawbreaking and insurrection by soldiers, vandalized Israel’s security wall, engaged in violent hooliganism against soldiers and police, and in some cases even cheered on acts of Arab terror and served as human shields for murderers.

Actual espionage is but a mere baby step beyond all that.

 

Steven Plaut is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Why I Will Not Appeal Likud’s Decision

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

In response to the action of the Likud Elections committee that bumped me from the 20th to the 36th spot on the Likud Knesset list, I have received numerous phone calls from attorneys urging me to appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court. They assure me that the committee does not have a legal leg to stand on, and that I will surely win the case. But I am not going to appeal to the court.


Please be aware that I have not thrown my victory into the waste bin. I have turned it into something much stronger and more significant. From a faith-based perspective, it might very well be that God has orchestrated that I would be #20 on the Likud list precisely to test my convictions, and assure that we triumph and lead this nation much sooner than we would have otherwise believed.


What has happened is much more than just a race for a Knesset seat. It’s bigger than me, than Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu and than the Likud. What is being determined here is not whether I will be in the Knesset or how many seats the Likud will get. What is being determined here is whether the State of Israel will return to the people of Israel or remain captive in the hands of the faceless tyrant who will continue to drive it to ruin. The court is the home turf of the invisible tyrant, and the playing ground of the media, financial and security elites who now control Israel.


This is all being accomplished with the rightist votes of the Jewish majority in the Likud. The elections create the illusion that there is actually a democracy here. But in reality, the faceless tyrant assures that the head of the Likud will do his bidding. That way everybody is happy. The Jewish majority wins the elections, but Israel remains in the hands of the destructive elites.


If I had not run for the leadership of the Likud in the past and if it would not be completely clear that I plan to do so in the future, Bibi would have no problem with me. But Bibi and the faceless tyrant know that I am not just another prospective MK in the Likud. They understand that I am creating alternative leadership from within the Likud – leadership that will unchain Israel from the leftist tyranny.


That is why Bibi does not want me in the Knesset. True, we helped create an excellent roster of rightist Likud candidates. But if there is no alternative leadership to Bibi in the Likud, all the rightists will not be able to overcome him – just as they could not overcome Ariel Sharon.


In that case, it would seem that I really should appeal the decision and assure myself a seat in the Knesset. But in reality, the opposite is true. I have already announced time and again that I have no faith in the current court system. If I would now enter the Knesset due to a court decision, I would not be standing up for my convictions. If the Supreme Court rejected my appeal, I would not be able to complain; after all, I was the one who appealed to the court. And if the Supreme Court ruled in my favor, I would not be able to work to replace it – because I would already have recognized the “justice” of the court. In order to lead the revolution to free Israel from the grasp of the faceless tyrant, I must be elected by the voters. I cannot lead the revolution if the chains of the tyranny are wound firmly around my neck.


We are at the beginning of a huge revolution. Bibi does not have the tools to deal with the challenges that face him. No matter how strong the government he establishes will seem to be, there will soon be another race for the leadership of the Likud. This race will come in the midst of a deep crisis. If we remain true to our ideology, the people will put their trust in us. Even now, I have merited unimaginable levels of public support. With God’s help, we are winning and will keep winning in a big way.


To accomplish this victory, I need your dedication, prayers and trust. Bibi is pushing me off the list to push the entire Jewish majority off the playing field. We are facing a great test. Will we abandon the Likud to Bibi and allow him to destroy our country, or will we join forces and conquer the Likud for the people of Israel – making it a Likud of building the land and saving the Jewish people?


For further information, visit www.mflikud.com and www.jewishisrael.org.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/why-i-will-not-appeal-likuds-decision/2008/12/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: