Tuesday, July 31, 2018

2018-08-01 Brief history of Equality and the State of Israel

Brief history of Equality and the State of Israel

Israel has more or less ceased the use of the "only democracy in the ME"... It has become a cliche. Anyway it was a fiction, since "democracy" in this case was not in the context of a "Republic" of free and equal people.

The State of Israel form of government has never accepted notions such as, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..." (1776)

The State of Israel form of government has neither accepted notions such as, "1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good. 2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. 3. The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation... " (1789)

The State of Israel Declaration of Independence of 1948 is based on the presumption that nations have the natural right for sovereignty, and the Jewish nation has a natural and historical right for sovereignty in the Land of Israel, which was recognized in the UN Partition Resolution of 1947. The Declaration then continues to declare that "the State of Israel... would provide its citizens complete social and political equality with no distinction based on religion, race, or gender..."

However, regardless of early promises, the State of Israel remains unique in the fact that during its 70 years of independence it has never accomplished the drafting of a constitution.  That was because of the inability to form a wide consensus even regarding fundamental principles, in particular Equality.
In 1992, the Israeli Knesset finally passed the "Base Law - Human Dignity and Liberty". However, contrary to early drafts, the final act fails to mention Equality.
Later, the Israeli Supreme Court, led by its dominant Presiding Justice Aharon Barak, decided that new Base Law was the first article of a constitution (although it passed by a 32:24 vote in a Knesset of 120).  Barak was mocked by Richard Posner as a judicial pirate, enlightened despot (https://newrepublic.com/article/60919/enlightened-despot)...
In the years 1992-2018, the Israeli Supreme Court repeatedly ruled that there is no "constitutional, supra-statutory" standing for Equality in the State of Israel, and such state of affairs is not the outcome of an "error of omission", but the result of lack of political agreement...
In June 2018, Arab MKs tried to place on the agenda discussion and preliminary vote on "Base Law - State of All Its Citizens", which would have effectively declared that the State of Israel is a "Republic".  In a unique decision, the Knesset Rules and Means Committee decided to prohibit placing such bill on the agenda, either for discussion or for a preliminary vote.
Then, in July 2018, alt-right MKs, with Netanyahu's encouragement, placed on the agenda the "Base Law - Jewish Nation," which passed in a 61:54 vote, effectively enacting Inequality as a constitutional, supra-statutory principle.

In a surprise reaction, the public, which generally is ignorant and apathetic, focusing mostly on security and fake security concerns, woke up, and first of their kind, large demonstrations merged unlikely partners as mainstream Jewish groups with Arabs, Druz, and LGBT...
Surely not a "democracy", but a unique ME spectacle...

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The fundamental disagreement regarding the nature of the regime, which has been glossed over for 70 years, has turned into a wide rift under Netanyahu: On the one hand is the secular Jewish public, Arab, Druz, and other minorities, which hope for a republic of "naturally" free and equal people (even if they have no clue of such principles). On the other hand is the Jewish religious public and its alt-right partners, which hope for a halachic kingdom, where non-Jewish minorities have only non-citizen, limited rights.

Circumstances in Israel today are incredible: The State generously supports rabbis, who run "pre-military academies" in Jewish settlements in Palestine. Such rabbis advocate that women's place is at home, that non-observant Jews are traitors, Arabs should be violently oppressed, and disobedience in any matter that involves actions against illegal settlements in Palestine. The ultimate goal is building of a new Jewish temple in place of the mosques in Jerusalem, and renewal of animal sacrifice...
Israeli Rabbi Apologizes for 'Style,' Not Content, of Remarks on Female Soldiers
Yigal Levinstein, a rabbi in a West Bank settlement, decries 'a feminist approach inconsistent with Judaism' in the Israel Defense Forces.


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Joseph Zernik Needless to say which side the US, and in particular its Ambassador David Friedman are supporting. 

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Jewish religious sectors in Israel also see no harm in vast government corruption. Netanyahu is perceived as a ruler by divine intent, and any form of deceit and embezzlement of Arabs and Jews is permitted for promoting the "settlement project" in Palestine.

People, including Israeli citizens and non-Israeli Jews,  who oppose such world view are considered by the Israeli regime "auto anti-Semites".  Their oppression (including denial of entry to Israel, when non-citizens, Shin-Bet interrogation and threats upon entry, when citizens) has become a routine.

Joseph Zernik Jewish religious sectors in Israel also see no harm in vast government corruption. Netanyahu is perceived as a ruler by divine intent, and any form of deceit and embezzlement of Arabs and Jews is permitted for promoting the "settlement project" in PaleSee More

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Joseph Zernik Politicians in the US, UK, Germany, etc, who support the Palestinian cause, have become targets of "anti-Semitic" smear campaigns.

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