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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 10, 2003

In case you were wondering

Shabtai Alboher is a former legal counsel in the office of the IDF Judge Advocate General. Here he ponders the ruling of the Israel Supreme Court
In a surprising and unprecedented move, the Supreme Court has ruled that a candidate or a political party running on a platform denying Israel´s right to exist as a Jewish State is a legitimate choice for the Israeli electorate. The candidate, Azmi Bishara, and his party, Balad, are in favor of replacing the State of Israel with a state "of all of its residents" that has no specific identification with the Jewish People. Bishara has even stated publicly that, in his opinion, there is no such thing as a "Jewish People".

The court´s decision in the Bishara case seems to fly in the face of Israeli law, which states specifically that a party or candidate that denies the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state must be disqualified from running for the Knesset. Israel´s Attorney General, Elyakim Rubinstein, relying on that law, successfully convinced the Elections Commission to disqualify Bishara and Balad from running for the Knesset.
Do I ever hate judicial activism. The Israel Supreme Court is no different in that respect than most courts in the western World in that they continually fashion society as they would have it be instead of applying the law as the legislature intended it to be. To my mind this subverts democracy and puts too much power in the hands of the judiciary.

Ted Belman tedbel@rogers.com