Hamas War

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Politics vs Democracy: Why The Left Doesn't Want Judicial Reform


Israel just had elections a few months ago, the 1st of November, if I remember correctly. The present coalition has only been in office a very short time, and the streets are full of Leftist political rabble-rousers.  Gevalt, why am I using such a weak, harmless term for them?

The truth is that foreign anti-Israel money/backers are trying to destroy the country. They've crafted slogans that totally mask/distort their true aim. The vast majority of the demonstrators haven't a clue as to the truth, nor the meaning of democracy.

Yes, they claim they're for DEMOCRACY, but their very being on the streets demanding that the legally DEMORATICALLY  ELECTED government surrender to their demands is totally absurdly UNDEMOCRATIC.

Bibi Netanyahu's not handling this with the skill and competence he once had. He's of retirement age, and it shows. 

Contrary to the demonstrators' main slogan, Israel's present way of choosing judges is undemocratic and unknown in any of the world's democracies. Israel's "founding fathers" were controlled by a cadre of Leftists, socialists who wanted to make sure that if any of the Revisionists the forerunners of the Likud would ever form a ruling coalition, the Judicial System would remain Leftist. That's why they came up with the idea that the High Court Justices and members of the "Bar" have a majority of the votes in choosing replacements. 

I may not agree with their policies and priorities, but I wouldn't call them stupid. That's why even though for most of the past forty-five 45 years the Likud has been able to make more Right wing coalitions, they have been stymied policy-wise by the Leftist High Court.

When former President of Israel's High Court demands that it is of the utmost importance that the court remain "independent," he means that the court must be the true ruler of the State of Israel. Barak invented a principle of "reasonableness" to decide if a law should stand or not. That's his euphemism for being consistent with his political ideology, not any law or legal precedent. He set himself up as an unelected dictator, and then passed the powers to his replacements, whom he put into power. Is that democracy?

Judicial Reform is an attempt to correct this political anomaly and make Israel more like other democracies. But to be honest, it doesn't go far enough. It's still based on the old system but will give a bit more votes to the Knesset members. And considering that the justices don't resign/retire all that quickly, it will take a long time for us to see any real differences. Of course the sitting justices will claim the law "illegal." 

But in the meantime thousands of Israelis are having fun at "street carnivals" trying to take down the legally elected government and sowing chaos in the country. Obviously, they are wealthy enough to take off from work, or someone is....


Shelly said...

They don't need to be well off, people are being paid to demonstrate

Batya said...

Doesn't that sound suspicious...

Unknown said...

Batya -- Gee, never thought that I, my family, my extended family, many, many Jewish friends, would be labelled "foreign anti-Israel money/backers [who] are trying to destroy the country." That is more than disingenuous, more than insulting. You are wrong, plain and simple. You've essentially condemned everyone who opposes this legislation on its merits. You have also dismissed the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who oppose this, condemning as controlled by leftists and ignorant of how democracy works. May I gently point out, the same charges have been leveled at the supporters of the right.

Allow me to suggest an alternative political scenario: The current leadership, populated by politicians charged with or convicted of crimes that would make them political pariahs in any other democracy, are using the valid issue of "judicial reform" to mask changes that are self-serving in the immediate term, and potentially disastrous in longer term. Kindly show me one democracy where the legislature may overturn a judicial ruling?

Words have power. They can united and build up. Or they can divide and rip apart. I hope you would consider yours soberly.

With respect,

Natalie said...

Batya: Even though Mel opines that you're "just plain wrong" - and so do his sisters & his cousins & his aunts - I agree with your, far more compelling, articulate arguments to the contrary. Particularly the powerful antepenultimate paragraph. Kudos on a cogent, well-reasoned & well-documented article.

Batya said...

Mel, I'm not a Bibi supporter, but if you check out his supposed "crimes," you'll discover that not only aren't they real crimes, but investigators were assigned to "find something to pin on Bibi," and this is the best they got. Olmert's a real crook, and was relatively quickly tried and convicted. If Bibi's "crimes" were serious, the trial would have been over years ago.
Another more serious point is the lack of patriotism in the protestors, their refusal to do army reserve service. Defending the country has nothing to do with Judicial Reform. They aren't patriots at all. Stop following the slogans and look at the actual facts/issues.

Natalie, thanks for reading and taking seriously what I wrote. I appreciate it.

Ora said...

@Mel, kindly show me one real democracy where the constitutional court can decide that the constitution is illegal.

Please show me one real democracy where the court does not decide based on law but rather on whether something is reasonable.

You are dismissing millions of Israelis who have been hurt by the dictatorship of the supreme court. The court doesn't protect me or my rights.

It's disingenuous to claim that the judicial reform is being pushed only by politicians who want to get out of legal jams.

For example, the Haredi parties want to pass the judicial reform because the Supreme Court has struck down the Knesset's attempts to find a solution for the Haredi recruitment issue. You might not agree with these attempts, and neither did the leftist organizations/parties that turned to the Supreme Court.

This is a major issue for Israel's future - it might not be "equal", but there's no other way to make societal change among the Haredi public. Same goes for ensuring that the army is "equal", that Haredi men cannot serve according to the Haredi religious requirements. Same goes for ensuring "equality" in universities that have programs to give Haredi men academic education.

Politicians who want to sell Israel's future for electoral gains, don't really care. They want a magic solution - one in which the Haredi public magically goes to the army and where it magically does not care about their religion. This might be worth a few votes but that's not how you ensure long-term change.

You know what's the easiest way to get out of legal jams? Have you noticed how Lieberman, who is one of our most corrupt politicians, managed to get into the Left's good graces? Olmert is a hero, Ehud Barak doesn't need to worry about bribery charges, Lapid can appoint his family to gov't posts.

You're right - words have power. Your friends, including heads of parties and other influential people, have been threatening the destruction of Israel, economically and militarily. They've been threatening civil war. They support BDS and call on our international friends to divest from Israel. Our enemies are super excited because they think the Zionist Regime is going to implode. You don't seem to think that's a problem.

Btw, in the US, the Supreme Court recently decided that states have a right to ban or allow abortions. The decision was based on the Supreme Court's understanding of the law, not based on what "a reasonable man would do", not based on what the Court thinks Congress thought when it was passing the law, not based on striking down the Constitution.

Have you noticed how the Democratic Party responded? Definitely not by saying that an independent Supreme Court is an essential part of democracy. There has been talk of changing the Supreme Court, by having Biden appoint enough judges to ensure a (leftist) majority. The kind of judicial revolution that people like you say will lead directly to a dictatorship.

Freyda said...

I 100% agree with your essay, Batya, and I second every word you wrote. And I second every word that Natalie wrote.

joel rich said...

Let us assume your analysis is correct, I suspect that the current process will result in a pyrrhic victory (think of the great revolt or split of the tribes post-solomon)

joel rich said...

also remember what goes around comes around:
Back in 2013, frustrated by Senate Republicans’ blockade of then-President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees, Reid changed the filibuster rules to not apply to federal judgeships below the Supreme Court level.

In the near term, the change allowed him (and Obama) to get a bunch of judges confirmed.

But, after Republicans took over the Senate, new leader Mitch McConnell announced he was getting rid of the filibuster on judges at the Supreme Court level too.

Which, in turn, led to President Donald Trump nominating – and the Republican-led Senate confirming – three new Supreme Court justices over the past four years, judges who almost certainly would not have been able to make the previous 60-vote hurdle.


Batya said...

Ora, thanks for your very accurate and intelligent contribution to the debate.
Freyda, I'm glad you agree.
Joel, the Left has already split the country by refusing to do army service. They aren't patriots at all. Shades of the Altelena for sure. And you know very well what I'm referring to. There is no democracy in the world in which the judicial is independent of the people, the democratically elected parliament etc. Even Dershowitz changed his stripes, when he finally listened to the details of the case.

joel rich said...

And I think Begin was koneh olamo brega achat by not firing back. I hope the PM studies that history carefully.
Shabbat Shalom

Batya said...

Joel, then to take what you said more accurately, remember that Begin was the minority leader and Ben Gurion was the majority leader. So to use your historical comparison accurately, it's the protest movement that must accept defeat. They lost the elections. You have twisted it completely and are supporting an antidemocratic group that won't recognize/accept their defeat.

Batya said...

Joel, to continue, for the Left Judicial Reform is an "attack" on their "ship."
Of course any knowledgeable person knows that the reform is necessary for true democracy, but the Left doesn't want to relinquish its power.

joel rich said...

my analogy is that one side recognized that a civil war was not in the best interest of the nation

Batya said...

And a dictatorship of the minority isn't good either. The problem is that foreign money is paying the demonstrators. This isn't grassroots anger. And if it was "just" grassroots, someone has to teach them the ABC's of democracy.

Anonymous said...

Wait till the submarines issue surfaces and Batya eats her words.

Batya said...

Anonymous, you must be desperately drowning.
The present system for choosing justices is totally undemocratic and must be changed. No democracy has anything similar including the countries telling Israel to keep the status quo. That should make any intelligent person very suspicious about the heavily funded protests. Yes, people are being paid for their time. FOLLOW THE MONEY. Don't fall for the con.

Leah said...

excellent post, well said!

Unknown said...

Your reply has nothing to do with comment made about more than submarine suspicious issue. So you're drowning not me.

Unknown said...

Educate yourself:

Netanyahu and the submarine scandal: Everything you need to know | The Times of Israel


Batya said...

nameless aka unknown, that has nothing to do with an undemocratic faux justice system. The Leftist anti-Bibi crowd has been searching for something to pin on Bibi for years.

Leah, thanks

bluke said...

A number of parliamentary democracies including the UK and New Zealand have no judicial review whatsoever. In the UK courts can NOT overturn any laws period. Is the UK not a democracy? Canada has a judicial override clause. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_33_of_the_Canadian_Charter_of_Rights_and_Freedoms

Let me ask you a few questions.
1. Why do the overwhelming majority of OECD countries have the politicians appointing the judges.?
2. What other democracy gives the sitting Supreme Court justices veto power over n
Judicial appointees?
3. What other democracy gives veto power over the democratically elected government to unelected legal advisers?

Batya said...

Bluke, thanks

Netivotgirl said...

Spot on dear Batya! I agree with everything you wrote here. Bravo!!!!

Batya said...

NG, glad to know. Thanks