Written by Eli Hazan, International Director, Likud Party, Israel
Do you know any Western democracy where an authority composed by 15 judges, that mostly choose one another in a bring-a-friend fashion, generally think alike and in addition, hold unlimited supremacy so that in the end all decisions in this democracy are made by them?
Do you know of any Western democracy in which there isn’t any real separation between the executive, legislative, and judicial powers, so much so, that the judiciary functions also as legislative and executive?
Is there any Western democracy where it is forbidden to criticize this authority, or you are immediately accused of being a fascist?
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Israel.
Let me be clear: Israel is a democracy. Many free elections are held. The media and press enjoy complete freedom of speech, although there were many attempts by left-wing legislators to shut down a newspaper and to limit free speech in the social media.
All these failed, thank God, but it would be accurate to define Israel as a “Distorted Democracy,” so to speak.
In other words, we have an elected government, and it sometimes makes decisions, also critical ones. We have a parliament where thousands of new bills are submitted in each and every term of the Knesset. However, approximately since the end of the 1980’s, the Israeli Supreme Court has taken upon itself more and more power, so that it has become in fact the only ruler. Although there should be no doubt that the Supreme Court does not intervene in just anything, the moment it does no one can stop it. As if we were in a dictatorship!
The Judicial Revolution
It’s possible to say that the starting point of big changes in the Israeli democracy was 1992. Until then Israel didn’t have a constitution. The “Basic Laws” were supposed to be the future constitution. That same year, just before elections were held, a small number of parliament members decided, tricked by the legal drafters, that parliament adopt two additional important basic laws – one of them the “Human Dignity and Liberty”.
But wait a moment: If Human Dignity is so important, how come three years after that Mr. Aharon Barak, one of the Supreme Court judges who later became its President, decided in a very polemical ruling that any regular law which contradicts the fundamental laws will be automatically ruled out and that the Israeli Supreme Court is the only body who can rule on the subject?
Actually, the former President decided that everything can be decided judicially.
In fact, what Mr. Barak decided is: so what if the Israelis elect their representatives in elections? So what if there is a philosophical choice behind the election results?
That is irrelevant. I, Aharon Barak, together with the other judges of the Supreme Court, will decide how you live, what you see, what you eat, and which media channels you watch. Delusional.
In addition, if Abraham Lincoln defined in the famous Gettysburg Address speech the basic guidelines of the democracy: government of the people, by the people, and for the people, indeed Mr. Barak did the exact opposite. At once he reestablished kings, emperors, and dictators.
He did not do this in Middle Ages Europe but in the only democracy in the Middle East in the 21st century.
It doesn’t end here. Mr. Barak invented something that doesn’t exist in any other democracy in the world: reasonableness. He turned it into an instrument of judicial review, at the same time that he decides what is reasonable and what’s not.
Israel is an immensely diverse and complex society to which Jews from all over the world come and where they live side by side with Jews and Arabs born here.
Mr. Barak is an Ashkenazi Jew who tried to impose his views upon everybody else and therefore appointed judges aligned with his views.
And the written laws legislated by the Israeli parliament? They are no longer relevant.
This all becomes even more chaotic when you know that he retired from his position in 2006 but his distorted traditions live on with the support of the media and the Israeli left.
Indeed, in the last years there was only a minor change: a small number of judges with views contrary to his were elected but they were a drop in the ocean.
These rules were set a long time ago, and whoever tries to change them is immediately called undemocratic. If you looked for George Orwell’s 1984 you can find it here.
How absurd is the situation?
It’s known to everyone in Israel, right and left, that we need judiciary reform.
The sixth Netanyahu’s government elected not long ago by a significant majority, promised before the elections, in loud and clear voice, for the Israeli public, that reforms would take place to correct the distortions.
Right after the government was sworn in, the attempts to submit the reforms started, but the opposition, which lost the election, broke into an outburst in which it informed the whole world that the government will transform Israel into North Korea.
Of course, the truth is very far from that, and quite the opposite.
Yair Lapid, leader of the opposition, said several times in the past that the situation in which the Supreme Court has unlimited power is unbearable. The former Minister of Justice, Gideon Saar, expressed countless times that in Israel an override clause must be legislated.
Other opposition politicians even posted videos on the social media where they show the misrepresentation and even suggested to fix the situation.
But now, having been defeated, they decided to burn down the house, that is to say, destroy Israel, as it happened during the Second Temple.
The international media is overflowing with false information. Heads of states making declarations about the Israeli democracy using slogans to describe our democracy, without understanding they are being abused. The very same left wing is also connected to Israel’s haters and encourages investors to leave the country targeting the destruction of our economy.
Will they succeed in preventing the reform and in ruining Israel’s name? The answer is NO.
At the end of the day, when we look deep inside, we understand the obvious: Israel is a secure and great place to invest in. With Netanyahu in the driver’s seat the country can survive any crises and succeed a lot financially.
For instance, Israel just recently bypassed Germany in GDP per capita income.
Democracy is the separation between the three branches of state, and after Israel returns to being a full-fledged democracy, investors will realize it’s worth for them to rejoin and continue the successes created by Prime Minister Netanyahu.