Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ivory Tower Justices Target Israel's Security

While the USA abhors the very notion of "profiling", Israel has been using it to successfully keep terrorists off its airplanes for years. The USA's "TSA" randomly decides who to check, resulting in excessive security checks for all sorts of people -- including infants and elderly -- who have never hijacked an airplane.

What a waste of time, energy and resources.



In 2006, the Boston Globe praised Israel's security, and what the USA could learn from Israel, yet that was 4 years ago, and not much has changed. There have been more terror attempts -- all of them from Muslim Extremists.
No sensible person imagines that ethnic or religious profiling alone can stop every terrorist plot. But it is illogical and potentially suicidal not to take account of the fact that so far every suicide-terrorist plotting to take down an American plane has been a radical Muslim man. It is not racism or bigotry to argue that the prevention of Islamist terrorism necessitates a special focus on Muslim travelers, just as it is not racism or bigotry when police trying to prevent a Mafia killing pay closer attention to Italians.

Of course most Muslims are not violent jihadis, but all violent jihadis are Muslim. ``This nation," President Bush has said, ``is at war with Islamic fascists." How much longer will we tolerate an aviation security system that pretends, for reasons of political correctness, not to know that?
Unfortunately, Israel has been dumbing-down when it comes to "ordinary" security -- such as terror on the roads. Israel's Ivory-Tower-based Supreme Court ruled against the IDF, that the Modiin-Jerusalem highway 443 must be opened to Palestinian vehicular traffic.

At the start of the most recent Intifiada in late 2000, the 443 highway became a shooting gallery -- as Palestinian terrorists shot up Jewish cars indiscriminately, killing men, women and children. 443 became a ghost road -- and I vividly recall driving the road wearing a bullet proof vest on my way home from work in Jerusalem.

Only after the IDF created alternate routes for the Palestinians, prohibited Palestinian traffic on 443, put up sentry points everywhere and beefed up patrols, did the road become safer again and the average Israeli motorist returned.
"Tuesday's decision came despite the court indicating last year that the road had become a key highway serving tens of thousands of Israelis whose safety would be endangered if Palestinians were allowed to use it unrestrictedly. " (JPost)
Safety of tens of thousands of Israelis...that's not an issue that should bother Israel's Supreme Court.

Their Ivory Tower isn't located anywhere near road 443.

The IDF knows what needs to be done for security, just as we know what needs to be done for airport security. The way things are going now, its only a matter of time before our Supreme Court changes our airline security screenings process as well.


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29 comments:

Lurker said...

Excellent post, and right on the mark.

Jeremy said...

I disagree with your assessment. I don't think (at least I hope not) that the security forces can now simply allow Palestinians to freely use the road, as everyone (including the Supreme Court) knows what the consequences could be.

They will have to set up a number of entry points for Palestinian vehicles, each of which is manned by a checkpoint.

You're right that the decision will hurt, but I think it's more in stretching the resources of the IDF than anything else.

Aside from that, why should 443 be different from any of the other roads near where you live? There are Palestinian vehicles driving on them all the time. Sadly, Tzahal has to be ever-vigilant in keeping the terrorists off. What this might mean is more checkpoints, something the rights groups also don't like, but the court has come to terms with.

jmminy said...

@Jeremy: You are delusional if you think the IDF will sufficiently secure 443 after it is opened.
Would you like 443 to be the same as the road where R' Chai was killed?
Wake up.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Jeremy: A few things.

1. As soon as the IDF puts up checkpoints (if they do), then the US will pressure Israel to remove them...right now the number of checkpoints has been drastically reduced...which leads to terror attacks like last week.

2. There are roads which inconvenience Jews just as much (if not more) as the Arabs who live in villages along road 443.

Examples include: The Wallerstein road from Bet-El to Dolev is closed to Jewish traffic, meaning that Bet El residents who want to get to Gush Dan need to go via Jerusalem (adding at least 45 minutes to an hour) and those that used to o on the Wallerstein Road to to Gush Talmonim means an hour and a half instead of 15 minutes.

The Atarot road (443) to Adam (60). This road used to be open to Jews, allowing traffic from Northern Jerusalem to bypass Jerusalem on its way to Tel Aviv. Again, closing this adds an additional 35-45 minutes of travel (while Israeli Arabs are allowed to travel that way).

The Dolev-Jerusalem road via Betunia. Only Arabs are allowed on that road, and Dolve/Gush Talmon residents need to drive via Tzomet Shilat to get to Jerusalem (an extra 40 minutes).

Jews aren't allowed on these roads due to security reasons, but the Supreme Court doesn't seem interested in promoting easy travel for Jews...and for some reason doesn't interfere with the "Shikul Da'at" of IDF..

Lurker said...

Jeremy: They will have to set up a number of entry points for Palestinian vehicles, each of which is manned by a checkpoint.

Extremely unlikely to happen. Firstly, a few weeks ago, Bibi signed an agreement committed himself to reducing, not increasing, the number of checkpoints, as a "goodwill gesture" to Fatah. And he has already shut down a significant number of them. For example, not long before the murder of Meir Chai near Shavei Shomron, the army shut down the checkpoint in that area.

Jeremy: You're right that the decision will hurt, but I think it's more in stretching the resources of the IDF than anything else.

That's the other reason why what you're saying won't happen. Even after closing checkpoints as a "goodwill gesture", Bibi went further and closed down most of the rest, in accordance with his recent decision to divert all available IDF resources from fighting terror to instead enforce the Freeze against the Settlers.

Jeremy: Aside from that, why should 443 be different from any of the other roads near where you live? There are Palestinian vehicles driving on them all the time.

You mean like the road where Meir Chai was just killed? That's absolutely correct; 443 is going to become just like that.

Jeremy: Sadly, Tzahal has to be ever-vigilant in keeping the terrorists off. What this might mean is more checkpoints...

As I explained above, it is not going to mean more checkpoints.

JoeSettler said...

What concerns me more is not that someone will get shot (yeah, that's going to happen), but the number of car accidents that is going dramatically increase because PA drivers are the most dangerous drivers on the road and completely disregard the rules. Nearly every accident I see on the roads in Judea involve at least a Palestinian car that crashed into someone else after doing something dangerous.

Jeremy said...

Jameel-

While I happen to agree with you that there should not be a double standard, you have to understand where the court is coming from. There is a current view in constitutional law that a court should in fact protect the rights of the minority (the Palestinians/Arabs) more than the majority (Jews/Israelis). This is so because, as the theory goes, in a democracy, the majority controls the legislative and executive decisions, and therefore it is up to the court to look after the rights of the minority.

The problem is, that in a society like Israel 2009, in which the elected officials specifically act against the wishes of those who voted for them (which is a separate constitutional issue, and far from clear), it turns out you in fact have no one who is willing to implement the rights of the majority, and you end up with this reverse discrimination that you describe. I wouldn't blame the court for this though, I would blame the government.

As for Lurker-
I'm not really sure what to say to you. You are clearly embittered by a government you feel has wronged you. I really don't know how Bibi or anyone involved in these decisions can look the Chai family in the eye.

In the end, a government that fails to accomplish its most important task of protecting its citizens simply can't remain in power. I think that Bibi knows this, and that in the end, serious security matters will have to take precedence over other items on his agenda.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jeremy: I decided to write a post about "Jew Free" roads and while researching them, I found that Israel's Ambassador the the USA and the Justice Ministry wrote a report responding to the World Bank's accusations against Israel that we're intentionally hurting the Palestinians.

What I found interesting is that the exact same 3 roads I mentioned in my comment to you -- are also mentioned exactly in the Israel's Justice Ministry Report!

(See Page 3, "Access to Roads")

The bottom line is that security issues make everyone's lives difficult. It should not be the Palestinians who gain, while Israelis suffer. Minority rights should be upheld, but not at the expense of security -- while the minority population is outright hostile.

Israel's Supreme Court is probably the world leader in Judicial Activism (JA). If the Supreme Court has decided they are going to take an active role which belongs to the Government and Knesset -- they cannot sit in an ivory tower and ignore the security and economic reality of the rest of the country.

They can't have it both ways -- if they do -- they have emasculated Israel's democracy, and truly rendered us a Judicial monarchy.

Jeremy said...

Jameel-

I think that too many people equate "judicial activism" with left-leaning, anti-settler policies. The truth is, that one of the most activist members of the current court, Edmund Levy, is probably the settlers' best friend on the court (and in fact voted against yesterday's decision and has achieved fame in the right-wing world as being the only justice to vote against the legality of the disengagement).

In reality, while Ahron Barak's legacy was one of activism, it was a more subtle activism (using the unheard of anywhere else mechanism of Bagatz to overturn government decisions), as the Israeli court is one of the LEAST activist courts in the world when it comes to overturning legislation. In fact, you can count on one hand the number of laws the court has overturned as unconstitutional, and still have a finger or two left over. It's not even so clear that the court has the power to overturn Knesset legislation. That's why it seems as though the mayor of Modiin is headed straight for the Knesset, where he'll try to initiate legislation that will take care of the problem.

A couple of solutions (of course, these are off the top of my head, responding to your posts, and if they're misinformed, please forgive me):
Any solution will have to assume that there is a legal organization looking out for rights (call the human rights to make them sound better?) of Israelis living over the Green Line, an assumption that is not so simple. And even if there is such an organization, it pales when put up against Shalom Achshav, Yesh Din, etc. (of course the fact that the settler community (and here I include people such as myself, who don't physically live over the Green Line, but wold support essentially similar policies) doesn't have such representation is connected to the fact that we don't really have strong representation in Knesset. Between Bayit and Ichud, we have what - 7 seats? It's way below true proportion to the population. But that's a separate issue...)

To the solutions:
1. When the Palestinians submit a petition like this, attach a petition to open roads to Israeli drivers, and ask that they be heard together. To reject such a request, the court will have to specify a reason as to why the issues are different.
2. Turn to international bodies. The Palestinians and their supporters are experts at this, and they live right next door. So maybe you can hire some of their consultants. Whether it's to International Courts of Human Rights, or to NGOs that, admittedly will take time to garner legitimacy if their goal is to protect the rights of settlers, pressure the government in the same way you describe them being pressured by the Palestinians to remove road blocks, etc.
3. Finally, as mentioned above, the answer is simply legislation. The court will not overturn a law that was passed by Knesset with the same ease they overturn a decision made by the area military commander.

Jeremy said...

A couple of other quick notes-
1. While I have been defending the court (at the expense of the government), I think there is something which is often overlooked when dealing with this kind of decision. Unlike the American court, where every justice hears every case, the Israeli court hears cases in groups of 3, and often, who that group of 3 is will determine the outcome of the case. I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that had Hendel been sitting there instead of Fogelman, that the outcome could have been different. This gives a huge (disproportionate, if I may :-) amount of power to the chief justice, who determines the make-up. She could essentially predict how 90% of cases (at least politically charged cases) will go based on who she puts out there to listen to the case. This should not be.

2. In response to Joe Settler, that was one of my thoughts too. However, I don't think the most right-winger nationalist would claim that we should keep an entire population off a road because they have a disproportionate amount of bad drivers. We can deal with this issue when we deal with our own bad-driver/people killed on the roads problem.

Lurker said...

Jeremy: As for Lurker-
I'm not really sure what to say to you.


I'm not sure I understand you. Are you suggesting that the Haaretz news reports that I linked to above do not clearly show that Bibi has no intention of adding checkpoints -- and in fact is removing them, in large numbers?

Jeremy: You are clearly embittered by a government you feel has wronged you.

Thank God, I have not yet suffered personally in a direct, physical way from the actions of the government. But a great many others have. Meir Chai is a good example. Do you disagree that the government has wronged these people? Or do you think that is merely my own personal "feeling"?

Futhermore, what is the significance of the fact that I am "embittered"? Does this have any bearing on the question of whether Bibi is directing IDF resources away from protecting Israelis, in favor of enforcing the Freeze? Or the fact that he has already signed an international agreement to remove checkpoints? The Haaretz articles that I cited state clearly that Bibi has done, and is doing, these things. Do you think that Haaretz shares my "embitterment"?

Jeremy: In the end, a government that fails to accomplish its most important task of protecting its citizens simply can't remain in power. I think that Bibi knows this, and that in the end, serious security matters will have to take precedence over other items on his agenda.

Given that this has obviously not been the case until now, what is your basis for asserting that Bibi is now going to completely reverse his policy?

Tell me, do you think that the following news report in Haaretz supports or undermines your assertion about what Bibi is going to do?

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a number of appeals made by ministers over the last few months to discuss the removal of West Bank checkpoints, Army Radio reported on Friday.

"Shas Chairman Eli Yishai headed the ministers calling for debate, telling Netanyahu that: 'Past experience teaches us that removing roadblocks as part of an effort to ease conditions for Palestinians increasing their attempts to attack Jews.'

"The Prime Minister's Bureau would not respond to the report."

Lurker said...

Jeremy: In reality, while Ahron Barak's legacy was one of activism, it was a more subtle activism..., as the Israeli court is one of the LEAST activist courts in the world when it comes to overturning legislation.

American legal scholar, former federal appellate judge and Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, in his book Coercing Virtue, disagrees with you, to put it very mildly:

"Pride of place in the international judicial deformation of democratic government goes not to the United States, nor to Canada, but to the State of Israel. The Israeli Supreme Court is making itself the dominant institution in the nation, an authority no other court in the world has achieved." [p. 107]

"Israel has set a standard for judicial imperialism that can probably never be surpassed, and, one devoutly hopes, will never be equaled elsewhere." [p. 143]

See here for more details of what Bork wrote about Aharon Barak's judicial activism.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jeremy: Another issue inherently wrong with Israel's Supreme Court is that while in other countries, a minority opinion is still valid (and can be quoted in further cases) -- in Israel, a minority opinion is invalid and not quotable.

This is a perfect mirror of Israeli "democracy" -- in which 2 people on a boat can democratically decide to throw a 3rd person overboard.

You are 100% correct -- the Chief Justice decides the outcome in advance of almost every case by stacking the triumvirate of justices per case.

There's not going to be an easy way to fix that, since you'll be seen as meddling with the power of the court (thereby making you an anti-democratic aggressor who must be dealt with harshly.)

Don't say I didn't warn you :-)

Jeremy said...

Jameel-

I disagree with your statement. I don't know what you're referring to when you say that a minority opinion is "invalid". It's a minority opinion, as are minority opinions in other court systems. Where is the law that you're referring to?

As any first year Israeli law student can tell you, Ahron Barak managed to revolutionize the legal system by writing as a minority opinion. Then when the issue would come up again (or if he could bring the issue up again!), he'd point to his opinion and say, as I said previously...

As for the issue of the make-up of the court sessions, I have serious doubt if a law that insisted that it be randomized, or established in another way other than the president's whim would be considered meddling with the power of the court. The newspapers might scream about it, but the legal apparatus couldn't challenge it.


Lurker-

I don't know if you didn't understand me (totally my fault if I was unclear) or if you just didn't read my post carefully. Either way, I'm not going to respond to your responses to points you think I made but didn't.

JoeSettler said...

It seems like it was just last week that I sat in traffic for an hour on 443 while helicopters flew search patterns overhead and the bomb experts were busy defusing a bomb on the side of the road.

All this is is once again the Courts overruling the army when it comes to real security issues.

Lurker said...

Jeremy: I don't know if you didn't understand me (totally my fault if I was unclear) or if you just didn't read my post carefully.

You wrote that the security forces "will have to set up a number of entry points for Palestinian vehicles [on 443], each of which is manned by a checkpoint". Furthermore, you stated that "in the end, serious security matters will have to take precedence over other items on [Bibi's] agenda". That sounds pretty clear to me. I questioned your assertion by citing sources showing that Bibi is committed to removing checkpoints, not adding them, and to diverting security forces from the fight against terror. I also cited a report that he has repeatedly refused to even discuss the security implications of this policy with his own cabinet ministers. All this would seem to belie your claim that Bibi is actually going reverse his policy, by adding more checkpoints. Do you disagree with that?

You also wrote (incredibly) that Israel's High Court "is one of the LEAST activist courts in the world when it comes to overturning legislation". That also sounds pretty clear to me. I responded by citing the opinion of Robert Bork, who wrote that the Israeli High Court "has set a standard for judicial imperialism that can probably never be surpassed, and, one devoutly hopes, will never be equaled elsewhere". Bork emphasizes that the court "has set aside legislation... when there were disagreements about policy".

Jeremy: Either way, I'm not going to respond to your responses to points you think I made but didn't.

I'll leave it to the intelligent reader to judge for him or herself whether or not my comments addressed the points you made.

In any case, I can see why you'd rather not respond...

Jeremy said...

1. Your sources are from before the court decision. Clearly the army believes that 443 is a road that needs protection. If you can show me that Bibi removes roadblocks without consulting the army, then we can talk.

2. I don't see how a third-hand opinion about what Robert Bork thinks sheds any light. If you can show me three laws the Israeli Supreme Court struck down, I'll be shocked.

Lurker said...

Jeremy: If you can show me that Bibi removes roadblocks without consulting the army, then we can talk.

A non sequitur, since in today's Israel, the army acts an automatic rubber stamp for government decisions. The few, rare exceptions to this prove the rule: E.g., in 1995, when Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon gave PM Sharon his opinion that Sharon's planned "Disengagement" from Gaza would endanger the security of Sderot and the surrounding areas, Sharon responded by firing Yaalon and replacing him with a more compliant yes-man.

Jeremy: I don't see how a third-hand opinion about what Robert Bork thinks sheds any light.

Robert Bork served as the U.S. Solicitor General, the acting U.S. Attorney General, a judge for the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and a Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law, and the Ave Maria School of Law. He also was a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. With all due respect, I'd have to say his opinion carries a bit more weight than your own.

And the opinions in his book are first-hand, not third-hand. I read it cover to cover, and I highly recommend it.

Jeremy: If you can show me three laws the Israeli Supreme Court struck down, I'll be shocked.

Your challenge is really a red herring, since, as Evelyn Gordon pointed out, the Israeli Supreme Court under Barak (and his successor) makes decisions "not by interpreting the law, but by creating new laws in the Knesset's stead".

However, since you're so insistent, here are six laws the Israeli Supreme Court struck down. (It took less than two minutes to find these in Google.)

(1) H.C. 1715/97 Lishkat Menahalei Hashkaot v. Minister of Finance (Piskei Din 51(4) 367 – Hebrew) in which the court declared null and void a section of a law imposing a new licensing regiment on investment brokers.

(2) H.C. 6055/95 Tsemach v. Minister of Defense – (Piskei Din 53(5) 241 – Hebrew) in which sections of the Military Jurisdiction Act were overturned.

(3) H.C. 1030/99 Oron M.K. v. Government of Israel – (Piskei Din 56(3) 640 – Hebrew) in which the court overturned a section of the law which gave licenses to unlicensed radio stations (mainly nationalist-religious) who had been operating illegally for at least five years prior to the law.

(4) H.C. 1661/05 Hof Gaza Regional Council v. The Knesset – (Piskei Din 59(2) 481 – Hebrew) in which the Court overturned four provisions of the "Disengagement" evacuation/compensation law with regard to rights to compensation (although the majority – 10 of 11 judges – refrained from dealing with the actual decision to carry out the expulsion saying "that in such matters we cannot interfere except for extraordinary and extreme cases").

(5) Supreme Court overturns "Intifada Law" (2005)

(6) Supreme Court overturns Prison Privatization Law" (2009)

Jeremy: If you can show me three laws the Israeli Supreme Court struck down, I'll be shocked.

So, I presume you're now shocked, yes?

dirty shirt said...

There is absolutely no checks and balances, and no accountability under the current system in Israel. The system is a holdover from the Ottoman Turks and the English. Both of these were colonial powers that needed to rule from afar, thereby necessatating an all powerful judiciary. Add on to this the reality that the supreme court has no constitution or document to interpret. There is only a loose collection of basic laws which are wide open to manipulation. This allows the justices to impose their own "morality" and NOT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE. Israel is, in effect, a judicial dictatorship. The supreme court can rule that the government has the right to decide security matters (Jews can't build), and then turn around the next day (when it applies to Pals) and say the goverment must find another option.

Take a lesson from Honduras. When a division of government tried to impose its will against the will of the people, they stood up and fought for what was right. Honduras did not face an existential threat. Israel does. Time to take action against the fifth column.

Neshama said...

That's a cute piece of clipart; however, it resembles a Tombstone to me. ::-)

Shiloh said...

Kol hakavod Lurker.

Lurker said...

A small correction to my comment above -- Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon was fired by PM Sharon in 2005, not 1995.

ilona@israel said...

i think israel has to work on streighten of relationships with palestinians instaed of this wiered arrests...

Jeremy said...

Lurker-

I apologize for exaggerating on the number of overturned laws (i don't have time to go through them, but we'll assume they all overturn actual legislation). But the quote that you bring is exactly what I'm talking about. The court is not "activist" when it comes to overturning legislation, only government decisions. This is why the solution is legislation.

This relates also to dirty's comment - the court is supposed to check the executive branch. That check definitely exists. It's the check to the court (namely, legislation, that's missing).

The problem here is not checks and balances, but something related - separation of powers. The fact is, that the legislative branch is automatically controlled by the party of the executive. There's no separation between the executive and the legislative. Thus, if the Prime Minister wants to promote a certain policy (anti-majority), he cannot be checked by the Knesset, who is supposed to be looking out for the majority.

Finally, the government SHOULD, nay MUST act as a rubber stamp to government decisions. They carry out government policy. Anything else would be considered a coup. Civilian control over the military is considered a basic form of any true democracy. That doesn't mean that I like this government's policies any more than you do, but it's the way governments have to work.

DIRTYSHIRT said...

Jeremy

You make a good point about the executive and legistlative branches, however this has no correlation to the case in point. In this case, the government was incensed by the decision, yet it is powerless to do anything about it. If you follow Lurkers links, you would see that the court has struck down actual legistlation passed by the knesset. Clearly the lack of legistlation is not the problem. The issue is that the judges "interpret" the ambiguous Basic laws however they wish. These are the only laws that they must abide by. Would you like the knesset to pass a Basic law that Palestinian motorists cannot use road 443? This is an insane system, that empowers a few unelected elites to rule without any accountability for their actions.

Lurker said...

Me: ...in today's Israel, the army acts an automatic rubber stamp for government decisions. The few, rare exceptions to this prove the rule: E.g., in [2005], when Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon gave PM Sharon his opinion that Sharon's planned "Disengagement" from Gaza would endanger the security of Sderot and the surrounding areas, Sharon responded by firing Yaalon and replacing him with a more compliant yes-man.

Jeremy: the government SHOULD, nay MUST act as a rubber stamp to government decisions. They carry out government policy. Anything else would be considered a coup.

I can't believe you're saying what you're saying. So according to you, then, when the government asks the army for its expert military opinion on the security implications of something the government is planning, the army should just always respond with automatic approval. And Bogie Yaalon deserved to get fired by Sharon, since, through the act of informing the PM that the government's plans would endanger Israeli citizens, Yaalon was actually mounting a "coup".

Jeremy: Civilian control over the military is considered a basic form of any true democracy.

And according to you, if the military dares to speak up and tell the government about the inherent dangers in their plans, then they are somehow violating that civilian control -- merely by voicing their opinion. Yaalon should have just kept his mouth shut, and said nothing to the PM.

That's not democracy; that's lunacy. And a surefire recipe for disaster.

Where you get these ideas from?

Oh, and one more thing: Earlier, you wrote: "If you can show me that Bibi removes roadblocks without consulting the army, then we can talk."

But according to you, if Bibi does consult with the army, the army "SHOULD, nay MUST act as a rubber stamp" for whatever Bibi has already decided to do. To inform him that there are security dangers in his plans would be "considered a coup". So what is the point of your question, then? If Bibi consults with the army about his plans, the army would then be obliged under (your peculiar conception of) democracy to be nothing more than yes-men.

Jeremy said...

Nothing you said closely resembles my opinion. If I was unclear, I apologize. If you want to discuss, please read it again.

Wondering Jew said...

Do you realise this would not be a discussion point in any other country?

How can you possibly have a discussion about the rights and wrongs of the decision making process when people are being killed as the result of the outcome of these decisions?

The only country that anywhere approaches the strangeness of the Israeli High Court thinking is England pre World War 2

Jeremy: I decided to write a post about "Jew Free" roads and while researching them, I found that Israel's Ambassador the the USA and the Justice Ministry wrote a report responding to the World Bank's accusations against Israel that we're intentionally hurting the Palestinians.

Agreed, many decisions being made in Israel currently are an attempt to create a positive world opinion of Israel (good luck) - what that means is that Israeli's in Israel who report against Israel are (partly) responsible for the pressure that causes these decisions to be made.

In any other country, citizens who report against the country while in a state of war are considered traitors and are executed. If America is in a state of war against terrorists, what is Israel?

(Apologies for the slight off topic)

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