(a) There is massive pushback against the maximalist plans of Justice Minister Yariv Levin for a judicial “reform” that goes well beyond any justifiable means of reining in an overly powerful Supreme Court and takes us to the other extreme of making it a lapdog of the coalition majority.
The idjits playing with fire do not seem to ever consider that these selfsame “dictatorship of the 51%” laws might one day be used against them. What if we have another secularist coalition which then decides to abolish the subsidy to the chareidi schools “because that is what the majority [of the hour] wants”? What if they decide that anyone who has a problem with homosexual “marriages” now needs sensitivity training? Far-fetched? Talked with anyone in Canada lately?
If they were so confident they were speaking for a solid majority of the country, they would have no problem with a requirement of 70 or even 80 MKs for a law overriding a Supreme Court ruling. The very fact that they want to make it possible with a simple majority of 61 MKs should tell you enough about how confident they are. (One other country enables this: Canada, enough said. Others require special majorities, usually 2/3.)
The latest to raise their voice are Ver”a (vaad rashei universita’ot, the Committee of University Presidents), presently led by Prof. Arie Tzaban, Rector of the religious Bar-Ilan University (generally considered a right-wing hotbed).
The organization includes chiefs of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, the Weizmann Institute, the Technion, Ariel University and the Open University (which holds observer status.) It is chaired by Prof. Arie Zaban, the president of Bar-Ilan.
The petitioners urged the government not to rush to make huge changes to the judicial system without a broad public discussion on the security, economic, and societal consequences of such alterations.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu himself is blowing hot and cold on the reforms. On the one hand, he is reportedly asking Jewish Home and
Kachsuckers-R-UsItamar Ben-Gvir’s faction to tone it down on settlements because “we need to focus on judicial reform”; on the other hand, he told the visiting US national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, that “that he seeks broad consensus”, and that changes ‘will not pass as currently presented’.
It appears that President Herzog (his is a mostly ceremonial position in Israel) is trying to broker the establishment of a panel composed of coalition and opposition figures in the hope of fostering “a more balanced reform”.
(b) Yesterday Netanyahu reluctantly fired the corrupt Shas leader Aryeh “Elmer Gantry” Deri from the Interior and Health portfolios, following a near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling that Deri’s appointment was “blatantly unreasonable” in light of previous prison sentence for accepting bribes as a public official plus a suspended sentence for tax evasion where he was let off prison time in exchage for promising to quit politics.
[picture courtesy of Mrs. Arbel. The Hebrew says Aryeh putar — Aryeh was fired.]
This article lays out the many tricks and dirty shticks of Deri — going back three decades to his time as interior minister in the left-wing Rabin government. He was then also forced to step down byThe Supreme Court — led at the time by the right-leaning Meir Shamgar (meanwhile z”l), before he was succeeded by the with the activist Aharon Barak.
As a result, Yitzhak Rabin no longer had a majority to get the Oslo Accords through the Knesset, except when he pried loose defectors from a hard-right party with deputy ministerial positions. I remember people saying Oslo passed “thanks to Alex Goldfarb’s Mitsubishi”: [Corrected] his fellow defector Gonen Segev[/corrected] later showed himself to be an even more unsavory character than Deri — ranging from ecstasy smuggling to allegedly spying for Iran.
(c) Speaking of terror states and the terror polities they sponsor, Part 2 of “Whispered In Gaza” is a must-read and must-see.
Last week, in the first installment, Gazan men and women described their professional disenfranchisement by Hamas and the repression of their personal freedoms. They told of arbitrary arrests, shakedowns of small-time merchants, and the silencing of journalists. Voicing staunch support for Palestinian self-determination, they also denounced Hamas as harming that cause by starting wars with Israel it cannot win while hiding in bunkers and leaving civilians to suffer casualties. They conveyed an understanding of Hamas warfare, moreover, as a play for aid money that the movement goes on to plunder.
In this [second] installment, we learn more about local grievances, as well as a homegrown attempt to do something about them: the effort waged by approximately 1,000 Gazans in 2019 to challenge Hamas authority through street demonstrations. Four veterans of that protest movement recount their experience and explain how it reshaped their lives and outlook.