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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Israel to commit demographic suicide?

The State of Israel may commit demographic suicide in a Jerusalem courtroom on Sunday. Israel's Supreme Court is scheduled to convene as a High Court of Justice to hear arguments in a case challenging the 'constitutionality' (an odd term given that Israel has no constitution) of a Knesset law that bars 'Palestinians' from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as citizens of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran, from gaining Israeli citizenship by marrying Israeli citizens.
The High Court has heard the appeal against the law in the past and struck it down by a one-vote margin. On Sunday, however, the High Court will convene in a seven-member panel headed by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch to hear the petition again, and this time it is expected to rule in favor of striking down the law.

According to grassroots Zionist activism group Im Tirtzu, “between 1993 and 2003, 130,000 Palestinians who had lived in enemy Arab countries and in Judea and Samaria received Israeli citizenship through marriage with Israeli Arabs. By making use of the Israeli law which had allowed the granting of citizenship to Arabs who marry Israeli citizens, the Palestinians succeeded in meaningfully changing the demographic balance within Israel and to begin implementing their demand for the return of refugees into Israel.”

The Knesset law that prevents this was passed as a temporary order in 2003 and is extended annually by the Knesset. It prevents Arabs from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, as well as citizens of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, from receiving Israeli citizenship by marrying Israeli citizens.

According to demographic expert Arnon Sofer, if the court annuls the law, hundreds of thousands of Arabs within the Middle East will marry family members in Israel and gradually erase the Jewish majority in Israel.
A number of points should be made. First, as I noted above, Israel has no constitution. The Supreme Court challenges to this law are based upon what are called "Basic Laws" that were passed without a majority of the Knesset even being present in the chamber! The Supreme Court has taken these laws and fashioned a 'constitution' out of them on its own, granting rights that were never accepted by a majority of the Knesset, let alone by a majority of Israelis.

Second, many of these marriages are - as the article implies - fictitious. In this respect, Israel is no different than any other country in the West where fictitious marriages are consummated in order to gain welfare or other benefits. What makes Israel different is that in this case, those consummating the marriages are not seeking benefits from the State: They are seeking to destroy the State.

Third, the law only restricts males over the age of 35 and females over the age of 25. It is likely that the Knesset wanted to go with a total ban, but did not do so in the hope of surviving Supreme Court scrutiny.

As some of you may have heard, one of Yisrael Beiteinu's original conditions for entering the government was that current Justice Minister Daniel Friedman remain in his position. Friedman has aroused the ire of Israel's Left by attempting to restrict the Supreme Court's ability to strike down Knesset laws. Israelis are regularly subject to 'interviews' with former Supreme Court justices in which Friedman is lambasted for perceived slights to the dignity of the Court, which are based upon this issue and his questioning of the selection process for Supreme Court justices.

Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu is still hoping to get Ehud Barak's Labor party into the government that he is currently forming. Labor will not join the government if Friedman is Justice Minister. On Thursday, Netanyahu named Yaakov Ne'eman (pictured) as Justice Minister. Ne'eman is a former Finance Minister who served briefly as Justice Minister several years ago. He is also a prominent Tel Aviv lawyer. On Friday, Friedman praised Ne'eman's appointment. Will Yaakov Ne'eman oppose the Supreme Courts absconding with legislative power in Israel? Let's hope so. Otherwise, we may not be able to save the State of Israel from itself.


At 4:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yaakov Ne'eman is an excellent choice for Justice Minister. The Left - meaning the prosecution, courts and media drove him out of office on trumped up charges of which he was subsequently acquitted, when he was appointed to the same post in the first Bibi government. He will finish the job Daniel Friedmann began of ending the judicial activism of Israel's courts, eliminating the "dual justice" system in Israel with one set of rules for the Left and another set of rules for other Israelis and reforming the politically biased prosecution in the Justice Ministry itself. He is the perfect man for the job and the Left in driving out Friedmann, just made its first big mistake.

I wish him well - he will need it!

At 12:34 PM, Blogger R-MEW Editors said...

The Attorney General and Supreme Court clearly run the show in Israel. If a PM strays too far from the left's agenda, he/she will quickly find him/herself the subject of criminal probes into malfeasance occurring years ago.

Sharon and Olmert each experienced an "epiphany" leading to overarching commitments to a Palestinian state, the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza, offers to divide Jerusalem, etc, etc -- all oddly coinciding with the launch or acceleration of investigations by the AG into their business dealings.

On the other hand, a former PM who accumulated personal wealth far beyond what one could expect of a career politician enjoyed immunity from similar probes because he was part and parcel of the left-wing machine.

Netanyahu knows what awaits him if he does not toe the line; hence, his angst over forming a right-wing government which will leave him no room to surrender -- er, "maneuver".


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