During the final months leading up to the 2016 Presidential elections, Hillary Clinton brought to the world the three infamous words; “basket of deplorables”, thereby ensuring that she would lose the coming election against Donald Trump. According to her version of society, there were two baskets of people, those who feel abandoned and desperate, whom she placed in one metaphorical basket, and those she called “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic” — whom she placed in the other metaphorical “what I call the basket of deplorables.”
Hillary evidently believed that deplorables were incapable of voting for the Democratic party due to their limited capacities, you know, being hillbillies or rednecks, and in general unappreciative of and unable to fathom the deep Democratic principles.
I am reminded of this episode in American politics as Israel’s current government, a coalition of four political parties led by the Likud and Benjamin Netanyahu, attempts to legislate judicial reform. The last elections took place less than three months ago, during which the left-progressive parties that lost the elections did not demand at the time a recount nor did they question the legality or the legitimacy of the results. Yet, despite a majority of the Israeli public voting for political parties that made judicial reform a core issue in their political platform, you would think that the very opposite is the truth, and that Israel is in the midst of a coup d'état and imminent dictatorship.
In January 2023, three weeks after taking office, Israel’s newly elected government unveiled a broad package of judicial reforms that would reduce the broad judicial self-proclaimed powers of the Supreme Court and Judicial system on the grounds that they were undermining the separation of powers and encroaching on traditional executive and legislative branches of government, thereby endangering Israel’s Democratic political system.
What began as a so-called protest against judicial reform, has evolved in recent weeks into something entirely unexpected. The opposition parties have claimed that the judicial reforms are the true threat to democracy and not the courts. Over the past 11 weeks the protests have intensified, with elite centers of power in the deep state, industry, media, academia, and the legal system all banding together to stop the judicial reform. This despite recent polls show that over 75 % of the public have lost faith in the courts and belief that the courts are broken and dysfunctional. The average Israeli makes every effort to stay away from the courts knowing from past experience, that the “little guy” has no chance of getting justice, and that the courts show no mercy for the honest citizen.
Progressive elites, industrial giants, importers, and monopolies receive preferable treatment by the justice system accompanied by selective enforcement by the police. The courts have over the years ruled against Israel’s Jewish identity giving a systematic preference to those who reject Israel as the Jewish national homeland. Despite claims of Israel descending into chaos, all spheres of Israeli society are functioning regularly. Israel is far from descending into chaos, despite the false, biased and one-sided media generated portrayal of anarchy on the streets of Israel.
It’s a closely guarded secret in the business community of Israel, especially within the international Hi-tech world that if you want to do business with companies located in Israel, stipulate and condition that any investment contract be subject to American or European contract law and not Israeli court. What do international companies know that makes them so unwilling to trust the Israeli court system?
The Israeli courts have over the years based their rulings on a new method of construing contracts. Contrary to common law jurisdictions found in Britain and other Western nations, Israeli courts rule according to a contracts’ “objective purpose” as determined by judges and not primarily by the wording within the agreement. The result of this Israeli judicial construction (judicial activism in simple English) is that in Israel, Judges arbitrarily determinate the purpose or latent intent over the objective language of a contract. In the United States and Western European nations, “objective purpose” does not take precedence over the objective language of a contract which is taken as the best evidence of a parties’ intent.
The bottom line being; a judicial system that allows Judges to base their rulings on “reasonableness” or own personal preferences in interpreting the law thereby creates a built-in uncertainty and inherent instability in the judicial system.
The Israeli public made their preferences known at the ballot box less than three months ago. The formation of a conservative government voted in by a clear majority of the voters, has only intensified powerful elite circles to maintain the current judicial system broken as it is and mobilize their supporters to take to the streets and attempt to create chaos. This elite also known as the “First Israel” understands that the progressive left will never be able to garner a majority at the ballot box, and that only by maintaining their hegemony on the Judicial system can they continue to receive preferable rulings allowing them to maintain their control of critical circles of power in Israel.
Hillary Clinton would feel at home among those that belong to the “First Israel”. Our hometown version of what she calls the “deplorables” belong to those who are part of the “Second Israel”; Mizrachi, Sephardim, Haredi, Dati-Leumi, Ethiopians, and other minorities. Most of our deplorables serve in the Army, pay taxes, contribute to the well-being of others, and are proud of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people. Our “depolorables” refuse to accept the Orwellian concept of “Some are more equal than others” and will continue to support judicial reform as it advances through the different stages of legislation.
It was President Abraham Lincoln who said, "Democracy is a rule of the people, for the people and by the people". The citizens of the country elect the Government to rule the country and the elected government works for the welfare of the people. It would be wise for the judicial system to accept not only President Lincoln’s wise words but also his “intent” concerning what Democracy means.
Ron Jagergrew up in the South Bronx of New York City, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.
To contact: [email protected], Website: www.ronjager.com.