February 12, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #608171
There was a letter written in yesterday’s Hebrew mishpacha paper, with a sensible suggestion, that i thought i would bring it here.
The Israeli supreme court is heavioly responsible for many of the anti chareidi decrees that happened recemtly, including striking down the tal law, excempting yeshiva leit from army duty, and the infamous story which took place in emanuel a couple of years ago.
[Perhaps somepone who is more computer literate than i can post links to the relevant yeshiva world news reports.]
Having a system whereby every judge requires a constitutional majority in the knessset to be appointed, and a majority of 61 mmebers to continue their second term would eman that every judge is responsible to the democratic system rather than allowing these anti chareidi, pro arab, liberal, tyrants to do as they please.
The writer signs off saying that all over the mideast people have risen to demand increaserd democracy, it’s time that the people of israel do so too.February 12, 2013 4:08 pm at 4:08 pm #929256
I’ve done some research, and every supreme court from the US to the UK, from Canada to Japan, and every democracy in between, is appointed, either by the cabinet, the PM/President, or the constitutional monarch. Increased democracy in the middle east – has given the muslim brotherhood the opportunity for a one man one vote one time hegemony where it has come to power. I’ll take the freedom of western liberal democracy – with all of its flaws – over that every time.
Your perspective, moreover, is ironically quite anti democratic. Having failed to persuade the electorate that being torah observant is in their best interest, and the way to demonstrate that is to vote for Shas or Yahadut Hatorah, you now want to restrict the appointed judiciary to toe your party line even though you have failed democratically in the legislative branch.
Would you have a re appointment every time there is an election? in Israel’s case, that wouldn’t even be long enough to deliberate on a single complicated case, in some situations. totally unrealistic.
Regarding Emanuel, according to Sefardi chareidim, the court did the right thing, and I agree with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not happy with the liberal slant of the supreme court either. But I guess I understand the dynamics of a democracy and the division of powers within it enough to realize that to change it you have to influence those who make the appointment.February 12, 2013 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #929257
yichusdik: I believe you are incorrect on both points. The Israeli Supreme Court often overrides the Democratic will of the government, as expressed by the Israeli electorate in the form of the laws passed by the democratically-elected Kenneset. No one is asking the courts to toe the wishes of Shas/UTJ. All we are asking is that they recognize and accept the laws passed by the Kenesset. They frequently do not. The most recent (of very many) example is the Tal Law. The Tal Law was passed into law by a majority of the democratically elected Kenneset. Yet the unelected Supreme Court overturned the law. All on the pretext of a non-existant constitution. They do that all the time. The non-existant constitution is whatever liberal imagination they dream up to overturn fairly passed laws.
Regarding your second point, you are even more incorrect. The most prominent and accepted Sefardic Gedolim, including HaGaon Chacham Ovadia Yosef shlita, clearly and unambiguously supported the position of the Beis Yaakov in Emmanuel and the innocent parents (a number of whom were Sefardim) who were jailed by the corrupt and religious-hating Supreme Court.February 12, 2013 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #929258
Shoe store assistantMember
Yichusdik, you are missing one very cruical point. Indeed all over the world the government appoints the judges – with the exception of israel, where the judges are responsible for the appointment of further judges, and have the sole right to extend their terms themselves.
In terms of emanuel, the sefardi and ashkenazi gedoilim were equally behind the chinuch atma’i school of emanuel, including both the rabbonim of the eida hachareidis and Chacham Ovadia shlit”a.February 12, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #929259
Many countries have implemented procedures to limit the influence of politics on sitting judges. I’m not sure how it works in Israel but the solution mentioned in the OP doesn’t seem to achieve this.February 12, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm #929260
The Israeli system is designed to be both independent of the political leadership, and to provide ideological consistency. It works very well. Since the judges play a large role in picking new judges, and the bar (Israeli lawyers) play a significant part, the judiciary reflects the upper class, and preserves the ideological perspectives of those who set up the judiciary in the 1950s. The Israeli Supreme Court does an excellent job of preserving the power of the secular, Ashkenazi, upper class “elites”, at the expense of those whom Israel regards as undesirable such as the Sefardim and the religious. From their perspective, the anti-religious, and anti-democratic nature of the Israeli judiciary is a “feature” and not a “bug.” A system such as the United States where judges are appointed by political leaders (or elected) wouldn’t work in Israel since you would be getting too many frum and Sefardi judges. In many ways the Israeli system resembles Britain, except that in Britain any judicial decision can be reversed by an act of parliament.
Obviously if Israel has a revolution and a Jewish state is established, the first thing to get rid of would be the secular judiciary.February 13, 2013 1:17 am at 1:17 am #929261
The purpose of a supreme court is to ensure that democratically elected government do not make undemocratic laws.
If one were to have a system as they do in America, then theoretically, were there to be a majority of a certain type of people they could force undemocratic laws on the people.
In egypt, for instance, the president has appointed a court, and in turn they have approved a far more radical constitution, with sharia as basic law, which no legal figure would ever recognise as democratic.
To put things differently, democracy is fair, but it is not necasarily right. [For instance why should i pay higher tax just because so many people were stupid enough to vote for Obama?]
I am not justifying the israeli supreme court in any way, i’m just pointing that the system suggested defeats the entire purpose of the court.February 13, 2013 1:22 am at 1:22 am #929262
YBT, thanks for the explanation. Well done and clearly explained. If we were voting for teachers i might go for you
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