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The betrayal of Israel’s elites
By MICHAEL WIDLANSKI
01/07/2013
ISRAEL’S SUPREME court only upholds decisions barring Jews. If your name is Meir Kahane, you can be barred for racism and incitement, but if your name is Bishara or Zahalka or Zoabi, you can pretty much do or say whatever you want.
 
Check the headlines and you see why we have lost faith in our most esteemed institutions – the Supreme Court and the presidency.

On the same day, President Shimon Peres and a unanimous nine-judge panel of Israel’s highest tribunal showed how completely out of touch they are with reality, the common touch and the common man.

The president – who is supposed to be as inviolable and non-political as the Queen of England – gave a partisan pep talk to about 100 Israeli ambassadors, condemning Israel’s elected government for not being more forthcoming with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader who pretends to be a moderate while stabbing Israel in the back.

“I have known Abu Mazen for 30 years,” declared Peres, using the affectionate Arabic kunya, or nickname, for the man he has actually known for 20 years. “He is someone with whom we can reach an agreement,” insisted Peres, describing the man who has repeatedly proven he will avoid any Israeli agreement like the plague.

“No one will convince me otherwise,” said Peres, reinforcing Einstein’s view that insanity is trying the same useless formula again and gain and ignoring the results.

Let’s remember this man has often bragged “I don’t read history. I make history.”

For the past 18 years, studies and polls have shown that most Israelis think the leadership of the PLO (the so-called Palestine Liberation Organization) and the Palestinian Authority are not trustworthy – from Mina Tzemah’s DAHAF to the Tami Steinmetz Center at Tel Aviv University.

Abbas – even if Peres and the Voice of Israel want to call him “Abu Mazen” – is not willing or capable of making peace with Israel. His negotiating positions are tougher even than those of his idol and predecessor Yasser Arafat, about Peres was also repeatedly wrong.

When Arafat called for “jihad” against Israel after signing the Oslo pact, Peres denied Arafat ever said it. When reporters played the tape for him, Peres claimed Arafat was only talking about jihad as a spiritual journey. But it is Peres who is still on some kind of journey. When he returns to this planet, we should greet him warmly.

Israel’s Supreme Court is also on some kind of journey into non-reality. It ruled unanimously – not even one righteous man or woman in Sodom – to allow Haneen Zoabi to run for Knesset, even though she took part in a terrorist operation to break Israel’s blockade on the Hamas terror stronghold in Gaza.

Israel’s “Supremes” have a string of hit songs over the years with the same tune, vetoing commission decisions barring Arab politicians who support or help terror.

Why even bother having a Central Elections Committee? The commission had previously decided that Zoabi had crossed the line by taking part in the flotilla to help Hamas in Gaza, and the court – as it always does – struck down the decision.

The court decision – the umpteenth of its kind – makes a mockery of common sense and the Israeli laws that a) ban helping the enemy, b) prohibit the election of those who help the enemy. The court has previously approved the candidacy of Azmi Bishara, who subsequently joined Hezbollah during its wartime attacks.

If Bashara ever comes back to Israel (he fled to Qatar, where he currently resides), he will face many criminal charges, perhaps including treason.

Some sharp-tongued lawyer will likely find a sympathetic judge willing to bend the law and then go for a summer semester of cocktails at Yale University Law School, where liberal jurists are taught to legislate.

ISRAEL’S SUPREME court only upholds decisions barring Jews. If your name is Meir Kahane, you can be barred for racism and incitement, but if your name is Bishara or Zahalka or Zoabi, you can pretty much do or say whatever you want.

If you have a sit-down demonstration and your name is Moshe Feiglin, the court will approve filing charges against you for hamrada – rebellion – but if you are on board a ship full of terrorists who attack Israeli soldiers, then you are merely exercising your right to free expression.

The average Israeli is not a lawyer, nor someone who has cocktails at Yale, nor someone who can brag to have “Abu Mazen” as a friend. Still, most Israelis are reasonable people, and Israel’s supreme court and its president are usually bound by what is called “the reasonable man” standard.

You always ask yourself: “What would a reasonable man do or think in these circumstances?” That is the test, and by many measure, the president and the supreme court have flunked.

The author is an expert on Arab politics and communications, is the author of Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. A former reporter, correspondent and editor, respectively at The New York Times and Cox Newspapers, he was strategic affairs adviser in the Public Security Ministry and teaches at Bar-Ilan University.
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