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
“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
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.
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.
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”
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.