Sunday, April 29, 2007

Israel's Judicial Despots

The Muqata blog doesn't shy away from lambasting the judicial activists of Israel's Supreme Court. Time after time, it never ceases to amaze me that the judicial oligarchy of Israel continues to rule over our citizens with an iron fist.

Just last week, we learned (officially) that Margalit Har-Shefi, the one-time girlfriend of Yigal Amir was in fact, not guilty, and was framed by Israel's prosecution and judicial establishment.
Public Security Minister Ami Ayalon, a former chief of the Shabak (General Security Service) who is currently running for head of the Labor Party, told a group of supporters this month that Margalit Har-Shefi did not know of Yigal Amir's plans [to murder PM Rabin]. "I know of this from intelligence [sources]; I was head of the Shabak," Ayalon told the audience in Ashkelon. "I know that she did not imagine that he would kill the Prime Minister. She was just a part of an insane situation."

Supreme Court Justice Mishael Heshin was heard saying he would "sock it to her" even before he had heard any evidence, and Parole Board Chief retired judge Eli Sharon refused to grant parole because Margalit did not express sufficient remorse. (INN and other Israeli news sources)
So Justice Cheshin wants to "sock it to you" if you happen to be on the right side of the political spectrum.

Don't worry, we received equal time from the Supreme Court's Chief Justice Aharon Barak as well.

Don't take The Muqata's word for it, here's what US Federal Judge Richard A. Posner has to say about Aharon Barak:
Aharon Barak, a long-serving justice (eventually the chief justice) of the Supreme Court of Israel, who recently reached mandatory retirement age, is a prolific writer, and this is his most recent book. It is an important document, less for its intrinsic merits than for its aptness to be considered Exhibit A for why American judges should be extremely wary about citing foreign judicial decisions. Barak is a world-famous judge who dominated his court as completely as John Marshall dominated our Supreme Court. If there were a Nobel Prize for law, Barak would probably be an early recipient. But although he is familiar with the American legal system and supposes himself to be in some sort of sync with liberal American judges, he actually inhabits a completely different--and, to an American, a weirdly different--juristic universe. I have my differences with Robert Bork, but when he remarked, in a review of The Judge in a Democracy, that Barak "establishes a world record for judicial hubris," he came very near the truth.... (TNR)
Many people find it hard to believe that Israel's judges can be so awful, just as many Israelis think that the elite black-shirted Israeli police YASAM shock troops are only used against "evil" settlers.

Israel's students received a taste of the YASAM last week when protesting about rising university tuition rates.

Remember: If you don't challenge the evil when it hits someone else, don't be surprised when they come after you, and there's no one left to stand by your side.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


JoeSettler said...

Good thing you read JoeSettler last week to learn about Har-Shefi.

Anonymous said...

This comment is in response to your post of April 26.
I am a frequent reader of the Muqata and log onto it a few times a week. I am an American, slightly left of center, but not politically active. I am from a similar background to you, Jameel, though perhaps we view the world somewhat differently. I have always respected your point of view, though not always agreed with it.
When I read your posting and your reference to Rachel Corrie as you glibly posed in front of a bulldozer, quite honestly I didn't remember who she was. I had to google her name to remember the story.
I cannot begin to express my embarassment at your joke. RC may not have been a friend to your political outlook, but her death is not funny. She killed no one, stood up for what she believed in, though I don't personally agree with her, and died an innocent death. She was not a terrorist, though perhaps you might disagree. Making a joke of her death offends me as a liberal thinking person and as a Jew who believes in the sanctity of human life.
Joe Settler, whoever he is, went so far as to make a joke about pictures of RC after the bulldozer crushed her, and you seemed to go along with the joke.
I strongly suggest you stop and take stock of what you and your blog represent. Torah values do not dictate dancing on your opponents' graves, though once again I would point out this girl was an unarmed protester.
You should be ashamed of what you wrote, and this Joe Settler should stop and seriously think about who he is and what he represents.
I'm sure that with all your computer skills, you could figure out who wrote this, but if it's all the same, I would prefer to remain anonymous.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

anonymous 5:58

I think you need to research a bit more on Rachel Corrie, her friends, and what plans they have for Israel. They are far from simple "opponents", and it's naive to believe that she was "just a simple unarmed protester."

I'll reply more to your comment a bit later. Feel free to drop me an email.

tnspr569 said...

It just gets scarier, Jameel...

JoeSettler said...

I have no problem with my joke.

Rachel Corrie got herself killed because she was trying to block bulldozers working to find and seal weapons smuggling tunnels.

Tunnels used to bring in weapons to attack and murder Jews.

She (along with her ISM sponsors) knowingly made herself an accomplice to terrorism. I have no sympathy for her choice to commit suicide as a human shield for terrorists.

I also recommend you google "ISM Mike's Place"

JoeSettler said...

Joe Settler, whoever he is

You have got to be kidding!

Ari Kinsberg said...

joe settler:

"Joe Settler, whoever he is

You have got to be kidding!"

actually, when i click on your name in the comments here, it does not work. so he may really have no way to know who you are.

JoeSettler said...

No Leftists Admitted (except Purple Parrot).

Lurker said...

This is a response to Anonymous (5:58 AM, April 30, 2007):

Rachel Corrie was an active member of the International Solidarity Movement/Palestine Solidarity Movement (ISM/PSM). The ISM/PSM is a viciously antisemitic network of anarchist and communist organizations that provide logistical and financial support for Palestinian terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP, as well as international terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda. Many of their members are actual terrorist combatants. Among other things, ISM activists were involved in planning and executing the suicide bombing of the Mike's Place bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003, which killed three people. They use their offices to hide wanted terrorist leaders. They have also been linked to Al Qaeda's mega-attacks in London on July 7, 2005, which killed 52 people. The ISM leadership has openly called for and declared their support for suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians and soldiers. If this is not enough information for you, you can find plenty more, all documented, at the Stop the ISM website.

Rachel Corrie was a savage hater of both Israel and America. (Here are some photos of her burning an American flag, while Palestinian children look on.) She was killed when she deliberately placed herself in front of an Israeli D9 bulldozer, out of the driver's line of sight. That bulldozer was removing wild brush from an area near the Gaza Strip's Philadelphia Corridor, in order to expose and provide access to one of the many underground tunnels in the area -- tunnels built by Hamas, Fatah, and other terror groups, and used for smuggling in weapons from Egypt to be used in terrorist attacks. Corrie, who actively supported these attacks, was attempting to prevent the destruction of the terrorist tunnels.

You are mistaken at best, and disingenuous at worst, when you proclaim that Rachel Corrie "killed no one": Corrie was an active member of a barbaric organization that facilitated, funded, and physically supported terrorist murder. I suppose you're correct when you say that she "stood up for what she believed in", inasmuch as she believed in murdering innocent Jews. But how dare you declare that she "was not a terrorist" and "died an innocent death"?! It is you, not Jameel or JoeSettler, who "should be ashamed of what you wrote"! With your words, you callously disparage the memory of countless innocent victims of terror -- the same terror that Rachel Corrie lived and died supporting.

Shame on you.

Jerry said...


I'm sorry to change the topic, but I DO have something to say about what you actually wrote in this post...

I have lived in Israel for only a number of months, but I have already heard more than enough bashing of Ahron Barak and his "judicial activism".

Let's get a couple things straight:
1) Israel does not have a constitution. For better or for worse, whatever you want to say about it, a constitution is not a tool that the judiciary in Israel has to work with (and that's probably more the fault of the religious and the RW than anyone else- but that's a separate issue...).
Therefore, any time there is a violation of human rights, it will take an "activist judge" to protect them. There is simply no legislation preventing the government from infringing on basic rights that every American takes for granted through the power of the Bill of Rights.
In the famous Kol Ha'Am case that came to the Israeli supreme court in 1965 (?) the Minister of the Interior shut down a newspaper, simply because he didn't like what it said! Such a thing is unacceptable [and I have a feeling that if you disagree, you'll end up on the wrong side of public opinion].
But what could the court do, there is no constitution that can protect the right to freedom of speech. So Chief Justice Agranat (a graduate of University of Chicago, for all those reading from overseas) wrote an opinion on which he relied on basic, universal rights of man. A person has the right to say what he'd like (obviously with specific limitations) and the government cannot prevent him from doing so.
Was Justice Agranat "activist"? Absolutely- but only in the literal sense of the word, that he was creating law because the Israeli Knesset refused to give it to him.
Barak has constantly said that if the Knesset is unhappy with any of his decisions, all it has to do is pass a law that goes against it, and the Knesset rules.
And this has happened on numerous occasions. However, what is even more prevelant is that the Knesset will then pass legislation that will conform with Barak's opinion (i.e. after Barak's famous decision called Epropim regarding interperatation of a contract).

Even more so, while the Knesset has recently (1992) passed two laws that do protect human rights, [1) Freedom of Occupation (as in what you work as- not the other kind discussed on this blog) and 2) The Dignity of Man] the Dignity of Man Law is purposely generic! It is a law that is passed to give a citizen rights, but it barely contains any rights (The right to privacy is an exception, maybe one or two more).
It is MEANT for Judicial interperatation, and that is what Barak has done. He's recognized many basic rights that people have, and has helped them make their way into this law.

If you disagree with the specific rights, or with their application, that is your right. And you're more than welcome to complain about how he's upheld the Tal law (which provides for an exemption from the army for those studying Torah) because it is unfair to those who don't study. You can also complain about how he upheld the legality of the West Bank fence (against the decision of the International Court of Justice).
However, if you disagree with his application of Judicial Activism, please don't delude yourself to think that there is no place for it at all in our wonderful country of Israel.

p.s. I really like your blog. I just think you're under-informed about this one issue...

Jerry said...

Sorry- I forgot about your Har-Shefi thing:

To think that there was a conspiracy to convict her is rediculous. The fact that the district court judge regrets convicting her makes no difference, as she is currently speaking based on emotion, when her original decision (which, had she not convicted her would have been overturned by the supreme court anyways) was based on the law.

The fact that Arutz Sheva can besmirch a respected Supreme Court Justice with an impeccable record by simply saying "was overheard saying" is a disgusting example of journalism, and of Lashon Hara. If they have a source for such a fact, it must be quoted. The fact that it isn't shows me that this is a fabrication of someone who has been writing about Har-shefi and her supposed innocence since the beginning.

Ironically, Har Shefi was convicted based on a law passed by Israeli Knesset that doesn't exist in other legal systems, and would not have be made up through Judicial Activism had it not been on the books.
The law is very clear that if someone knows that another is about to commit a felony, they must try to stop it.
The court determined that there was enough evidence that Har Shefi knew what Amir was going to try to do, and she didn't call the police, or even try to talk him out of it.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jerry: Thanks for your comments! I'll respond later about Judicial Activism; how about about your point on Har Shefi.

I heard the exact same report on Reshet Bet and Galei Zahal -- not only Arutz7...and Ami Ayalon's report is rather daming, wouldnt you say? I'll post more after the news...

Anonymous said...

I guess you guys just don't get it.
Making jokes about your enemies crushed body under a bulldozer is just inappropriate. You didn't have to like her. But you do have to treat everyone with a modicum of respect-- some might even say kavod haberiot.
Don't like her, that's your privilege. But to make jokes about her death is beneath anyone who claims to be a religious Jew.
Trep wrote an intelligent post today about how a site such as his only attracts like minded readers because the more leftward leaning stopped reading a long time ago.
Posts that make fun of your enemies' dead bodies will have that effect.
Thank you to Lurker for writing an intelligent synopsis of the evils of ISM. I'm not a supporter of theirs.
I'm also not a supporter of jokes about the body of one of their members that was crushed by a bulldozer.If you don't understand that, then you've lost some of your humanity.
Go back and read what you initially wrote. Then ask how that looks to someone who might think differently than you.
By all means, support your cause. But don't forget who you are.
Joe, I know you'll have a snappy response, attacking me for what I just said. But Jameel, think about who you are. Aren't you above making fun of your "enemy's" crushed bodies?

JoeSettler said...

Abdul, a suicide bomber, blows himself up and goes up to Islamic Heaven.

At the gates he meets none other than Muhamad himself. Muhamad says to Adbul "I have good news for you and bad news. Which would you like first?"

Abdul says, "The good news of course".

Muhamad says (opening up the door slightly so he can peek), "There are 72 virgins in the next room waiting for you (and Rachel Corie too).

Abdul responds, "Alla Hu Achbar! But what is the bad news?"

Muhamad looks halfway down and responds, "Unfortunately we couldn't find all your body parts."

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: What was David give King Shaul to receive Michal's hand in marriage?

What do we do to Haman, his sons, his wife, and enemies of Israel on Purim?

Keep in mind what the picture was. It wasn't a mutilated body. It wasn't a body of anyone run over by a bulldozer. It was a pose to remind you of a (rather stupid) enemy of ours who was run over by a bulldozer.

Tell me, have you ever heard of the Darwin awards? Are they also against the "Torah way"

JoeSettler said...

Shmuely Boteach has a rather timely piece on evil people.

Anonymous said...

So sad.
"Joe-- I'll send you one by email (a post bulldozer RC shot). Not for this blog. :)"
"Klovs---Rachel Corrie--hahahahaha"
"Remember: If you don't challenge the evil when it hits someone else, don't be surprised when they come after you, and there's no one left to stand by your side."
Of course, that evil wouldn't be the death of Rc. That evil would be your lack of sympathy for the loss of human life. I would have to say your point of view on your callous commentors' comments and your own lack of sensitivity reflects badly on all of you.
Don't be surprised when your opponents have no sympathy for you. I'm sure there's enough meaness to go around on both sides.
Joe Settler, I guess now I'm supposed to tell a cruel joke about someone from Yehuda and Shomron in response to your odd choice of humor, but alas I just don't have it in me.
Jameel, what did King David do to the messenger who came to gloat about Saul being dead?
I bid you all adieu, as this will be my last time on this blog.

Ari Kinsberg said...


"Don't be surprised when your opponents have no sympathy for you."

yes, israel's enemies are paradigms of the honorable foe.

JoeSettler said...

Don't be surprised when your opponents have no sympathy for you.

What a completely stupid remark to make on your part.

You obviously have no clue who our enemy is and what they do.

Why would I assume that my enemy who blows himself up in order to massacre little children would have sympathy for me?

Why would I assume that my enemy who targets, shoots and murders babies in their prams in a park would have sympathy for me?

Why would I assume that my enemy who kidnapped, tortured, mutilated and only then killed a friend of mine would have sympathy for me?

Why would I assume that my enemy who publicized that he ate from the dismembered body parts of killed soldiers have sympathy for me?

The only thing that you show is your complete ignorance as to the complete barbarianism of our enemy and their supporters who would have no qualms about murdering you and then making jokes about it.

That you might want, to get even, to even consider making cruel jokes on upright Torah Jews says more about you, than my making fun of brutal terrorists and their accomplices.

Perhaps I shouldn't make Hitler jokes too, because of the loss of his human life.

Lurker said...

Anonymous: What did King David do to the messenger who came to gloat about Saul being dead?

Are you comparing Rachel Corrie to King Saul??!

Anonymous said...

or to hitler?

Lurker said...

Anonymous: What did King David do to the messenger who came to gloat about Saul being dead?

To answer your question more precisely, the messenger didn't come "to gloat about Saul being dead". He came to announce that he himself had killed Saul. David responded by asking, "How were you not afraid to put forth your hand to destroy God's annointed?", and then ordering the man's execution. He then proceeded to lament, "How are the mighty fallen!... Saul and Jonathan, who were beloved and pleasant in their lives, and were not separated [even] in death; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions..." (II Samuel 1).

I am at a loss to comprehend your analogy. Are suggesting that Jameel murdered Rachel Corrie? Do you think that she was "God's annointed"? Did you find her to be "beloved and pleasant in her life"?

Please, give it a rest.

tafka PP said...

Anonymous- just so you know, you are not alone on this blog in thinking that Jameel crossed the line with his tasteless joke. There was a time I might have responded in the same way as you did, but I've less energy to argue these days...

Apropos to that- Joe, I'm speechless!

JoeSettler said...

The you wouldn't appreciate this or here (and don't forget to read the comments).

Lurker said...

FYI: In order to fully understand why all the commenters on the LGF post were rolling on the floor so hysterically, it helps if you know that LGF had been referring to Ms. Corrie as "St. Pancake" for about three years, prior Indymedia's (quite serious) announcement of the Rachel Corrie Pancake Breakfast...

Anonymous said...

All week I've been puzzling over why none of you seem to find it inappropriate to make jokes about the crushing of a human being by a bulldozer, even if she was your enemy.
Of course, some people are just boors, and are insensitive. But you are religious , educated people, so let's assume you're not.
I think that the point is that most of you were educated in the Jewish religious system, where humanism and general (not religiously based) ethics were simply not taught, or were deemphasized (for example, western philosophy is not learned by most YU graduates).
Another possibility is that living in the territories, you have developed a them against us complex that causes you to demonize everything that you view as the opposition (and this girl obviously was an enemy).
Whatever the reason, I think you should know that your attitude toward this crushed girl is extremely alienating to anyone who doesn't hold your political point of view and are just reading this blog, or even for some who do hold your point of view. I'm not saying you need to like her. But your inability to understand why someone might find your joking offensive is definitely troubling.

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