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28 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

(not half as bad as his opponents said, not half as good as his supporters say)

That's a pretty good one-line summary of any recent US presidency. 😁👍

One thing the US has going for it over Israel in terms of systemic stability is sheer time. After almost 250 years, a constitutional system is reasonably settled and matured that it will weather the odd challenge; 80 years into it's existence, that looked far less certain. Of course making it to this point also speaks of a sound base, and sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing conditions.

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Some people.

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Wife of Likud activist denies he was booted from party, claims PM spoke with them

Likud refutes Hani Zarka’s version, insists activist who told anti-overhaul protesters he wished ‘another six million would be burned’ will be ousted from party

By TOI STAFF

16 Jul 2023, 8:22 pm 

The wife of prominent Likud activist Itzik Zarka on Sunday denied that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered her husband’s removal from the party for telling anti-government protesters he wished “another six million would be burned,” referring to the death toll of Jewish people in the Holocaust.

“No one is getting thrown out, it’s just a condemnation,” Hani Zarka told the Kan public broadcaster. “Everything is all right, Bibi [Netanyahu] spoke with us.”

She insisted that “the story is over” after Zarka issued an apology and claimed he was provoked.

In an official statement, Likud denied Zarka’s wife’s version of the events, adding that it was decided to boot the activist from the party immediately.

[...]

The activist’s comments Saturday came amid deep divides and national turmoil set off by the Netanyahu government’s contentious legislative efforts, which have drawn over six months of sustained anti-government protests.

“Ashkenazim, whores, may you burn in hell,” Itzik Zarka shouted at protesters at the Ein HaNatziv intersection near Beit She’an, referring to Jews of Eastern European origin.

“I am proud of the six million that were burned, I wish that another six million would be burned,” Zarka said, referring to the Holocaust.

“Leftists are traitors, you are the cancer of the country,” he could be seen saying in videos posted on social media.

“The black flags [symbols of the protest] are your shrouds. Your legs should be broken with batons, you should be kneecapped. That way you will not go to any demonstration at all,” said Zarka, who was one of a handful of counter-protesters at the junction.

On Sunday morning, Likud party put out a statement saying that Netanyahu had ordered Director-General Zuri Siso to formally remove Zarka from the party.

“We will not accept such shameful behavior in the Likud movement,” the statement read. A spokesman for the party later confirmed that, in keeping with the Likud charter, the move did not go into immediate effect, as it first had to go through the relevant internal procedures.

The Israel Police said an investigation had been opened into Zarka’s remarks.

Zarka later apologized for his words, and claimed he had been provoked.

“It came out of frustration, resentment… I should not have said that disgusting statement,” he told the Ynet news site.

Zarka also apologized in a statement on his Facebook page, but claimed that he had been “attacked by 80-100 people with severe violence” before making the comments, which he claimed were “taken out of context.” While there were police at the scene at the time of the protest, there were no reports of injuries or arrests.

Zarka has a long history of violent statements against those who oppose Netanyahu or his government’s policies, while still enjoying close ties to senior politicians including the premier, as well as to his family.

In March, he was a member of a group that threatened drivers at the entrances to two kibbutz communities, due to a belief that residents opposed Netanyahu and his government’s effort to overhaul the judiciary. The group threw stones at vehicles and spat at and cursed their occupants.

Saturday’s incident came as tens of thousands of people rallied across the country for the 28th weekend of demonstrations against the judicial overhaul, with political tensions ratcheting up as the coalition moves ahead with legislation to weaken the courts’ powers.

More than 150,000 people attended the main rally on Tel Aviv’s Kaplan Street, according to data from Crowd Solutions cited by Channel 13 news.

[...]

https://www.timesofisrael.com/wife-of-likud-activist-denies-he-was-booted-from-party-claims-pm-spoke-with-them/

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1 hour ago, BansheeOne said:

the comments, which he claimed were “taken out of context.”

🤣

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Israel passes law to strip Supreme Court of power to block government decisions, defying months of protests

By Ivana Kottasová, Richard Allen Greene, Hadas Gold and Amir Tal, CNN

Updated 9:12 AM EDT, Mon July 24, 2023

CNN — Israeli lawmakers on Monday passed a law stripping the Supreme Court of its power to block government decisions, the first part of a judicial overhaul that has sparked six months of street protests and criticism from the White House.

The controversial bill, which strips Israel’s top judges of the power to declare government actions unreasonable, passed by a vote of 64-0. All members of the far-right governing coalition voted in favor of the bill, while all opposition lawmakers walked out of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, as the vote was taking place.

Huge crowds of angry protesters gathered outside, attempting to block access to the building. They were met with barbed wires and water cannons and at least 19 were arrested before the vote, according to Israel Police.

[...]

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/24/middleeast/israel-supreme-court-power-stripped-intl/index.html

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50 minutes ago, Josh said:

Well that just seemed like a matter of time. How Israel handles itself going forward will be the question.

When are elections to be held next, presuming that this coalition holds together?

Legally, elections should take place in a little over 3 years, but there's no indication they will take place. The current government has already floated ideas about legislation to push back elections indefinitely, which I assume they'll start pushing when the current judicial overhaul is over and things settle down.

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26 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

Legally, elections should take place in a little over 3 years, but there's no indication they will take place. The current government has already floated ideas about legislation to push back elections indefinitely, which I assume they'll start pushing when the current judicial overhaul is over and things settle down.

And indefinitely delaying elections is something they can do with no legal ramifications (presumably the courts would have interfered previously)? At that point it is a naked power grab.

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3 hours ago, Josh said:

And indefinitely delaying elections is something they can do with no legal ramifications (presumably the courts would have interfered previously)? At that point it is a naked power grab.

They can't. They are working on cancelling the only law that can, hence the protests. It just passed the 1st reading today, and next week will be 2nd and 3rd readings.

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10 minutes ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

They can't. They are working on cancelling the only law that can, hence the protests. It just passed the 1st reading today, and next week will be 2nd and 3rd readings.

Will they call Israel after this a sovereign [ethnic it is already] democracy?

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On 7/17/2023 at 8:46 AM, BansheeOne said:

That's a pretty good one-line summary of any recent US presidency. 😁👍

One thing the US has going for it over Israel in terms of systemic stability is sheer time. After almost 250 years, a constitutional system is reasonably settled and matured that it will weather the odd challenge; 80 years into it's existence, that looked far less certain. Of course making it to this point also speaks of a sound base, and sufficient flexibility to adapt to changing conditions.

US also have had the Civil War...

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13 hours ago, BansheeOne said:

 

 First point of all: Israel don't have a Constitution so the Supreme Court just rules depending on judges humours by even just writing that a law is not "reasonable" so must be struck.

Second Supreme Court judges are selecting the future supreme court judges building a cultural clique without contest.

 

Quote

 

A different reading appealing for a compromise but making clear that the Supreme Court as it is is unacceptable :  https://www.cfr.org/article/israel-and-debate-over-role-judiciary-democratic-government

The key figure in Israel’s “constitutional revolution” that expanded the role of its Supreme Court is Aharon Barak, who served as a member of the court from 1978 to 1995 and as its president from 1995 to 2006. While on the court, Barak wrote that

The judge of a supreme court is not a mirror. He is an artist, creating the picture with his or her own hands. He is “legislating”—engaging in “judicial legislation.” Judicial creativity—judicial legislation—is natural to law itself. Law without discretion is a body without a spirit. Judicial creativity is part of legal existence. Such creativity—“judicial lawmaking”—is the task of a supreme court.6

Critics argue that language like this expands the court’s role far too widely. In a 2011 law review article about Barak and the court, two Israeli scholars concluded that “the drop in public esteem of the Supreme Court had much to do with Barak’s emphasis on judicial discretion. In the eyes of the public, the justices, who were not elected by the Israeli public, were using discretion and their personal ‘agenda’ to intervene in the defense and economic policies of the elected arms of government—the Knesset and the Cabinet.”

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, lucklucky said:

 

 First point of all: Israel don't have a Constitution so the Supreme Court just rules depending on judges humours by even just writing that a law is not "reasonable" so must be struck.

Second Supreme Court judges are selecting the future supreme court judges building a cultural clique without contest.

So does this new legislation give some reasonable boundries and guidelines to the Court or provide for reasonable checks and balances for the appointment of new Justices?

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8 hours ago, Strannik said:

Will they call Israel after this a sovereign [ethnic it is already] democracy?

Funny, the internal conflict has been shaped into an ethnic one by the government in the last couple months. 

Israel is one of the most ethnically diverse countries, and ethnicities in Israel typically correlate to a certain socio-economical subgroup. Half the current coalition (32/64) is a political group whose base lacks even basic formal education and gets service exemptions. They have absolutely 0 tools to enter the job market and get anything above minimum wage, all this by choice, and then they complain there are no Haredi pilots or servicemen in 8200 or supreme judges (context: pilots, intelligence services officers, and other vital personnel refuse service due to the judicial overhaul, and basically disable the IDF).

52 minutes ago, R011 said:

So does this new legislation give some reasonable boundries and guidelines to the Court or provide for reasonable checks and balances for the appointment of new Justices?

The opposite. The reasonableness clause is the only thing standing between the current government and dictatorship. In terms of checks and balances, this is their only viable defense, and the reason is that Israel doesn't have a constitution and didn't work on creating other forms of checks and balances.

The public outcry due to this push shows the public has a high confidence in the court's ability to correctly use this clause.

Historically, the reasonableness clause was used for very minor things, and it never really interfered with government policy. It's also split into regular and extreme reasonabless, the latter used much more rarely. So if the government is willing to destroy the army and accept tens of billions of dollars in damage just to pass this law, then they must be trying to pass something bigger that is very "unreasonable".

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From the outside it looks like a right wing legislative coalition minority is enforcing its will on the country by stripping away the only thing that functions as a check on their power. It seems like some judicial overhaul in how the court is selected might have been valid but instead the first move is to ensure the court has no power to stop legislation.

In the US I think the equivalent would be one of the political parties doubling the size of the court and selecting its own handy men to man it, though also half of the US legislative body has far faster turnover as stipulated by the constitution. In Israel it looks like a legislature acting in bad faith could potentially prolong its own existence, and the executive branch is effectively an extension of the legislature.

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58 minutes ago, Josh said:

From the outside it looks like a right wing legislative coalition minority is enforcing its will on the country by stripping away the only thing that functions as a check on their power. It seems like some judicial overhaul in how the court is selected might have been valid but instead the first move is to ensure the court has no power to stop legislation.

In the US I think the equivalent would be one of the political parties doubling the size of the court and selecting its own handy men to man it, though also half of the US legislative body has far faster turnover as stipulated by the constitution. In Israel it looks like a legislature acting in bad faith could potentially prolong its own existence, and the executive branch is effectively an extension of the legislature.

Pretty much. They are also pushing other "reforms" like having supreme judges selected by the coalition. 

I'm impressed by the nuance "right wing legislative coalition minority". This is very much correct. The current coalition is a very odd mix of communist parties (Likud, UTJ, Shas), and ultra nationalists.

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4 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

This is very much correct. The current coalition is a very odd mix of communist parties (Likud, UTJ, Shas), and ultra nationalists.

When did Likud and theocratic parties become communist? It's not serious.

Edited by Strannik
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Well he is not serious since start...

 

12 hours ago, R011 said:

So does this new legislation give some reasonable boundries and guidelines to the Court or provide for reasonable checks and balances for the appointment of new Justices?

 It is important to limit the judicial ideological leftist inbreeding, but gives more power to the government. It is a crude attempt. 

The Left is happy with current status because the judges are leftist so they want neither a constitution or change the way judges are nominated, they want discritionary power . The Right also seems to not have many interest in a Constitution and just want to take structural power from leftist Supreme Court.   Homework is not done.

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12 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I'm impressed by the nuance "right wing legislative coalition minority". This is very much correct. The current coalition is a very odd mix of communist parties (Likud, UTJ, Shas), and ultra nationalists.

c09ed7f622dd69c417885ce2b8d414ded87ca4a3

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5 hours ago, urbanoid said:

c09ed7f622dd69c417885ce2b8d414ded87ca4a3

Well to explain what I meant by the phrase (though I would prefer some oversight from some on the ground), a coalition of disparate (or in Bibi's case, desperate) parties - Bibi's center right, along with religious and nationalist far right - formed a coalition that just barely down to a single seat achieved a majority, even though the people they represent definitely are per capita a minority. And they are now using that power to completely change the face of Israeli government. In the US, just swap in the party you like least packing/already packed the courts or Electoral college and senate representation versus colleges/media forcing the popular vote against us. Imagine if one party legislated the judiciary absolutely and also the executive. The US would probably have already descended into another civil war if the Constitution didn't put guard rails onto both parties.

My read is that Bibi is just like Trump: he will run his country into the ground, even make it less secure and watch people get hurt, if it forwards his personal goals. So he made a deal with a bunch of people he doesn't even necessarily agree with to avoid losing power and going to trial. And just like Jan 6th, he's find with destroying the country's political stability if it means he remains in power. Though in Israel's case, it comes with a side of making the country vulnerable to outside powers on top just to satisfy Bibi and his new found fringe friends.

My interpretation.

Edited by Josh
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On 7/24/2023 at 4:00 PM, sunday said:

I am surprised there is no thread about "Authoritarian tendencies in Israel", or something like that.

We could rename this thread "Shocking News Update - Israeli parliamentary government squabbling like hens! Film at 11!!"

Judicial branch legislating from the bench sounds good, until you have star chamber outcomes and an election-to-prison pipeline. Executive branch packing the supreme court sounds good, until opposition parties are outlawed. 

All governmental systems are inherently bad, and worse when the folks getting into it want to Do Something. 

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31 minutes ago, Ivanhoe said:

We could rename this thread "Shocking News Update - Israeli parliamentary government squabbling like hens! Film at 11!!"

Judicial branch legislating from the bench sounds good, until you have star chamber outcomes and an election-to-prison pipeline. Executive branch packing the supreme court sounds good, until opposition parties are outlawed. 

All governmental systems are inherently bad, and worse when the folks getting into it want to Do Something. 

Still, that indefinite postponement of elections does not look quite kosher to me...

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7 hours ago, urbanoid said:

c09ed7f622dd69c417885ce2b8d414ded87ca4a3

15 hours ago, Strannik said:

When did Likud and theocratic parties become communist? It's not serious.

Israel doesn't have the American 2 dimensional compass (auth-lib, left-right), making its political map seriously convoluted to outsiders. For a very long time, in Israel, capitalism and socialism were associated, respectively, with right wing and left wing. But that's not the case for at least a decade now.

The "left" parties are far more capitalistic now, and the "right" wing parties are far more socialist now. That's kind of what birthed the Israeli center - ideologically right wing, economically capitalistic. But not "we hate X, so we'll purge them" type of right wing, but "we're aware of our security and we're professional about it" type of right wing.

The ultra orthodox parties were always an outlier. Their sole ideology is desecularization, and economically they just want to have a separate welfare system for their community with larger funds. Likud has, since Netanyahu's reign, always accepted that enthusiastically. 

They are allowed to create communities everywhere without disturbance, have the means to convert existing communities into their own, and their welfare is funded by various programs funded by the middle and upper classes, while they are exempt from taxes such as social security and healthcare. This is effectively mini-communism. They want everyone to either be like them or subject to them, and they want to be funded by others without being productive themselves. 

The Likud is also deeply tied with socialist organizations like the national trade union and endorses, beyond the scope of ultra orthodox parties (which are tied with the Likud in terms of Knesset seats), other socialist policies like deconstruction of high yield sectors, free education between ages 0-3, and overriding the central bank's interest rates.

13 hours ago, lucklucky said:

Well he is not serious since start...

 

 It is important to limit the judicial ideological leftist inbreeding, but gives more power to the government. It is a crude attempt. 

The Left is happy with current status because the judges are leftist so they want neither a constitution or change the way judges are nominated, they want discritionary power . The Right also seems to not have many interest in a Constitution and just want to take structural power from leftist Supreme Court.   Homework is not done.

There is a wide consensus that the judicial system needs to be changed somehow, but there is an even wider consensus that Netanyahu's judicial overhaul is doing the exact opposite of what's needed. It's like building a new 10-story building, realizing you need 11 floors, and instead of just building another floor, you destroy the building and use all the money to buy 20 million hot dogs.

Edited by Mighty_Zuk
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2 hours ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

There is a wide consensus that the judicial system needs to be changed somehow, but there is an even wider consensus that Netanyahu's judicial overhaul is doing the exact opposite of what's needed. It's like building a new 10-story building, realizing you need 11 floors, and instead of just building another floor, you destroy the building and use all the money to buy 20 million hot dogs.

You're killing me, dude. :D

Most Israeli reports I've seen on the issue note that both major political camps have long sought reform of the Supreme Court, which is considered an outlier among Western judiciary systems due to its somewhat self-selecting appointment process and broad powers in the absence of a consolidated written constitution even by middle-of-the-road experts, and a popular majority is in favor of it - just not this reform. But I suspect at this point increased polarization means that the Left and Right pursue cross purposes in the issue.

Anyway, we're coming back to the point where it's just one building block in systemic overhaul - the government coalition also going for control of the general electoral process and other sweeping powers, while true democratic reform would also need to increase checks and balances overall so the Supreme Court isn't the only instititution which can put the brakes on the executive. Which is bound to find even less consensus from different interest groups.

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