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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Supreme Court Ruling on Jerusalem ‘Very, Very Wrong’

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

Lawmakers are calling last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court nixing the right to name Jerusalem, Israel as the birthplace of Americans born in the city, “very, very wrong.”

The chairperson and members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus are also calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to use his executive powers to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In an interview with NPR as well, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), a co-chairman of the CIAC and co-sponsor of the Jerusalem passport law, called the Supreme Court ruling, simply, “very, very wrong.”

The outcry comes in the wake of last week’s decision by the Supreme Court blocking American citizens born in the holy city from stating their birthplace as “Jerusalem, Israel” on U.S. passports.

The Court struck down as unconstitutional a law written by the Congress that previously had allowed the Jewish State to be claimed as the birthplace of those born in Jerusalem.

It is unlikely that Obama will respond to the call of the Caucus, given that it was his administration who opposed the Zivotovsky family in Zivotovsky v. Kerry in the case last week.

Obama officials sided with the Supreme Court in maintaining that the Congressional law intruded on the president’s privilege to set foreign policy.

This battle has been ongoing between the two branches of government since Obama took office and is unlikely to end until he leaves, lawmakers have noted.

 

US Refuses to Recognize ‘West Jerusalem’ as Part of Israel [video]

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Now that the Supreme Court has told a 12-year-old boy that “Jerusalem, Israel” cannot be written as his birthplace on his American passport because the United States considers the united city “disputed” territory, the State Dept. has gone one step further and cannot pinpoint the capital of Israel.

The United States and the Palestinian Authority share the same policy that does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as well as suburban neighborhoods in the north, east and southern areas of the city.

The Supreme Court decision on Monday upheld the Executive Branch’s power to determine foreign policy despite a Congressional law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Obama administration, like its predecessors, does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital even though all government offices are located in “western” Jerusalem, whose sovereignty by Israel never has been explicitly questioned by the United States or even the United Nations.

However, it is implicitly questioned.

By not recognizing “western Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel, the American foreign policy casts doubt on Israel sovereignty.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke Monday afternoon:

 Can you remind us all what city – or what the United States regards as the capital of Israel?

Rathke never answered the question. This not the first time that the State Dept. has performed a song and dance to get around stating if Israel really has a capital and if so, where it is. For example, see here and click here.

But the Supreme Court on Monday decision magnifies the absurdity of U.S. policy that leaves Jerusalem in limbo.

Rathke said:

Since Israel’s founding, administrations of both parties have maintained a consistent policy of recognizing no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Again, no change to our policy to announce.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Again, Matt, I’ve got no change to our policy to announce.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Our consistent policy is we recognize no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

All of Jerusalem?

Rathke: I don’t have a – I didn’t put a modifier in front it.

Rathke’s song and dance begins at 2:20 in the video here.

Ayelet Shaked: Seeking to Save Israeli Democracy from the Israeli Supreme Court

Monday, May 18th, 2015

On Monday, May 18, newly-appointed Israeli Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) gave an address to the Israeli Bar Association at the southern seaside city of Eilat.

Depending on whom you ask, Shaked either continued her pledge to honor the role of justice by pushing to de-politicize the activities of the Supreme Court, or, as the Haaretz crowd asserts, continued her mission of inserting politics into the Supreme Court.

The Israeli Supreme Court is highly activist, and has derailed significant legislation passed by the Knesset. For those who believe in the right of the popularly elected branches, the two branches of government which must answer to the people, the notion of the non-elected branch having broad power to overrule the will of the majority is unnerving.

It is even more unnerving when membership in that branch is conferred, as it is in Israel, by a nine-member committee, most of whom are not accountable to the electorate. Two of those votes are cast by completely private parties, chosen by the Bar Association itself — whose members routinely appear before the very judges they put on the Court.

The 39-year-old Shaked said: “only a genuine separation of powers will ensure the survival of democracy, the balance of which is subtle. The meaning of the word ‘democracy’ is the rule of the people. The people are sovereign and choose their representatives.”

“I would like to reinforce the authority of the executive branch, while maintaining the independence and status of the judicial branch,” Shaked continued.

“In recent years it seems a large part of the public has been under the impression that this outlook (of judicial restraint) has diminished. It seems decision making – governance – is no longer under the control of the people – their elected officials in the Knesset – but is held by the judiciary. The issue is at the heart of a contentious public debate,” Shaked stressed.

It is expected that Shaked will work to re-assert the separation of powers during her tenure as Justice Minister. During the coalition negotiations she submitted several bills the purpose of which would be to limit the Supreme Court’s interventionism. One example of such a legislative effort is to enable the Knesset to ratify laws struck down by the Supreme Court.

 

Bennett Goes Underground as Likud’s Anxiety Increases

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, completely cut off communications today as negotiations with the Likud reached an impasse, just a day before Netanyahu’s deadline to form a coalition. No one from the Likud party was able to reach him, no matter how hard they tried. It’s a trick he clearly learned and perfected from Avigdor Liberman.

Bennett believes that Netanyahu is short-changing his party with unreasonable offers and low-level ministries, as well as giving too much to Shas and in particular the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

One rumor has it that Bennett is concerned that Netanyhu is just biding time and creating a temporary coalition until the Zionist Camp can dump Tzipi Livni, at which point it will join Netanyahu’s coalition, replacing the Bayit Yehudi party.

Breaking his silence on Tuesday evening, according to Channel 2, Bennett has demanded the Justice Portfolio for Ayelet Shaked, and that she be appointed as early as next week.

One of Bennett’s major goals is a reform of Israel’s High Court, and in particular, restricting their judicial activism, limiting their ability to unilaterally override legislative decisions made by the democratically elected Knesset, and democratizing the judicial selection process, so future judges better represent the values of the nation, and not just the far left. Currently, current High Court judges effectively select their successors.

Netanyahu does not want an open battle with the High Court this term, and as such, he has been trying to keep control of the Ministry of Justice within the Likud.

One thing is certain, the right will never forgive Netanyahu if he doesn’t form a coalition with Bennett, and instead brings in the Zionist Camp.

With Liberman Out , Bennett Toughens Position, But Who Will Blink First?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Following the resignation of Avigdor Liberman from the Foreign Ministry and his decision to bring the Yisrael Beytenu party into the opposition, the Bayit Yehudi held an emergency meeting on Monday evening to reconsider their strategy and Netanyahu’s offer/threat.

Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have already signed with the Likud to join the coalition. The only options left open to Netanyahu at this point to put together his coalition is with either Bayit Yehudi, Yesh Atid or the Zionist Camp, and he has only until this Wednesday to sign one of them, otherwise President Rivlin will offer a different party the opportunity.

UTJ will absolutely not sit with Yesh Atid, nor does Netanyahu want Lapid in his coalition.

The Zionist Union could be a possibility, but it would be a major betrayal of the Likud voters who don’t want them in the government, and most likely they would need to dump Tzipi Livni, whom Netanyahu also doesn’t want to see again in his government, if possible. The Zionist Camp has said they won’t sit in Netanyahu’s coalition.

So, the keys to the kingdom are in Bennett’s hands.

Bayit Yehudi is a natural partner, but the Bayit Yehudi party feels that Netanyahu is not giving them a fair deal, especially after quietly acquiescing to Netanyahu’s siphoning off their voters with his emergency appeals right before elections.

Bennett also claims that Netanyahu, before the elections, offered him the Defense Ministry, and then recanted the offer after the elections.

Bayit Yehudi was also offered to chair the Judicial committee, but it is unlikely that the Likud will allow them to make major reforms against the overly powerful Supreme Court, so that position may be less valuable than previously thought.

At the emergency meeting, Bayit Yehudi saw Liberman’s withdrawal as an opportunity to get the Foreign Ministry, which they have demanding since the elections were over. Bayit Yehudi is particularly miffed that Shas got full control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and will probably now roll back all the progress that Bayit Yehudi made in rectifying that troubled field.

With the keys in his hands, Bennett has the opportunity to demand corrections in the deal with Shas (unlikely as Shas will bolt), as well as to demand a more significant post or posts.

The question is, in this game of chicken, who will blink first?

From Segregation to Confrontation – No Nostalgia for Baltimore

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The riots in Baltimore are symptomatic of a world-wide disease that has been spreading for decades: Violence.

I have good memories of a good life in the Golden Ghetto where I grew up in Baltimore but I have no nostalgia, not for the Orioles, not for the peace and quiet in our white-only and Jewish-only neighborhood, not for segregation, not for our black maid and not for integration.

Not even for the Orioles when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series, believe it or not.

Yes, I did write “segregation.” Before 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in the Plessy vs. Ferguson suit, I never questioned the practice. What do you want from an eight-year-old?

Those were the days of law and order, but the deep white hatred of blacks in the south was superior to the rule of law, and it took years of protest marches and the assassination of Martin Luther King before integration in school was accepted.

Jews in my youth in Baltimore, like elsewhere in the Diaspora, always were worried about being politically and socially acceptable. The rabbis, especially the modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders, always spoke out for the blacks, the same people who rented from Jewish slumlords and worked for minimum wages from Jewish employers who were lucky if their employees showed up for work without being drunk.

Our rabbi marched in Washington in a huge rally for integration. Somehow, he always managed to connect it to the Torah.

Listening to King, one would think that God told the whites in the south, “Let my black people go.” That is what happens when Jews desecrate the Torah to co-exist with non-Jews.

Those were the days of the Limousine Liberals, the rich Jews who were in favor of integration, on condition that it was not in their neighborhood.

Those were the days of peaceful protests. They worked.

Today, they don’t.

There were many blacks in my high school class who studied hard, went to university and became part of the “haves.” Many remained with the have-nots.

When the United States declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, it was a bit late. It should have started years before and should have been called a war on violence., because violence has been working for decades.

Everyone can come up with his or her own reasons for excuse – liberalism, social media, television, movies and drugs, among others.

Underneath all of them is the undercurrent of “gimme, and if you don’t “gimme,” I will kill you.

Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been seen all cross America this week for his rant against violence:

No way. No way. No way can this happen in our city. No. Young kids you got to understand something, get off the streets.

Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this….

You don’t have any right to do what you’re doing to this city. Too many hard-working people build this city… We know what’s going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we’re not getting the right justice. We know all these answers.

But rioting in our streets is wrong. It’s dead wrong.

 

Lewis is speaking of values. He stated, “It takes a whole village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what rebuilding Baltimore looks like. Cause there’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place.”

His values are not “their” values. “Their” values are violence. “Gimme or violence, take your pick.”

Supreme Court Judge Calls Anti-Israeli Boycotts ‘Political Terrorism’

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

A nine-member panel of the Israeli Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Boycott Israel and BDS movements Wednesday by unanimously rejecting leftist petitions against a law that prohibits boycotts of goods from Israel.

The part of the legislation that protected products from Judea and Samaria from boycotts also was upheld by the court, but only by a 5-4 margin.

The only part of the legislation that was struck down by the justices was a clause allowing people to sue for more than compensation covering damage.

The law was passed in 2011 to thwart the boycott campaigns, but the Supreme Court suspended the law in December 2012 following petitions challenging the constitutionality of the legislation.

Justice Hanan Meltzer wrote in Wednesday’s ruling that boycotts are “political terrorism.”

The anti-boycott law allows lawsuits against any company, individual or organization that has been discriminated against “solely because of their affinity with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.”

The anti-boycott has been effective even when while it was suspended.

The left-wing 972 Magazine website, which states that is against the “occupation,” wrote Wednesday:

Civil society organizations self-censored in order to protect themselves from civil suits…. (Two years ago the editors of +972 Magazine decided to stop self-censoring boycott related articles.) [Parentheses are in the original content – [ed].

NGOs opposing the bill were quoted by the website as having commented on the court’s unanimous ruling, “The boycott law is a law to silence legitimate criticism. The High Court ruling is a serious blow to freedom of expression and basic rights for political participation on a disputed topic.”

“Freedom of expression” is very a popular concept among those who exploit it to demonize Israel and try to turn it into an Arab country.

The law does not ban debates against Israel. Nine justices on a court that is one of the most liberal judicial bodies in the Western world ruled that the law is constitutional. The decision implicitly made it clear that “freedom of expression” does not cover discrimination against a country’s goods simply because they are made by Jews, regardless of where they live.

Justice Meltzer explicitly wrote that Israel has the right to protect itself from people trying to use “freedom of expression” to destroy the country.

Even the 972 website told its readers that many anti-Israelis use the boycott “desire the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/supreme-court-judge-calls-anti-israeli-boycotts-political-terrorism/2015/04/16/

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