15 thoughts on “Israel and the Misrule of Law – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. As I understand the Bishara law, it only applies if a mk has left the country. Say what you may about the fairness of Israel’s court, simply not showing up for trial isn’t exactly fair play either.

    1. That’s not what the article said. It applies to any MK who does not show up for a police interrogation. Not showing up for police questioning is not, as far as I know, a crime & certainly has to be proven as such before taking as serious an action as taking away State-approved benefits offered to all other MKs.

      1. The fact that the current crop of lawmakers and legal experts inhabiting the Knesset think that defense attorneys help to facilitate criminality appears to be a classic example of psychological projection to me.

        I would disagree that these are shocking developments. Israel has always refused to adopt constitutional protections or guarantees regarding equal rights for women or members of religious and minority groups, even though that was a standard requirement for the termination of a LoN mandate regime. The Council and Assembly of the League of Nations adopted resolutions in 1931 which included that stipulation. Accordingly, the UN partition plan contained an entire chapter devoted to the legal undertakings regarding a minority protection plan. During the UN hearings on Israel’s application for membership, Abba Eban falsely claimed that the minority rights stipulated in UN resolution 181(II) had been constitutionally embodied as the fundamental law of the State of Israel as required by the resolution. See the verbatim record, fifty-first meeting, held at Lake Success, New York, on Monday, 9 May 1949: Ad Hoc Political Committee, General Assembly, 3rd Session, A/AC.24/SR.51, 01/01/1949, page 7 of 21 (printed page 347) http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/AC.24/SR.51

        Mr. Eban’s explanations and Israel’s acknowledgment of those undertakings were specifically noted in the text and footnotes of General Assembly Resolution 273 (III) “Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations”, 11 May 1949.

        Together with the “Status Quo Agreement” between the Jewish Agency and the World Agudat leadership, the Women’s Equal Rights Law of 1951 specifically excluded marriage and divorce laws from its guarantees of equality for women. That exclusion laid the parliamentary ground rules for the subsequent subordination of equality to religious values in the Israel legal system.

        Comparisons between the State of Israel’s legal system and the Nuremburg race laws were published by Hannah Arendt in “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil”. She noted the ‘breathtaking naiveté’ with which the prosecutor claimed “We make no ethnic distinctions,” while he denounced the Nuremberg Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor of 1935 on the grounds that it had prohibited intermarriage and sexual relations between Jews and Germans. She felt it was rather ironic, since rabbinical law legally governed the personal status of Jewish citizens, so that no Jew could marry a non-Jew. She explained that it had nothing to do with respect for the faith, but rather that religious and non-religious Jews seemed to think it was desirable to have a law that prohibited intermarriage. She observed that children of mixed marriages were legally bastards, and that if a person didn’t have a Jewish mother he could neither be married nor buried. She said that government officials admitted to her privately that they were agreed upon the undesirability of a written constitution in which that sort of thing would have to be spelled out.

        Today, the MKs in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee openly admit that there can’t be any guarantee of equality for non-Jewish citizens in the future Constitution, unless it contains a clause stipulating that relevant High Court decisions can be overruled by parliamentary legislation. See for example the Haaretz article ‘MKs debate protection of ‘equality’ in future constitution”, http://www.haaretz.com/news/mks-debate-protection-of-equality-in-future-constitution-1.234565

        1. Yes, thank a lot. I didn’t know that Abba Eban deliberately lied. No wonder the Israelis don’t trust anybody. “It takes one to know one”.

          1. Abba Eban deliberately lied about a number of things. I heard some of those lies come out of his mouth with my own ears.

  2. Why should we believe the Israeli government would accept the rule of law any more than their godfathers, the U.S. government, which has been subverting international law for years, including their own constitution. Both societies are becoming more and more totalitarian with each passing day.

  3. This proposed law is yet another step in the process by which Israel is abandoning the pretense of internal democracy.

    Clarifying question:

    What happened with the charges laid against Bishara in 2001? I’m basing this question on the apparent fact stated in the Wikipedia site on A.B. (though I am aware that I/P topics are the site of constant struggle there, so open to the possibility that this is not actually correct): “Upon his return to Israel [from Syria in 2001], he was indicted and charged with incitement to violence and support for Terror Ordinance.”

    The Wikipedia entry then moves to jBishara’s actions in 2007, without any reference to the results of the earlier charges. Were they dropped? Was there a trial, and if so with what result?

  4. Sorry, I accidentally blitzed a portion of the Wikipedia excerpt, which should read:

    :: Upon his return to Israel, he was indicted and charged with incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization, as defined by Israel’s Prevention of Terror Ordinance. ::

    Decided to google for an answer to my question:

    After the Knesset stripped Bishara of his immunity (for speech, not any action) a trial resulted, which began in late February 2002, scheduled to continue in April 2002. On April 1, 2003, the Nazareth Magistrate Court dismissed the indictment filed against him.

    I’d be grateful to anyone who could provide further details or context for the dismissal of the indictment.

    1. It is routine for Israeli Palestinians Knesset members to be accused of, investigated for, & even indicted for various security related crimes. They are almost never convicted & rarely even are charges filed. It’s a regular pattern of secret police harassment.

  5. RE: “A nation of such high hopes and dreams come crashing down amidst hate, fear and authoritarianism.” – R.S.
    FLAUBERT: “Those who have, those who used to have, and those who are trying to have. But they are all united in their imbecile worship of Authority.” — Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education

  6. So glad to learn that the new law explains in detail what “suspected” means. Otherwise, if an Arab suspected a Jew of terrorism, the Jew would lose all Knesset benefits — even if never found guilty of terrorism (or whatever). And that would be really, really bad. Whereas mere suspicion of an Arab by a Jew, well, that’s another matter entirely. And if the police or public prosecutor do the suspecting * * * (Kosher).

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