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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘shaked’

Shaked to Victorious Trump: Let’s Move that Embassy to Jerusalem!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) on Wednesday morning issued a statement calling on President Elect Donald Trump to make good on his campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I congratulate US President Elect Donald Trump, a true friend of Israel,” Shaked said. “I’m certain Trump will know how to courageously navigate the free world to successful destinations in the war against world terrorism. This is an opportunity for the American Administration to move the United States’ embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital city.”

Shaked noted that “such a move would symbolize the tight connection and deep friendship between our two countries.”

Back in October, Ivanka Trump told assembled members of The Shul of Bal Harbour in Surfside, Florida, that her father would “100 percent” move the US embassy to Jerusalem should he be elected president.

A year ago, in an appearance before the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump would not go on record as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but last January he said the city was “the eternal capital” of Israel and that he was “100 percent for” moving the US embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by Congress on October 23, 1995, calling for initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no later than May 31, 1999. Congress even attempted to withhold 50% of the State Department budget for Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad until the United States Embassy in Jerusalem had officially opened. The same act also called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and to be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.

Since its passage, the law has never been implemented by Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, who saw it as an infringement on their constitutional authority to conduct foreign policy. To add insult to injury, all three, Clinton, Bush and Obama, had pledged on their campaign trails to move the embassy to the “eternal city.”

JNi.Media

Shaked Blinks First But Wins Advantage in Contest with High Court President

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

The mark of a statesman—or, in this case, a stateswoman—is their ability to retreat momentarily for the sake of future victories. In her very public and very aggressive contest against Supreme Court President, Justice Miriam Naor, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) collected her winnings and stepped back, knowing she was not yet prepared to pay the full price of a complete victory.

Shaked is spearheading several concurrent moves, all of which have provided the context for a proposed bill by Yisrael Beiteinu MKs—with Shaked’s blessings—to deprive the Supreme Court members of the Judicial Appointments Commission of their veto power over Supreme Court candidates. The moves the Justice Minister was advancing behind the cover of the new bill were a Netanyahu cabinet request for a 7-month delay of the decree to demolish the Amona community in Samaria; a new Regulation Act to compel Arab claimants who prove they own the land belonging to Jewish communities to accept market value as compensation; and a list of appointments to the Supreme Court which the current Court members loath.

Last week, Justice Naor lost her cool, sending a leaked letter to Shaked telling her the proposed Judicial Appointments Commission bill was tantamount to placing a gun on the table. On Sunday the two women met and Shaked eventually consented to putting a temporary lid on her bill — depending on how well the court would deal with her proposed appointments to replace four retiring justices—that’s 4 out of 15—in 2017.

Shaked’s candidates are considered brilliant, and they are also critical of the judicial activism of the court over the past 40 years, since the Likud party for the first time won a decisive electoral victory and relegated the Labor party to what eventually became a perpetual seat with the loyal opposition.

There’s Prof. Gideon Sapir from Bar Ilan University, who has voiced his loud criticism of the high court for neglecting the national component in their decisions. Sapir was harsh in his criticism of the court’s support for the uprooting of Gush Katif’s Jews in 2005.

Then there’s Judge Yosef Elron, who enjoys the backing of Finance Minsiter Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) who is a member of the appointments committee, and also the support of the two members of the bar on the committee. The justices don’t like Elron and prefer to appoint in his place an insider, one of their own, Ron Sokol, the son-in-law of former Supreme Court Justice Theodor Or.

Shaked’s list of 28 candidates also includes Professor Aviad Hacohen, who writes the judiciary column for Shledon Adelson’s daily Israel Hayom, as well as Tel Aviv District Court Judge George Karra, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Chaled Kabub, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Dr. Michal Agmon-Gonen, Central District Court Judge Menachem Finkelstein, Haifa District Court Judge Yael Willner, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Ruth Ronnen, Central District Court Judge Prof. Ofer Grosskopf, Central District Court Judge Michal Nadav, Jerusalem District Court Judge Tamar Bazak Rappaport, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Gilad Neuthal, Official Receiver General Prof. David Hahn, Adv. Asaf Posner, Prof. Aviad Hacohen, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Dr. Kobi Vardi, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Shaul Shohat, Nazareth District Court Judge Asher Kula, Jerusalem District Court Judge Nava Ben-Or, Jerusalem District Court Judge Ram Winograd, Jerusalem District Court Judge David Mintz, Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Sobel, Jerusalem District Court Yigal Mersel, Prof. Haim Sandberg, and Prof. Shahar Lifshitz.

Shaked’s final four will likely include two rightwingers, an Arab and a centrist woman, such as Judge Tamar Bazak Rappaport, who also serves, as Vice Chairman of the Anti-Trust Tribunal, which deals with issues of cartels, monopolies and mergers.

Of the two rivals, Shaked turned out to be the one speaking softly and holding a big stick behind her back. Naor was loud and blustery, and it looks like she got her way — for now. But Shaked did not put down her big stick, and in the long and exhausting struggle the country’s judiciary will be undergoing soon, she likely plans to bring home a few wins.

David Israel

Did Ayelet Shaked Borrow a Page from FDR’s Play Book?

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Is it possible that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) initiated the legislation that so upset Supreme Court President Miriam Na’or not so much to make constitutional changes at a breakneck speed, but instead as a shot across the court’s bow on the future of Amona?

Israeli media are bustling with more and less informed commentary regarding this week’s showdown between Justice Na’or and Justice Minister Shaked. Na’or was so enraged at the insolence of Shaked’s move to promote (tacitly) a bill that deprives the high court of its veto power on high court judicial nominations, that she sent her a written warning, well leaked, about how Shaked’s move was tantamount to placing a gun on the table.

Not exactly what one imagines as “judicial temperament…”

The fact is that Shaked is determined to curb the outrageous activism of Israel’s Supreme Court, begun after the 1977 elections when a Likud-led coalition replaced the country’s uninterrupted 29-year Labor-led rule. Justice Aharon Barak, who began his term on the high court in 1978, was the architect of a brilliant, calculated and patient campaign to usurp many constitutional powers from the elected officials, representing the will of the natural sovereign — the people, for the unelected judicial system.

In her exulted as well as vilified essay this past October (Tracks toward Governing), Minister Shaked detailed the dire need to restrain Israel’s expansionist Judiciary. She noted an ongoing war between the Supreme Court and the executive branch, which necessitates the passing of a new constitutional-level legislation (Foundation Laws in Israel’s system) to regulate once and for all this combative relationship.

In that context, Justice Na’or, despite her aggressive language, is not necessarily out of line in saying that crucial constitutional changes, such as a bill to deprive court representatives of their ability to disqualify Supreme Court judicial candidates at will, deemed serious discussion prior to submission. Which leads me to believe that Shaked, whose own temperament is far cooler than Na’or’s, did not necessarily intend to actually cut the court’s power with the new legislation, but only to scare it a little.

As was made clear from reading Shaked’s essay, she is quite the student of US history and democracy. In that case, she must be aware of the legendary battles between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Supreme Court. FDR taught generations of Poli-sci students how an executive can tame his hostile high court.

Roosevelt won the 1932 presidential election following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, promising America a “New Deal” for national economic recovery. The 1932 election also gave the Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress, giving Roosevelt legislative support for his reform. Roosevelt and the 73rd Congress called for greater governmental involvement in the economy as a way to end the depression. But a series of successful challenges to New Deal programs were launched in federal courts, and, inevitably, the very constitutionality of much of the New Deal legislation, especially that which extended the power of the federal government, was rejected by the Supreme Court. A series of Supreme Court decisions knocked down major FDR legislation, culminating in Black Monday, May 27, 1935, when Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes arranged for the decisions to be announced from the bench that day to be read in order of increasing importance, after the Court had ruled unanimously against Roosevelt in three separate cases.

In 1936, after a sweeping victory, FDR came back to the battlefield ready to take down the Supreme Court. He proposed to reorganize the federal judiciary by adding a new justice each time a justice reached age seventy and failed to retire. It was the subject of Roosevelt’s 9th Fireside chat of March 9, 1937. The argument FDR made was that it was for the benefit of the court to establish continuity in this manner — but, of course, what he really meant was that he could make the justices irrelevant if they continued to mess with his legislation.

Three weeks after the radio address the Supreme Court published an opinion upholding a Washington state minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. The 5–4 ruling was the result of the sudden shift by Associate Justice Owen Roberts, who joined with the wing of the bench supportive to the New Deal legislation.

He got the message.

In the spirit of the great architect of the New Deal, the most creative and decisive Justice Minister in Israel’s recent history may be aiming only to throw the fear of God (and the voter) in the hearts of Na’or et al. Currently the Netanyahu government is asking the court to postpone the demolition of Amona, a Jewish community in the liberated territories the court wants to see razed. Meanwhile, Shaked and the Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction are working on an Regulation Act that will compel Arab claimants to accept market value for their seized land, instead of destroying the communities in question.

Is the new threat Shaked imposes on the future makeup of the Supreme Court only her way of using FDR’s recipe to scare justices? Will there be a behind closed doors deal to exchange Shaked’s killing the new bill in exchange for the court letting the Regulations Act slide?

 

David Israel

Supreme Court President Pulls Gun on Justice Minister over Appointments Veto

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Naor on Thursday sent a harsh letter to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), informing her that she and her colleagues on the bench will no longer discuss with her their proposals for new judicial nominees as long as Shaked persists in promoting a law that deprives the Court of the right to veto those appointments.

Justice Naor was referring to a bill proposed by three Yisrael Beiteinu MKs — Robert Ilatov, Oded Forer, and Sofa Landver — which she attributed to Shaked, based on media reports, and based on the fact that the Justice Minister had not rejected the bill nor its timing.

The bill proposes changing the voting requirement of the nine-member Judicial Appointments Committee to what it had been before 2008, when a Likud minister, Gideon Sa’ar, instituted the need for a special majority to decide a Supreme Court appointment: 7 out of 9 committee members, or 2 less than the number of members in attendance (6 out of 8, 5 out of 7). The Supreme Court is represented by three committee members, which gives it enormous leverage in deciding appointments by special majority, but not so much if the committee reverts to the simple majority requirement.

The bill comes just ahead of the parliamentary year of 2017, when as many as four out of the 15 Supreme Court justices will be retiring, to be replaced by the Shaked-chaired appointments committee.

Justice Na’or’s rage was outright Chekhovian: “Submitting the bill at this time is tantamount to putting a gun on the table,” she wrote the Justice Minister (who represents the will of millions of Israeli voters). “It means that should some committee members not agree with the appointment of certain candidates in a manner that would not facilitate their appointment by a special majority, the constitutional rules of the game would be changed so that they may be appointed by a simple majority.”

Meaning, the Supreme court could be forced by the sovereign, the Israeli public, to accept among its numbers justices with whom they may disagree ideologically. Imagine the scandal…

Na’or added that under such circumstances she and the rest of the high court members of the committee will cease all communications with the Justice Minister over future appointments.

Na’or’s imagery of putting a gun on the table likely referenced Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s famous quote: “If you say in the first chapter that there is a gun hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off.” In other words, it’s a warning to the pesky Shaked that she may have started something she’d regret.

It could also be a reference to Eli Wallach’s character Tuco in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966), who said: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk. Don’t stand around trying to talk him to death.”

Or it could be a reference to Russian roulette, a lethal game of chance in which a player places a single round in a revolver, spins the cylinder, places the muzzle against their head, and pulls the trigger.

The Justice Minister’s office issued a response statement saying, “Judicial Selection Committee meeting will continue as scheduled. In the coming days we will publish the list of Supreme Court candidates.”

Advantage Shaked.

JNi.Media

Fighting Anti-Israel NGOs And BDS Activists: An Interview with Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

In just a few years, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has shot to political stardom in Israel. A computer engineer turned politician, Shaked, 40, has been a member of Knesset for the Jewish Home party since 2013 and was appointed justice minister by Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2015.

Shaked, a forceful champion of Israel’s rights both at home and abroad, is an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlements and was the driving force behind Israel’s 2016 NGO transparency law.

 

The Jewish Press: Can you describe your background and what influenced your political views and your decision to join the Jewish Home party?

Shaked: I was right wing since I was a child, after having watched a debate between Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres. I served in the army in the Golani Brigade and that also influenced my ideology, since most of the soldiers were from the Religious Zionist movement.

For a few years I was a Likud member, working with Benjamin Netanyahu after the Gaza Disengagement. I decided to leave the Likud and join the Jewish Home party because I thought that it’s very important to have a party that has secular and Orthodox working together on the basis of Religious Zionist values.

How concerned are you that the UN will try to impose a unilateral solution on Israel?

The UN is a very political and biased organization and I don’t believe in truth coming from it. It’s just a body of political interests. The fact that the UN has failed to deal with Syria while hundreds of thousands of women and children are being slaughtered there proves that it does nothing. The UN tries to hit Israel whenever it can in a very biased approach without even mentioning the ongoing incitement by the Palestinian Authority. Just the other day Mahmoud Abbas paid a condolence call to families of terrorists who tried to kill Jews.

The UN also ignores the fact that there are terror attacks conducted in the U.S. for the same reason – radical Islam against the West. In dealing with the UN, Israel should stick to its own beliefs.

Establishing a Palestinian state right now is a very dangerous thing. It’s also not realistic at all. The majority of the people in Israel, including those from the left and center, don’t think we have a partner right now. So Ban Ki-moon can talk, but it’s just wishful thinking. In reality we will do what we think is good for us.

How would you advise America to combat the scourge of Islamist terrorism that both America and Israel face?

You just need to face reality. In Europe they are already facing reality and identifying it as radical Islamic terrorism. We are not at war with Islam. In Israel, 20 percent of the population is Muslim. And we have a very good relationship with them. But we need to distinguish between Islam and radical Islamic terror, which threatens the Western world.

This is actually a war between two civilizations; between the Western world and radical Islamic terror. It’s in the U.S., in Europe, in Israel; it’s all over the Middle East. And radical Islam is mainly aimed at hurting other Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims all over the Middle East who have been slaughtered because of this extreme ideology. We need to face this reality.

What is your position on Israel’s claim to Judea and Samaria?

After the Oslo Accords, Judea and Samaria were assigned to areas A, B, and C. Areas A and B are under the Palestinian Authority and area C is under Israeli authority. If you ask me what will be in the end, how will we finish the conflict, I believe we should annex area C. There are 425,000 Jews and 90,000 Arabs who are living there. The Arabs should be full citizens of Israel and get all the according rights. Areas A and B should be a strong autonomy or in conjunction with Jordan.

Under international law, those territories are not occupied territories; they are territories under dispute. There is a lot of land in area C that belongs to the state and we should expand building on those lands. There’s nothing we need to apologize for. It’s legally state land and we should continue to build there.

You initiated and then advanced Israel’s NGO bill through the Knesset. What do you hope it will achieve in terms of deterring agitators from working within Israel?

It’s a transparency bill. In Israel, there are a few NGOs that get the majority of their money from abroad from different countries. Those countries actually try to interfere in a diplomatic way in Israeli policy and are trying to do it through NGOs.

We are not forbidding that, but we want the public to be aware of it. That’s why we passed a transparency bill that any NGO that gets more than 50 percent of its budget from a foreign country should declare it when approaching a Knesset member and in their official publications.

What more can be done about many of these NGOs who are aligned with the BDS movement and their allies, such as the Black Lives Matter delegation that recently visited Israel and accused it of “genocide”?

There are definitely NGOs in Israel that cooperate with BDS groups, mainly in the United States. They actually lay the groundwork for the lies and they distort the facts the BDS groups end up using.

We need to determine what falls under freedom of speech, but we are fighting against the threat of delegitimization the NGOs are pursuing. This is something we are dealing with on a regular basis because it’s based on lies and it hurts Israel.

Unfortunately, many agitators against Israel in these various groups are Jewish. What would you say to them as Jews?

They are confused. I talked about it in the lecture that I gave to the JNF, in which I said there are extreme liberal Jews who just swallow the lies and the propaganda the BDS movement is selling. They are confusing liberal and human rights values with the new anti-Semitism. BDS is perpetrating a fraud and unfortunately there are people who are buying into it.

Sara Lehmann

Justice Minister Shaked Issues Manifesto on Jewish Democracy, Based on the Teachings of Chief Justice Barak

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

“The Knesset is attempting to legislate away our lives and the High Court is invading territory to which it is not entitled,” declares Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), in a lengthy but exciting essay in the inaugural issue of Hashiloach, an Israeli Journal on thought and policy. The essay, titled “Tracks toward Governing” (the Hebrew title is a play on words between Mesilot-tracks and Meshilut-governance), suggests that the behavior of some of Israel’s branches of government is threatening individual freedoms as well as the ability of elected officials to govern. Shaked is urging a return, as soon as possible, to the proper governing on the proper tracks, from within Israel’s definition as a Jewish and democratic state.

“Good governance is not a blind force, certainly not a strong but silent engine,” writes Shaked, stressing that “the ability to carry out goals in the way they have been defined is a prerequisite condition for good governance, but is far from being sufficient in itself: good governance is measured above anything else by the ability of government ministers to establish their own goals.”

“A politician who knows how to bring the train to its destination, but is unable to set the destination, as senior as he may be — is not governing but merely subcontracting; he may have been appointed Minister, and he may get to cut ribbons in the end, but he is nothing more than a contractor,” Shaked argues. “To move down a track laid down by others does not require leaders; any driver could do it just fine. The essence of governance is always setting down directions and posting goals. This requires of elected officials to lay down new tracks only after they had decided for themselves where they would like to take the train.”

Shaked asserts that every time the Knesset votes in favor of any given law, it is also voting against the freedom of individuals to take care of their issues on their own. She calls it a vote of no confidence in the autonomy of communities and individuals. Indeed, as Chair of the Ministerial Legislative Committee, Shaked laments that she has processed more than 1,500 legislative proposals, from amendments to existing laws to fully realized, new bills. Suggesting the Knesset is by far the most prolific parliament in the entire Western world, Shaked describes this abundance of new laws as a hospital that’s being built underneath a broken bridge to care for the people who fall off.

Referring to economist Milton Friedman’s impressions following his visit to Israel in the 1960s, when he predicted that the historic spirit of Jewish freedom would eventually overcome the newly bred spirit of Socialist bureaucracy in Israel, Shaked admits she’s not so sure Friedman was right. “Without our firm push on the brake pedal of this locomotive, week in and week out, those legislative proposals would have created for us an alternative reality, in which government controls the citizens through the regulation of more and more economic sectors, with the individual being left with precious little freedom to manage his own affairs.”

Shaked provides several examples whereby proposed legislation would have, for instance, created a world in which a landlord would be forbidden to raise the rent for several years. Of course, rents would soar on the eve of this new law going into effect, followed by a loss of interest on the part of investors in creating new rental stock, leading to a drop in available apartments and, of course, another rise in rents. It would also be a world in which employers must comply with pensions set by the legislator, until, of course, they go bankrupt. And a world in which police would be bound by a two-strike law that compels them to arrest any individual against whom someone has filed two complaints. Running down some of these “bizarre” proposals, as she calls them, Shaked eventually describes a proposal to compel the state to solve terrorism by distributing bulletproof vests to every citizen against knife attacks, as well as a proposal to eliminate the reference in the law to “Beit Av,” which is the Biblical term for Household, because it has a reference to a father rather than to a mother.

Shaked reports that she requested, for the 2017-18 budget, that the ministerial committee would no longer consider bills that add new criminal offenses to the law books, without a thorough investigation of similar legislation in other countries, of the ramifications of the new criminal law on the books in Israel’s society, and, most important — of existing, non-criminal alternatives.

Alongside the need to restrain the legislator, Shaked sees a dire need to restrain Israel’s expansionist Judiciary. She notes an ongoing war between the Supreme Court and the executive branch, which necessitates the passing of a new constitutional-level legislation (Foundation Laws in Israel’s system) to regulate once and for all this combative relationship. She cites several cases in which government was blocked by the high court in areas that are clearly the executive’s domain, such as the law regulating the treatment of illegal infiltrators from Africa, and the government contract with natural gas companies to exploit Israel’s rich deposits.

Shaked laments the fact that the Supreme Court so often usurps the right to kill an entire legislation, as if it had appointed itself the 121st Knesset Member (or more than that, since it so frequently joins with the opposition parties to defeat a majority coalition). She has no problem with individuals seeking remedy in the lower courts to damages they claim to have suffered from, say, the new gas contract. That’s a legitimate use of the court system. But how can the unelected high court delete an entire legislation passed by elected officials? Who, after all is said and done, is the sovereign, the people or their appointed judges?

As a result, the art of politics in Israel is practiced as follows, according to Shaked: first the different parties vie for the voter’s trust; then, in the Knesset, the coalition negotiates with and fights against the opposition over a proposed bill; finally, after the bill was passed, the opposition parties appeal it before the Supreme Court, which reverses it. That, in a nutshell, was the story of the natural gas bill earlier this year.

JNi.Media

Woman of the Year 5776: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The January 22, 2013 general elections in Israel marked the emergence of two new parties; one, journalist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, was yet another attempt to grab the undecided center among Israel’s voters; the other, Habayit Hayehudi, was a coalition of National Religious parties led by hi-tech executive Naftali Bennett and his long-time political ally, a 30-something computer engineer from Tel Aviv named Ayelet Shaked, who stood out as the only secular Jew in an otherwise Orthodox Jewish party. Both parties did well, although Lapid’s party took seven more seats than Bennett’s (19 vs. 12). Both parties also represent new challenges to the current power status quo in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud leading a right-leaning coalition government over an opposition being led by Labor (a.k.a. Zionist Camp).

At this point in the life of the 20th Knesset, the polls are showing Yesh Atid as the new largest party, siphoning off votes from Likud’s centrist voters and Labor’s more nationalistic supporters, as well as from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party which barely passes the threshold percentage in the polls. At the same time, Likud is also being bitten on its right flank, by Habayit Hayehudi. And, also for the first time, the National Religious leader Naftali Bennett has been speaking openly about his ambition to be Israel’s next prime minister, at the helm of a rightwing, pro-religious, pro-settlements government.

That ambition is a new thing to a party that, since its incarnation as NRP in 1956, has always seen itself as a second banana, always in government, be it with leftwing or rightwing majority parties, but never at the helm. And while Chairman Bennett has been outspoken about his ambition to carve out a new direction for the country in the image of his party’s ideology, another Habayit Hayehudi leader has been giving the nation an idea of how a national religious government would carry out its agenda — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Since the end of the 1990s, it has become clear that Israeli Jews are only going to become more traditional, even religious, and, consequently, the chance for a left-leaning party to receive the largest percentage of the vote will continue to grow dimmer. But while political positions have been given by the voter to rightwing governments, key decisions on issues that are close to the heart of the same rightwing voters have continued to lean to the left. This has been most notable in the liberated territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where evictions of Jewish settlers have been carried out over the past decade and a half by rightwing-led governments, and those same governments have been refusing to implement Israeli civil law in Jewish communities hat have been living under martial law since the 1970s.

This is because the judiciary in Israel has been ruling as a shadow government, unelected and with a leftwing, secular agenda. In addition, Israel has had the most activist supreme court anywhere in the West, a court that has seized for itself powers well outside the norm in countries that uphold the principle of three branches of government. In countless cases, the high court has acted as a legislator, siding with the opposition against a ruling government (the recent vote on exploiting Israel’s natural gas come to mind, when the court torpedoed a government signed contract with US and domestic companies). The judiciary has also had its hand on the executive branch through the Attorney General and the legal counsels who are appointed to every ministry, and who often force the hands of elected officials using the threat of legal action against them.

The appointment of Ayelet Shaked to be the Minster in charge of this judiciary stronghold of the real power in Israeli society was received with a great deal of alarm and trepidation in the leftwing media, which called her “Israel’s Sarah Palin,” and accused her of inciting the mobs against the Supreme Court justices, “as if she were the worst [Internet] talkbacker and not the minister in charge of the holiest holy of every democracy — its separate and independent judiciary.” (Uri Misgav, Haaretz, Aug. 11, 2015).

The attack came in response to the new Justice Minister’s tweet on the same evening the Supreme Court was convening to rule on a law designed to block infiltration of illegal migrants from Africa through Israel’s southern border. Shaked tweeted that the law had already been quashed twice by the court, causing the infiltration, which had been reduced to single digits, to grow to dozens of new border crossings.

“If the law is revoked a third time,” Shaked tweeted, “it would be tantamount to declaring south Tel Aviv an official haven for infiltrators.” She then added that, until the court’s ruling, she would upload every two hours a new video describing the “intolerable life conditions of south Tel Aviv residents,” urging her followers to spread the message.

The court took notice and restricted itself to a few minor corrections, mostly regarding the length of time an illegal migrant could be held in a locked facility until his case is resolved by the Interior Ministry. The court continued to take notice throughout Shaked’s first year in office, and has been noticeably mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary friction with a Justice Minister who is probably the most popular minister in Israel. How popular? In 2013 she was picked by the Knesset Channel as the summer session’s most outstanding MK, and in 2014 as the second most outstanding MK of the winter session. In 2015 the Jerusalem Post ranked her 33rd on its list of the most influential Jews in the world. In 2015 she was ranked by Forbes Israel as the fifth most influential woman in Israel. And in 2016 Lady Globes ranked her second on its list of 50 most influential women.

Most importantly, Minster Shaked has afforded Israelis a view of a nationalist, rightwing politician who can be trusted to run the country’s third most complex system, after Finance and Defense. As Justice Minister, Shaked also chairs the ministerial legislative committee which decides which bills receive the backing of the government. Her role is comparable to that of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, in terms of influencing the legislative process. And the fact that she has been a competent, creative and resourceful Justice Minister might suggest to people in the secular center and right of center that her and Bennett’s party is worthy of their vote.

Shaked and Bennett are in troubled waters currently, over the fate of Amona, a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria that the Supreme Court has slated for demolition by early December, 2016, over claims to ownership of the land by Arab PA residents. The fact is that no one on the right in Netanyahu’s government believes that Amona could be saved, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated openly. Shaked wants to see the residents being relocated to a nearby plot of land, that could turn out to be just as problematic. But both Bennett and Shaked are also interested in advancing new legislation that would compel future claimants to settle for fair market value or comparable land from the Israeli government. At stake are an estimated 4,000 homes, the bulk of which were built as part of a government sponsored settlement program. The Supreme Court has rejected these “arrangement law” initiatives, and the current AG, Avihai Mandelblit, also objects to them, even though he himself is on the record as supporting them in the past.

For now, Shaked and Bennett are under attack by their voters, who cannot believe that a government that is as rightwing as this one would still engage in the forceful removal of Jews from their homes. And the last thing Shaked and Bennet want is to be forced to resign from Netanyahu’s government over this dispute.

Shaked, like Bennett, is a vehement enemy of the two-state solution. But she is also a liberal when it comes to many legislative initiatives. She has fought court activism; she objected to imposing jail sentences on Yeshiva students who refuse to enlist; and she supports a free and open market and reducing state regulations of businesses. She also believes in cutting down on new laws.

Noting that her government legislative committee has processed over the past year and a half no less than 1,500 new legislative proposals, Shaked wrote an op-ed in the right-leaning website Mida, saying that “every time the Knesset puts its faith in a new law intended to serve a worthy cause and solve a social or economic problem, we are, in effect, raising our hands to support a vote of no confidence. … It’s a vote of no confidence in our ability as individuals and as communities to manage ourselves in a good enough manner; it’s a vote of no confidence in the wisdom of the nation and of each person to create and preserve mechanisms that are better than those which are designed artificially by experts; it’s a vote of no confidence in the ability of familial, social and economic communities to run their own lives and strive successfully to reach their goals.”

Spoken like a true, sane Libertarian. And a Libertarian who knows how to combine the principles of freedom with the ideals of nation and Torah — could make one fine prime minister some day. Which is why we believe 5776 was the year of Ayelet Shaked.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/woman-of-the-year-5776-justice-minister-ayelet-shaked/2016/10/01/

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