The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

11-Jun-2008

Theocracy Versus Judaism: How the Jews of Israel Have Been Deceived and Disempowered (I)

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 5:24 am Edit This

Part one of a series.

The Bogeyman of Theocracy

Israel’s Guardians of Secularism are fond of using the bogeyman of “theocracy” to frighten the public on issues involving the relationship between religion and state. They have conditioned Israelis to believe that “theocracy” means the “rule of priests,” and hardly anything can be more undemocratic—right? Israel’s Secular Priesthood associate theocracy with the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church, Ayatollah Khomeini, Inquisitions, auto-de-fés, tyranny—something utterly contrary to the Enlightenment embodied in “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The Illuminati are ever vigilant about “religious coercion.” They fulminate against Sabbath restrictions on commercial activities in a reputedly Jewish state, yet they applaud the secular coercion of a government that expelled 8,000 Jews from their homes in Gush Katif, leveled theirs schools and synagogues, destroyed their farms and factories, and traumatized women and children as well as the elderly while pulverizing their flourishing communities. The hypocrisy of Israel’s Secular Guardians betrays their hatred of Judaism.

All the talk about theocracy is obscurantism: there never has been a theocracy—thank God! What the Guardians of Secularism regard as a theocracy or theocratic state is in fact a “clerical” state, where a small minority uses the aura of religion to rule ignorant masses. Today, a small minority in Israel uses the aura of democracy to rule the masses. This ruling minority employs the myth of theocracy to obscure the fact that Israeli democracy is also a myth, except on election day. On that marvelous day the masses vote. How? (more…)

15-Apr-2008

Curbing Judicial Despotism

Filed under: Democratic MethodsSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 5:20 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio. April 14, 2008.

A Jerusalem Post article of April 11, 2008 says: “Former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak has called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to fire Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, whom he accused of threatening to destroy Israeli democracy.”

Barak’s statement is either disingenuous or rooted in willful ignorance. Israel cannot honestly be deemed a democracy if only because Barak’s notorious dictum, that “everything is justiciable,” renders the unelected Supreme Court superior to the legislative and executive branches of government. Indeed, if “everything is justiciable” the Court can prescribe the morality or way of life of the Jewish people: Consider a few judicial rulings:

  • ● The Court ignored the Attorney General’s decision, affirmed by the Knesset Elections Committee, to disqualify the Balad Party for violating Basic Law: The Knesset, which prohibits any party that negates the Jewish character of the State. (more…)

12-Feb-2008

The Hidden Agenda of Judge Aharon Barak: Despotism in the Name of Democracy

Filed under: Democratic MethodsSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:06 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, February 11, 2008.

If you see a generation which is constantly on the decline, go and investigate the Judges of Israel.
-Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 139a)

At the recent Herzliya Conference, former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak warned or threatened the audience about attempts to introduce changes in the method of appointing judges of the Court—which critics have called a self-appointed oligarchy. Hence this essay.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, a brilliant lawyer, regards Judge Robert Bork as one of the finest legal minds in the United States. Judge Bork has said that Israel’s Supreme Court is the worst in the world—and he said this while Aharon Barak was Israel’s Supreme Court president.

In fact, eminent citizens of Israel across the political spectrum have been very critical of the Court, especially under Judge Barak. Here are the names of some of the critics: (more…)

04-Nov-2007

The Need to Restrain Israel’s Supreme Court

Filed under: Supreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:22 am Edit This

Eminent persons across political spectrum in Israel—judges, academics, and lawyers—have said that Israel’s Supreme Court, especially under its former President Aharon Barak, has exceeded its prescribed powers and has handed down many decisions that violate basic principles of democracy, to say nothing of Zionism and Judaism.

Since the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is presently engaged in drafting a constitution for the State of Israel, it behooves the members of this Committee to curb the judicial imperialism of the Supreme Court. The mode of appointing the judges of the Court should be crafted in such a way as to deter the Court from arrogating to itself powers or functions which, as a matter of principle and of prudence, rightfully belong to the Legislative and Executive branches of government. (more…)

19-Sep-2007

A Political Dictionary for Israelis and Immigrants: Part I

A. Democracy: Two Types

  1. Normative” or classical democracy: based on the idea of man’s creation in the holy image of God. This provides democracy’s basic principles, freedom and equality, with rational and moral constraints. (Freedom is not “living as you like,” and equality is not a leveling but and elevating principle. The holy nation is a “kingdom of noblemen.”)

  2. Normless” or contemporary democracy. No ethical standards. Freedom is living as you please, and equality leads to vulgarity via the equivalence of all lifestyles. (Moral equivalence: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Arafat is awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.) (more…)

29-Aug-2007

Torah Government versus Israeli Democracy

Filed under: JudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 7:14 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, August 27, 2007.

Part I: Kingship

Although Israelis may not merit a Torah government, I will show that a Torah government, with its king and Sanhedrin, is more democratic than Israeli democracy.

The Hebrew term for king, melech, primarily implies a chief “counselor,” a president whose intellectual and moral qualities warrant his elevation and authority. The Torah basis for kingship is in Deuteronomy (17:14-15): There it is said that when the Israelites come to the land G-d is giving them, they shall appoint a king from among their brethren, but they shall not appoint a foreigner.

Back in 1948, a Knesset committee considered a draft constitution containing a clause requiring Israel’s president to be Jewish. (more…)

25-Aug-2007

מלחמת היהודים ביהודים

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationalsעברית — eidelberg @ 7:05 am Edit This

מלחמת היהודים ביהודים

מאת: פרופ' פול איידלברג

בתלמוד הבבלי (מס' פסחים דף מט ע' ב') כתוב כי שנאתם של עמי-ארצות לתלמידי חכמים גדולה משנאתם של גויים את עם ישראל. בזוהר הק' (שמות ז:ב) מופיע כי בקץ הימים, יהיו רשעים מזרע ישראל שיכרתו ברית עם שונאי ישראל.

יהודים אלו הפכו לאליטה השלטת במדינה. למרות היותם מיעוט קטן (אולטרה-חילוני), הם שולטים במרכזי הכוח העיקריים במדינה. והם עושים זאת תוך-כדי מלמול המנטרה של "דמוקרטיה".

בדיוק יהודים כאלו הם שהחדירו בערמה את הסכמי אוסלו או ההסכם בין ישראל לפת"ח. יהודים מסוג זה הם אלו שחוקקו והוציאו לפועל את מדיניות "ההתנתקות החד-צדדית", לשון נקייה לבגידה. וכדי שלא יאשימו אותי ב"קיצוניות", הבה נזכיר לעצמנו כמה עובדות, ונתחיל ביוסי ביילין, לפנים ה"פודל" של שמעון פרס. (more…)

The War Between Jews and Jews

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialOslo/Peace ProcessIsrael's Nationals — eidelberg @ 5:10 am Edit This

The Babylonian Talmud (Pesachim 49b) states that Jewish ignoramuses are greater anti-Semites than gentiles. The Zohar (Exodus 7b) declares that in the “end of days,” certain wicked Jews will become the allies of Israel’s enemies.

Such Jews have become Israel’s ruling elites. Although they comprise a small (ultra-secular) minority, they control the major levers of power in this country. And they do so while intoning the mantra of “democracy.”

It was precisely such Jews that foisted the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement on Israel. The same kind of Jews enacted and implemented the policy of “unilateral disengagement”—a euphemism for treason. Lest I be accused of “extremism,” let us recall some facts, beginning with Yossi Beilin, Shimon Peres’s erstwhile “poodle.” (more…)

08-Feb-2007

Why the Knesset Tolerates Judicial Imperialism—Postscript

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialKnesset/LegislativeCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:09 am Edit This

The Knesset has welcomed the appointment of Supreme Court critic Prof. Daniel Friedman as justice minister. The members of the Knesset will now have their cake and as well as the icing. They see in Prof. Friedman’s appointment two things favorable to their own prerogatives:

  1. a person who has been very critical of the Court’s usurpation of the Knesset’s legislative powers; and

  2. a person whose secular, leftwing orientation is consistent with the Knesset’s own political orientation—the orientation of the Establishment.

Although Prof. Friedman’s appointment is favorable to the rule of law that has been violated by Israel’s juristocracy, it still remains for the Knesset to amend Basic Law: Judiciary to curb the Court and restore a proper division of power between the judicial and legislative branches of government. Let us hope that the new minister of justice will be able to facilitate this objective.

06-Feb-2007

Why the Knesset Tolerates Judicial Imperialism

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialKnesset/Legislative — eidelberg @ 1:15 am Edit This

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, February 5, 2007.

Part I

At the risk of offending religious people, I am going to argue in Part II of this essay that Israel’s religious parties have unwittingly contributed to judicial imperialism and the secularization of Israeli society. However, to defend this conclusion, I must set forth, in Part I, statements made by eminent Israelis who have denounced the Supreme Court for exceeding its lawful powers and endangering the democratic as well as Jewish character of the State.

Former President of Israel, the late Chaim Herzog: “In a democracy, according to [Justice Aharon] Barak, the courts are placed above the Government. In my humble opinion, this approach endangers, in certain cases, the very basis of democracy.” (more…)

01-Jan-2007

The Secular Democratic State and Islam

Filed under: EthicsIslam & ArabSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 9:00 am Edit This

The founders of modernity, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Marx, prepared the foundations for the secular democratic state. In the name of philosophy and science, they undermined the authority of the Bible and removed religion from the domain of truth. Modernity, however, has spawned post-modernism, where truth has given way to moral and cultural relativism, the reigning doctrine of the secular democratic state now in process of decay.

Secular democracy was the goal of the Zionists who established the State of Israel. Their Zionism was based on the territorial nationalism of nineteenth-century Europe. (more…)

22-Dec-2006

A Perfidious Ruling of Israel’s Supreme Court

Filed under: Foreign PolicySupreme Court/JudicialCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 8:46 am Edit This

On December 12, 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that Palestinian residents of the “West Bank” and Gaza could file lawsuits against Israel for damages incurred in IDF operations, provided that the operations in question did not take place as part of a clearly defined “war.”

The court ignored or trivialized the fact that the elected leaders of these Palestinians, consistent with their PLO Constitution, are explicitly waging a relentless war against Israel. (more…)

18-Sep-2006

Against Judicial Despotism In Israel

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialKnesset/Legislative — eidelberg @ 10:09 am Edit This

Israel’s Supreme Court stands accused by eminent citizens of Israel of exceeding its lawful powers and endangering the democratic as well as Jewish character of the State.

Former President of Israel, the late Chaim Herzog: “In a democracy, according to [Court President Aharon] Barak, the courts are placed above the Government. In my humble opinion, this approach endangers, in certain cases, the very basis of democracy.” (more…)

The Law vs. Aharon Barak

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialIsrael’s Sovereignty — eidelberg @ 9:13 am Edit This

The Law vs. Aharon Barak: A full-page advertisement with this title was published on October 22, 2004 in The Jerusalem Post, in Makor Rishon and in the International Edition of The Jerusalem Post.

According to international law Judea and Samaria are not “occupied territories”, as evidenced by several international agreements that have recognized the Jewish People’s right to possess and settle the land.

The primary international legal documents that assumed, either expressly or implicitly, that Judea and Samaria are Jewish territories, being an indivisible part of the Jewish National Home, are: (more…)

22-May-2006

Chief Justice Aharon Barak and Judicial Despotism

Filed under: Supreme Court/JudicialCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 10:39 pm Edit This

[Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, May 22, 2006].

Before discussing Judge Barak, let us review Israel’s undemocratic method of appointing Supreme Court judges—there’s nothing like it in the democratic world.

The fifteen judges of the court are appointed by a nine-member committee consisting of three sitting justices, including the court president. Two are representatives of the Israel Bar Association. Two are cabinet ministers, including, the justice minister. Two are Knesset members, one representing the government coalition, the other representing the opposition. The committee’s majority, therefore, is unelected. Moreover, the two Bar Association members are subject to pressure by the court president before whom they may argue cases. This also applies to the justice minister, who can also be manipulated by the court’s president. And since the court’s president handpicks the judges for every case, he can very much determine the selection of his own successor as well as the court’s character as a whole.

So it’s obvious that Israel’s High Court of Justice is a self-perpetuating oligarchy. (more…)

13-Mar-2003

Judicial Despotism In Israel Continued

Filed under: JudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 11:29 pm Edit This

13.3.03

1. The method of appointing Israel’s Supreme Court justices is the most undemocratic in the free world. Only Israel allows almost no role for elected officials in the selection process. Three members of the nine-member selection committee are sitting members of the High Court, including the Court’s president; two are representatives of the Israel Bar Association; and four are members of the two leading parties, including the justice minister and a member of the Knesset Law Committee. The committee’s majority, therefore, is unelected. Moreover, the two members of the Bar are subject to various forms of pressure by the president of the Court before whom they may frequently appear. For similar reasons, the justice minister can also be manipulated by the Court’s president. And since the Court’s president handpicks the judges for every case, he can very much determine the selection of his own successor as well as the Court’s character as a whole. In short, Israel’s High Court of Justice is a self-perpetuating oligarchy. (more…)

01-Jan-2002

A Record of Judicial Despotism

Filed under: Supreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 11:51 pm Edit This

Before setting forth the record of judicial despotism of Israel’s Supreme Court under its president, judge Aharon Barak, it will be worthwhile to mention a judicial ruling of one of the greatest Talmudists, Ra’avad (Rabbi Avraham ben David of Posquires, 1125-1198). Ra’avad held that a Beth Din may never revoke the decision of a previous Beth Din once its latter has taken hold and spread throughout Israel.

In the last two months of 1998, Israeli courts, handed down three precedent-setting rulings that contain the seeds for fundamental change in Israel’s way of life. The first was a decision of the Supeme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, that forced the religious councils in Jerusalem and Kiryat Tivon to seat representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements. (more…)

Judicial Aspects of Torah Governance

Filed under: JudaismSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 11:40 pm Edit This

Israel is commonly regarded as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” and so it is compared to its despotic Arab neighbors. But how does Israeli governance today stand vis-a-vis Torah governance?

To answer this question, I shall limit myself to certain judicial aspects of Torah governance, and invite the reader to contrast what he knows of Israel’s Supreme Court under its president, Judge Aharon Barak.

The judicial and highest organ of Torah governance is the Great Sanhedrin. (See Deut. 17.11.) Consisting of seventy-one judges, this extraordinary institution combines judicial and legislative powers and may even bring the king to justice on a suit brought against him by any private citizen. (more…)

Israel’s Chief Justice Aaron Barak

Filed under: Constitution & RightsSupreme Court/JudicialPoliticians — eidelberg @ 11:00 pm Edit This

Israel’s Chief Justice Aaron Barak: Part I

Back in March 1992, the Knesset enacted two basic laws, Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, and Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation. According to Justice Aaron Barak, who at the time was not president of Israel’s Supreme Court, these two Basic Laws were nothing less than a “constitutional revolution.” The first mentioned Basic Law was passed by a vote of 32-21, that is, with less than half the Knesset voting, while the second passed by the underwhelming vote of 23-0.

Well, you see dear reader, there was an impending Knesset election, and Israel’s MKs were preoccupied with more important matters, like saving their seats. Yet these Basic Laws are supposed to be part of Israel’s so-called “emerging constitution.” It’s been emerging for decades! Emerging or not, can anyone imagine amending a country’s constitution, its fundamental law, by a mere 20% of its legislature, representing, we may suppose, a mere 20% of that country’s population! Would anyone take such a amendment seriously, or feel that it should have the status of a fundamental law superior to ordinary legislation? (more…)

The Rule of Law

Filed under: Democratic MethodsSupreme Court/Judicial — eidelberg @ 10:31 pm Edit This

The rule of law is a basic principle of the Torah and of classical democracy. The rule of law affirms that those who make the laws are obliged to obey the laws. Accordingly, Jewish law enables private citizens to bring public officials—including a king—to the bar of justice. Consistent therewith, the American Supreme Court held that a private citizen can institute a civil suit against a President, as indeed occurred in the case in which (former) President Bill Clinton was accused of sexual harassment.

The rule of law as just defined hardly exists in Israel. Abbie Nathan and Shimon Peres made contact with Yasser Arafat in violation of the 1986 Prevention of Terrorism Act. Mr. Nathan, a private citizen, was incarcerated for six months for that felony. Shimon Peres was never indicted. (more…)

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