FLORIDA (Yaakov M / VINnews) — Conservative talk-show host Ben Shapiro posted a series of tweets Monday, offering his analysis of the underlying forces behind the judicial reform battle.
The judicial reform fight in Israel is a proxy for the actual battle, which is really over the changing nature of Israel’s political landscape.
The Right’s case is procedural. The current coalition is fighting to prevent the Israeli judiciary from acting as a de facto dictatorship, selecting its own successors and providing few or no limits to its authority. This has been the case since Aharon Barak’s ““judicial revolution” of 1995.
And that was a result of the rising power of both Likud voters and religious voters. The Right is correct about the judiciary’s overweening power, and the insanity of an AG who can act without actual authority. Many in the center and even on the Left agree with these critiques.
The Left’s case is consequentialist. They’re fighting against a loss of control in pure power terms. That’s what Barak’s judicial reform was about in 1995, and that’s what the current fight is about now.
The Left sees the judiciary as a bulwark against a rising demographic tide that places a lot of power in the hands of groups that disagree with the secularism of the Left, as well as groups that disproportionately do not serve in the military and receive a lot of social welfare.
This isn’t a fight between democracy vs. authoritarianism. If anything, the Right is calling for more democracy and has an elected coalition, while the Left is using extra-legal measures like shutting down airports and highways to guarantee minority protections.
In the end, this situation is really about Israel negotiating its future. The only way to move forward, as nearly everyone will agree in principle, is with more procedural power-sharing, including some judicial reform, combined with more compromise in terms of actual policy.
The alternative is a pitched battle in which the Left-wing and secular-oriented try to hold back the rising tide using non-electoral means, and in which the Right tries to ram through its agenda via electoral means.
That second option is what we’re seeing right now. And it’s untenable. It leads to a loss of trust in the value of electoral democracy from the coalition voters, and a belief that pressure from outside the system is the most effective tactic from opposition voters.
If the first option is to be pursued, that means negotiation and talking and incrementalism. The question is whether any of the political leaders are willing to do it.
Ben is right that the only way forward is negotiations, compromise, and incremental progress. The problem is that the Left cannot afford that, because since the demographic in Israel has moved dramatically to the right, every incremental change is another nail in their coffin (ie they can’t afford to wait to win a new election, because they probably won’t!). They know this, and are therefore forcing the country to either die or leave the judiciary alone. Netanyahu has caved to them, which of course means more chaos, especially when we move towards another election…
Democracy vs Judicial Dictatorship.
The elected legislature are encoding the law; the judiciary are issuing decisions according to what they prefer the law would have been.
The judiciary’s job is only to apply the law as it is; however they’ve been *knowingly* issuing judgments that ignore applicable laws, misapply unrelated laws, extend beyond existing laws, and even many that have no law supporting them whatsoever.
The Chief Justice even openly professed that courts should operate with no accountability and with impunity.
And as it turns out this is pretty much exactly how it is; as that very same Chief Justice (or a panel that includes multiple fellow justices) would need to initiate an action for a judgment or judge to be reviewed or impeached. So they essentially can rule with impunity, rather than have to face sanction or impeachment at the hands of an impartial body.
Imho, all the gvmt needed to do was legislate one law that gives the elected Kenesset, not judges, the power to bring judgments for review and judges for impeachments, if they do not conform to the law.
After that they could have maybe also possibly put forth legislation setting the elected Kenesset as the body that appoints judges, instead of a panel the majority of which is composed of other judges and unelected state bar representatives, the latter having no business appointing supreme court justices whatsoever.
And Shalom al Israel.
Why wouldn’t there a public forum, on prime time media, that could solicit opinions from both sides of the discussion? Issues raised by Mr.Shapiro need to be addressed by both sides, without name-calling and threats of strikes or job actions. Hatred of the other led to one Temple destruction and two millenia of Diaspora- we MUST not repeat that . Who will lead ?
The Erev Rav won’t go quietly into the night, I am afraid.
The issue is the suspect timing of it all and the danger of coalition collapse if…
Haredim are one part of the religious and they do not serve in the IDF, they live in poverty. The main group – religious zionists (kippa srugah) serve heavily in fighting units. The secular Russians also have a heavy military presence. However all the big, senior IDF positions – pilots, permanent staff, bureaucrats are drawn from the wealthy shrinking elites. The secular mizrachi / sefardi base of likud has always been disaffected. Yhe old ashkenazi yishuv elites won’t relinquish control. They have blatantly said so. Tolerate our domination or we break the country.
Ben is right, but has not voiced it as clearly as I will here. It is a Kulturkampf over the soul of Klal Yisroel that has been waged from the day the British mandate over “Palestine” handed off management of Jewish affairs to the secular Zionist establishment after WWI. Zionism sought to transform Judaism from a Torah based lifestyle to a Western Culture lifestyle. The Zionists sought to relegate Torah Judaism into a mere commemoration of our ancient culture, much as “a living museum” just like other cultures dress up like their ancient progenitors on specific occasions and perform the song and dance from days of yore.
Torah Judaism believes living by Emuna in Hashem and the Mitzvos of the Torah is as germane today as it was when they were given on Mt. Sinai 3300 years ago. Due to numerous reasons, the Kulturkampf throughout the years sometimes flares up and sometimes goes dormant. The reason it has flared up now is because the remnant of the old Zionist views the ISC as the last hope of winning the Kulturkampf. After all, part of atheistic Western Culture is man lives only to fulfill his physical taavos and that includes not being encumbered with lots of children. Torah Judaism is the opposite. Thus when you have a Democracy, the popular vote is supposed to determine who sets the rules, in our case, the character of Israel. The old guard atheist Zionists, promoting abortion and small families are destroying their numbers. As a result, needing votes, they brought in goyim from Russia and Ethiopia to make up population in the State of people they believed would side with them in the Kulturkampf. But in the long run, BE”H they will fail. As the Kulturkampf continues, the forces of those who believe in and/or practice the Torah are getting stronger, and the opposing forces are getting desperate.
What I explained above is the correct understanding of why the Gedolei Yisroel have pushed so hard for no draft for Torah learners and women, and why the secular Zionists have pushed to draft them into their slavery. This has been the most seminal issue of the Kulturkampf.
Emasculating the ISC, is a great harbinger for the Geula!
You may ask, but Netanyahu and a lot of his friends are not Torah Jews? Isn’t he doing this because it benefits him personally, politically? But they are from the 60-70% of Israelis who deep down believe in Hashem and that He gave us Eretz Yisroel. They know in their hearts that the Law and “culture” of the Jews is the Torah. Shelo Lshma Ba Lshma.
The Israel Declaration of Independence sought to omit the justification for declaring a state that Hashem gave us the Land. But in recent times, Danny Danon, UN rep of Israel got up in the UN, put on a kippa, took out a Tanach, held it up and stated, “This is our Title Deed to Eretz Yisroel!”
In addition though we must acknowledge they at least half of Israel are radical leftists, sometimes without even knowing it. Pretending otherwise leads us to today
It’s about ego, e. easing g. gallant,gantz, gideon,grooming o. out
I like Mr Shapiro but he’s not giving the full context. The issue isn’t fixing the unfair system of Supreme Court justices who select their own nominees. Most agree with this. The issue people are protesting is the lack of checks and balances surrounding the executive AND legislative branches. I’m leaving out the bad taste people have for changing the laws in order to make Netanyahu’s legal challenges go away or putting Deri back in government after he entered a plea agreement to not enter parliament after not paying taxes. (His second run-in with the law). Besides it being wrong, it’s also a chilul Hashem.
Bibi is the longest serving prime minister and he wants to solidify power at all costs to the country. “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”.
The Supreme Court does NOT select its own successors. Judges are appointed by the vote of 7 out of 9 members of a committee. The committee is made up of three judges, two members of the Cabinet, two Knesset members and two members of the Israel Bar. Judges do not have a majority on this committee and it is, therefore, untrue that they select their own successors.
No doubt Ben, who uses his platform to attack Democrats and secular Jews would nominate himself to run the discussion. LOL.