This Isn't the United States

In Israel, the judges are approved by a committee made up of other judges. It's a real closed club. And that's only the technical part of the business.

Batya Medad,

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
I wouldn't dare claim to remember everything I learned in school, but there's one thing that was drummed into us about the United States government: Checks and Balances. Yes, that's the major principle or mechanism that prevents any of the three major government branches, the Executive, the Judicial and the Legislative, from dominating, from dictating. There is no such principle, or law, in Israel, as Caroline Glick wrote in such detail.

In the United States, the Executive must get the approval of the Legislative, and if a bill or law is considered by some to be inconsistent with the Constitution, or previous laws, then the Judicial must decide in accordance with their interpretation of the Constitution. Basically, there's always a two-to-one or three-to-zero factor. No one branch of the government can decide or declare anything without the approval of one of the other branches.

The judges aren't allowed to use their "independent thinking". They are restricted to the written law. The judges also can't appoint or elect their fellow judges. In terms of the Supreme Court, the Executive nominates, but the Legislative must vote approval. In today's world, with rapid media, the nominees are examined and investigated very publicly. It's a real circus and much more difficult for a president (the Executive) to have his nominee confirmed. The lower courts are generally elected by the people, but it's much more complicated.

In Israel, the judges are approved by a committee made up of other judges. It's a real closed club. And that's only the technical part of the business. In Israel, the Supreme Court is dominated by Supreme Court President Aharon Barak who sees his role as the Supreme Guide to Justice and Proper Ideology and Values for Israel. He calls this "judicial pro-activism". Instead of basing his decisions on previous laws -- there is no Constitution in Israel -- he decides according to his personal beliefs and value system.

So, the bottom line is that the true dictator of Israel is not Ariel Sharon; he is Aharon Barak.

Barak with the help of his court, even has the power to veto government laws. He also controls the committee that approves judges; so, basically, he controls this country. The legislature cannot control him, unless they pass laws that change the entire system, which is difficult, because he has the power to declare the laws invalid. So it would be quite a battle.

The root of this problem is how and who constructed the principles of the Israeli government after the country was established in 1948. Honestly, I don't fully understand what tools we have to correct it.

Most Israelis don't realize that there are problems in the most basic principles or structure of the State of Israel, because this is all they know. It is extremely difficult for us former Americans, as we were raised with different ideals, concepts of fair government and we take for granted that all "democracies are the same". We have to find ways to raise the consciousness of the Israeli public and use legal steps to correct this injustice.

Israel is far from being a Hebrew-speaking United States. Not that I personally would want a duplicate, but I definitely don't want to live in a dictatorship, which this is. And remember that Ariel Sharon only succeeded in forcing through Disengagement because the Israeli Supreme Court approved of it.