Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Supreme Court Representation: The Danger to Israel's Democracy

Almost everyone is jumping on the bandwagon these days, saying that the evil MKs that comprise the (elected) government in Israel are doing their best to destroy the "Democratic Character" of Israel.

What has enraged them the most by far, is the proposal to allow the people of Israel, via their elected officials to actually decide who will comprise the makeup of the Supreme Court, rather than giving exclusive veto power to the existing Supreme Court justices.

In effect, the Supreme Court today ensures there is no representation of "the people" on the court, rather they decide in their own exclusive, infinite wisdom who may join them in ruling over Israel.

I suggest you view the following short (2 minute) video, which is captioned into English, for a clear, concise explanation of why democracy is allegedly endangered by letting the people of Israel have a say who should be on the Supreme Court.

If you don't like the video, and do believe that Israel's Democracy is truly in danger by allowing the Supreme Court justices to be actually representative of the people of Israel -- you are in good company. I'm sure you'll enjoy this unbiased article (written by an Israeli) on the same subject at Al-Jazeerah's Cross-Cultural Understanding section, entitled: Zionist Terrorists in the Knesset Threaten Remains of Democracy in Israel.

hat-tip: RRW

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nanaloshen said...

OM Gosh - Supreme Court Justices are voted by by 9 people?! That's ridiculous. That has seriously got to change. Good luck.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

nanaloshen: You've just outed yourself as an enemy of democracy.


josh said...

But Hillary Clinton said so.

Anonymous said...

What shocks me the most is the fact that in America the supreme court justices are Appointed by a single person.

Israel is trying to imitate America and they scream the death of democracy?


Anonymous said...

I don't think that website has any connection to Al-Jazeera TV.

Vox Populi said...

Yep, Israel's definitely an outlier in how they appoint judges. To a certain extent, all judges with powers of judicial review present problems to democratic theory, but Israel does seem at least a bit more towards shielding them from accountability.

There's a fair amount of literature about the Israeli High Court (in its current incarnation) as an attempt by the old Ashkenazi elite to enshrine their values when it became apparent in the 70s, 80s, and 90s that right wing voters were taking over.

I would say the American system isn't really so good, either. One party is fully capable of vetoing all judicial nominees, and that party is not necessarily very representative of the people either. Also, once a judge is i, he's in forever. I don't think there's really any ideal way to do this.

JoeSettler said...

What! I agree with Vox?!

תיקון ישראל said...

Despite my own tendency to prefer the will of the voter in judicial nominations, via his representatives in parliament, I do wish to point your attention to the fact that the American system operates from within a constitutional mechanism of restraints, repressing the legislator's zeal and momentary populist urges. Absent a constitution, the Israeli system has only precedent law to rely on for that same calming effect, and empowering the judiciary to block political pressures in nominations used to be a good, reliable means to achieve balance and moderation.

However, all of that went out the window when the Supreme Court itself became zealous and activist beyond any known western precedent. In a sense, the Barak and Beinish courts wrote the very plotline which had to end with parliament revolting against their heavy handed repression of the voter's will. Sadly, what will be lost with the new Ketzale law is the careful balance between a passive and active court, pulling it completely in the direction of inaction.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why people think that the court should be doing anything other than deciding who is innocent and who is guilty, and making sure that new laws and old laws jive together.

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