Nov 18, 2007
some news items you might have missed
1. A group of Arab MKs have announced that they are drafting a document declaring their rejection of Israel as a Jewish state.
I am not really sure how a rejection like that works. The took some sort of oath when they joined the Israeli government. Do they have the ability to reject it while at the same time serving in its government?By definition, they must accept Israel and the Jewish state simply by their participation in its governance.
Let us not forget - the Declaration of Independance upon which the State of Israel was founded says, "ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL."
"Israel" and "Jewish State" go hand in hand from the inception of the State. If you serve in the governance, and take an oath to uphold its laws and be faithful to the State, by definition you accept it. How can you then reject it? If they had any integrity and really rejected the State, should they not resign their seats? And if not, should they not be thrown out of the Knesset, for serving in bad faith or something?
2. The fight between the Justice Minister and the Supreme Court is continuing and even heating up. JM Friedmann wants to impose new reforms on the court. The court feels threatened and rejects the unilateral reforms. It has turned into a real fight.
While I have no opinion on the specific reforms, as I do not understand them or what the ramifications of these reforms are, I always enjoy a good fight. The Supreme Court had it coming. They are an elite group and the selection of justices for the bench are conducted not by any publicly elected body or committee, rather by the justices themselves. They have been accused of being separate from the people and overstepping their boundaries considering everything to be within its purview and authority. Friedmann has been looking for ways to limit the courts power.
I particularly enjoyed this quote from Aharon Barak, the retired former President of the Supreme Court in which he says, "The way to do this is by instigating public debate, and promoting the reforms in the spirit of our legal culture. It is possible that the High Court has gone too far in extending its jurisdiction, although I beg to differ. But this needs to be debated rather than imposed from above by the legislature. This is wrong."
I like that - he says there must be public debate on the issue. Maybe the court has taken too much power, but that power should not just be taken away. There should be a public debate. Hmmmmm, when the court took the power, did they hold public debates? Did the courts ever embrace public debate on the issues relating to the court? Not that I remember. Public debate was always rejected as being incitement and anti-democratic. Now that their heads are seriously on the chopping block, public debate seems to be a good fallback...
3. The middle and high school teachers strike trudges on. It has been running for over a month and there is no end in sight. Friday looked good when Olmert publicly discussed the issue for the first time saying he supports serious wage increases for the teachers. That optimism that statement brought was quickly dashed when the representative of the teachers union went to meet with Olmert to discuss Olmert's proposal and Olmert refused to meet with him.
Last night the teachers and their supporters held a large rally in Tel Aviv with "tens of thousands" in attendance showing their support. Knowing these teachers, they probably took roll call...
4. This past week yet another criminal investigation was opened up into Ehud Olmert. This one for illegal campaign funding... Somehow he still manages to hold on to his seat... This is more of a critique on those who sit in his government for them letting the most corrupt politician Israel ever had as PM to continue negotiate away unhindered.
5. Meir Sheetrit, the Interior Minister and a leading member of the Kadima party, has announced that the municipality of Sderot is in his sights..
Sheetrit has ordered an investigation into the affairs of the municipality, claiming it is run with corruption. The mayor of Sderot, Eli Moyal, has been under investigation and relieved himself of his duties for four months to allow the investigation to run its course. This past week he came back to work due to no progress in the investigation. Now this new investigation was announced with no specific details. It is probably just because Moyal has been so outspoken against the government and the lack of protection provided to the city of Sderot and its residents.
Supposedly in a recent visit to Sderot, Sheetrit met with local activists of the Kadima party and at the time promised them that he intended to disband the municipal government and appoint a new one. Clearly he intends to put "yes men" in power who will not criticize the government so much. We will see how this one plays out...
And if Sheetrit is really so worried about corruption and bad governance, he should be figuring out how to replace the leaders of Kadima who have all been indicted, under , multiple investigations, convicted and yet are still allowed to run the show. Work on disbanding them before you go attack the already beleaguered city of Sderot.