April 27, 2018: The ‘override clause’

Leaving aside the fact that almost all Arabs in the PA loath, hate and despise us, and also desire our utter eradication, did Defense Minister Liberman overstep his legal authority?

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April 26, 2018 21:01
3 minute read.
Letters

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The ‘override clause’

With regard to “Ministerial Committee for Legislation to vote on Supreme Court ‘override clause’” (April 23), those who want to curtail the overarching power of our Supreme Court need look no further than two recent cases.

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Both cases involve overriding decisions by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, one on barring a wounded Gaza protester to receive treatment in the Palestinian Authority, the other on barring 90 Arab bereaved – mostly terrorist, not militant! – families from joining our own bereaved at a common ceremony in an idiotic effort to promote peace, love and understanding.

Leaving aside the fact that almost all Arabs in the PA loath, hate and despise us, and also desire our utter eradication, did Defense Minister Liberman overstep his legal authority?

In normative democracies like Canada and the US, where the people elect their representatives, the top courts are the ultimate decisors of the legality of governmental laws and behavior in light of established laws and jurisprudence. There was no mention that Liberman acted illegally, so it must be concluded that our justices decided for reasons not based on the law that his decisions had to be overturned.

This is precisely the problem with our Supreme Court. Decisions are not always based on the law but on the philosophical predilections of the justices. No matter how one feels about issues, decisions must be based on the law; otherwise, the people have no protection from the all-powerful government.

Democracies are supposed to be based on law, not on anyone’s feelings or philosophies. To curtail our court in this manner is no threat to democracy. Instead, it is a return to democracy.

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The current attempt by the government to override the rulings of the court is another matter altogether.

It is apparent that our laws do not permit any of the refugees/infiltrators/economic migrants to be deported/imprisoned without due process, which the government has failed to undertake. Other democracies have mechanisms to override decisions by their top courts, but it is purposely made very difficult to ensure that the reasons must be so vital that such drastic action is necessary.

A majority of 61 virtually unelected Knesset members as a requirement to overrule the Supreme Court is a dangerous joke and is, indeed, a threat to the rule of law – almost on par with the court’s ability to base its decisions on matters other than the law.

YISRAEL GUTTMAN
Jerusalem

Forceful responses

With regard to “Time to cut JVP down to size” (Column One, April 20), I am a 1966 graduate of New York University. I was the student manager at a basketball game against Georgetown in which two Georgetown male cheerleaders dressed up, one as a Nazi, the other as an Arab, and did an antisemitic routine, including a Nazi salute.

I left the scorer’s table and protested to the Georgetown coach, but to no avail. With the aid of our team’s press agent (a Catholic) and the support of the administration (not Jewish), we continued our protest, including an article in The New York Times headlined “NYU and the Georgetown animals.”

Only forceful responses, including the intimidation of school donors, disruptions by non-students and articles criticizing the schools involved, will curb the current antisemitic campus onslaught.

ZVI FINK
Modi’in

Those cigarette ads

You have run letters by readers complaining about advertisements for cigarettes in The Jerusalem Post (“Shocking cigarette ads,” April 18).

I would like to ask a bigger question: How does our government allow the sale of cigarettes, since they have been determined to be physically harmful?

BINYAMIN CHERNOFSKY
Jerusalem

I also was shocked – but happily so – to see the cigarette ads in your newspaper.

I do not smoke, but I realize that newspapers are struggling and all revenues are needed. I am sure the tobacco company did its homework and saw there were enough smokers who read the newspaper to make it worth its while.

ANDY SELBY
Eilat

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