The High Court of Justice on Wednesday night overturned the ruling of the Nazareth District Court that revoked a previous ruling of another judge in the same court, that second cour stating that gender segregation can be imposed at a concert for a Haredi audience in a public park in Afula.
The high court ruled on essentially procedural grounds, and did not voice its opinion on the idea of gender-segregation, which is a neat trick supreme court justices like to use in order to avoid making new law: “We considered the parties’ arguments. We accept the position of the appellants and the Attorney General that the Administrative Court was not empowered to grant relief which constituted an annulment of the judgment in the first petition given several days earlier. We therefore dismiss the ruling on the appeal. Needless to say, the ruling in the first petition stands.”
The concert, which had already begun when the final ruling on the matter was given, continued, albeit illegally.
The revocation of the revocation sparked heated reactions, most notably from United Torah Judaism chairman MK Moshe Gafni.
“It was to be expected,” declared Gafni, known for not turning the other cheek. “The real surprise was the judge’s decision that the event could be held. All the claims that the high court is concerned about minority rights – all of that is false. They see before their eyes neither minority rights nor democracy. It’s a war against God and His anointed, and we won’t let go, we won’t give up and continue the struggle, with God’s help, with all our might,” Gafni said.
The biblical verse Gafni cited was from Psalms 2:2-3, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against God and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds asunder, and cast away Their cords from us.’”
So now you know how God is voting this coming September…
Shas, which won its appeal to the Nazareth court, responded: “We are sorry that the High Court judges chose irrelevant legal arguments over common sense and reason. We will continue the struggle to change this decision and to allow every public in the State of Israel the right to live by its beliefs and lifestyle without coercion.”
Which is hilarious, considering the wars being waged by Shas leader Aryeh Deri, in his capacity as interior minister, against allowing businesses to stay open on Shabbat, and public transportation on Shabbat, to name the most memorable battles.
Shas attorney Israel Bach said on Wednesday: “The court once again proved its approach that equality stops when it comes to Haredim, and used procedural arguments to erase at one fell swoop an important legal achievement that favored the Haredi public.”
In contrast, there was great joy in Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beiteinu party which bases its campaign on hatred for Haredim and religious Zionists. Israel Beiteinu MK Eli Avidar said following the latest ruling: “Aryeh Deri was rejoicing too soon. […] The problem is with the mayors who are intimidated by Aryeh Deri and act against the interests of their residents. On September 17, Israel Beiteinu will restore sanity to Israel.”
Ehud Barak’s Democratic Camp responded to the High Court’s decision, saying: “The Court is a reinforced wall that maintains the vision of Israel’s Declaration of Independence: a model state of equality without race and gender differences. This is exactly why the Kahanists and the Smotriches are fighting it – it’s the wall that separates us from their messianic vision, a vision that Netanyahu is ready to fulfill in exchange for a bribe – a halachic state in exchange for his escape from judgement. There are judges in Jerusalem!”
Menachem Begin was first to use that last phrase, and Israeli politicians from all directions cite it to emphasize the importance of the Supreme Court as a central and independent authority in the State of Israel. But if you were to ask Gafni, and possibly Bezalel Smotrich, they’d tell you there certainly are judges in Jerusalem, and many of them are idiots.