The Newest Jihad Against the Security Wall

The anti-Semites and Israel-bashers have been livid with anger over Israel's building of a security wall to keep the Palestinian terrorists from murdering any more Israeli civilians. Gated neighborhoods should be only for liberal West Coast yuppies, they apparently believe, and not for Jews.

Prof. Steven Plaut

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The anti-Semites and Israel-bashers have been livid with anger over Israel's building of a security wall to keep the Palestinian terrorists from murdering any more Israeli civilians. Gated neighborhoods should be only for liberal West Coast yuppies, they apparently believe, and not for Jews.

Around 1,400 Israelis have been murdered, many of them children, just since Yasser Arafat and his PLO signed the Oslo "peace accords", foreswearing all violence and use of force forever. The Israeli attempt to prevent any further murders through the erection of the "fence" has been denounced as aggression and as violations of the human right to murder Israelis of the Palestinians. Israeli children on buses and cafes evidently have no human rights that deserve protecting. The fanatic ISM, or International Solidarity Movement, which openly endorses armed violence and terror against Israelis, and assorted far-Leftist self-hating Israeli groups of "protesters" have been leading the assault against the fence and those building it, including through violence. And now they have a bizarre new ally.

Americans are used to complaints about imperious and biased courts and court justices, especially those appointed by assorted leftist presidents and other liberals. Why, just this past week the brethren in black in Washington decided to protect your children from any attempts by you to keep them away from kiddie porn. But the American Supreme Court is a bastion of moderation and humble caution in comparison with Israel's own judicial tyrants. Robert Bork has declared Israel's Supreme Court the worst in the democratic world. And Israel's Supreme Court has just joined the jihad against the "Wall".

Let us back up a bit. Until Ariel Sharon came into office, the official Israeli policy regarding terrorist atrocities was little more than turning the other cheek. Leftist Prime Minister Ehud Barak, from the Labor Party, and his predecessors generally responded to terror attacks, bombings and rocket assaults against Israel by the PLO, its affiliates, or the Hizbullah by sending in the air force to bomb some empty buildings, in many cases after warning the terrorists in advance to make sure none got injured.

After Ariel Sharon took over, after the PLO opened the misnamed "Al-Aqsa Intifada", a nonstop campaign of atrocities and pogroms against Jews that is now in its fourth year, the new prime minister made two important changes in policy. The first was to agree to a "security fence" to be built inside the West Bank, a policy that the Left had been promoting for years as a panacea against terror. The Lefties liked the idea because they thought the fence would establish Israel's 1949 cease-fire lines as the border between Israel and the Palestinian terror state they were determined to erect. The other Sharon change in direction was a sharply stepped-up campaign of targeting Palestinian terrorist leaders for assassination.

Most people have probably failed to take notice of the fact that during recent months Palestinian violence has dropped off dramatically. This is not because of any decision by Arafat and his henchmen to abandon terror, savagery and war, of course. The media have been falsely attributing the drop in the number of Palestinian atrocities to the effect of the "fence". They are wrong.

The fence itself is not even built yet. Only segments of it exist, and it is easy and unchallenging simply to walk or drive around the existing segments. The simple fact of the matter is that no physical barrier yet really stands between Israeli cities and the terrorists. So why the sharp drop-off in suicide bombings and similar attacks against Israeli civilians?

The answer is the other major change in policy by Sharon. Sharon ordered the Israeli military and intelligence services to liquidate the leaders of the terrorist organizations, other than Arafat and his immediate sidekicks. Lower PLO officials and military commanders of all the terror squads have been hit and killed, over and over. Just last week, Israeli troops decapitated all three main terrorist organizations (or what the CNN and BBC call "militants and activists") operating out of the West Bank city of Nablus in an operation resembling the climax of a Godfather movie. Israel also repeatedly killed the heads of the "Hamas" movement, which was left in such desperation that it refused even to name its next chief, lest he be targeted as well.

If any proof were needed that the drop in the carnage has nothing to do with any newfound inclination on the part of the PLO or its minions to resolve conflict peacefully, the PLO has responded to the decimation of the terrorist command structure by escalating rocket attacks on Jewish civilians from the Gaza Strip. Gaza has a set of tunnels and buried arms factories that even the North Koreans would be proud to have. They are supplied via the smuggling tunnels into Gaza from Egypt, which all those ISM preppies and "anarchists", in town from the Western campus Left, are trying their best to defend and to prevent Israel from bulldozing. ISM matron Rachel Corrie, long declared the Marxist Mother Theresa, committed suicide on behalf of the terrorists and smugglers, while trying to stop an Israeli earth mover from destroying one such tunnel, when she positioned herself where the driver could not see her.

The PLO and its affiliates have fired over 300 "Kassam" rockets, primitive terror instruments with poor aim designed to wreak havoc when fired, into Jewish civilian areas. Most do little damage, but last week, one landed and murdered a four-year-old boy and a 50-year-old man. The boy had been born only after his parents had undergone 15 years of fertility treatment. Others were injured by other rockets last week.

Let us emphasize that these are all rockets being fired into civilian areas within Israel's pre-1967 borders, and not into any parts of the so-called "occupied territories". The rocket attacks should put to rest any delusions that simply building a nice fence will end the Palestinian barbarism and terror. Last week's Kassam attacks prove that the bloodshed cannot be controlled unless Israel is on the ground and in control even on the other side of any security fence it builds.

Having noted the doubts about its effectiveness, nevertheless few Israelis would question the idea that the "fence" contributes towards containing and suppressing the Palestinian terror, at least up to a point. Few, besides the Supreme Court justices, that is.

Israel's Supreme Court justices are not elected and cannot be impeached. They are chosen by a non-elected panel, which itself consists by and large of sitting justices. Like Britain (whose judicial system Israel inherited when it became independent, after British colonial rule over the Land of Israel ended in 1948), Israel has no formal, written constitution. Instead, its court system operates on the basis of legal precedent. The Israeli Supreme Court has been out of control for many years, but there have been quixotic attempts to rein it in. The Chief Justice and many of his colleagues openly endorse the anti-democratic doctrine of "judicial activism", which essentially means judicial tyranny.

The justices invent for themselves laws and powers, including the power to negate and revoke laws passed by Israel's democratically-chosen parliament, the Knesset. The Chief Justice has repeatedly appealed to "enlightened opinion", meaning leftist radical-secularist opinion, in his pronouncements and rulings, including those that override parliamentary decisions. The Court has repeatedly made anti-religious rulings (sound familiar, American readers?) and established "rights", such as for gay couples, that the parliament itself would never countenance. The Court has literally revoked laws passed in the parliament by large majorities on the basis of its own dubious interpretation of assorted "basic laws", themselves passed by tiny majorities in the parliament, claiming these "basic laws" establish super-parliamentary constitution-like powers for the Court that allow it to trump the will of the voter.

In general, the Supreme Court justices in the past restricted their kibitzing and interference to civilian areas, letting the military and the executive branch make their own strategic and policy decisions regarding security matters. For example, it rejected attempts by leftists to petition the Court into ordering the military and the prime minister to stop the targeting of terror leaders. But this week, the Supreme Court lost all semblance of restraint and went after the "fence".

The Supreme Court joined those Israeli far-leftists who oppose the specific positioning of the "fence". The Court ordered the government to change the "fence" and build it along lines that would be less effective in protecting Israeli civilians, because the new lines would be less disruptive for Palestinians. Disrupting Palestinian activity, especially terrorist activity, of course, is the whole point of the fence. The Court was putting the avoidance of inconveniencing Palestinians ahead of defending the rights of my children to live. It now plans to rule that several other segments of the fence are illegal and need to be moved to positions favored by the judicial tyrants.

Like so many previous Israeli Court rulings, this one had no basis whatsoever in law. There is no Israeli law being violated by the existing route of the fence and there is no law granting the Court justices powers as official surveyors or state geographers. How on earth does the Court know whether there are persuasive military considerations for the lines for the fence Sharon and his people wanted? None of the judges are military experts. Who gave the Court the power to second-guess the army?

The only official excuse for the Court ruling was that the "fence" somehow was in violation of "international law". One does not know whether to laugh or cry at that. International law? Well, 12 years of Palestinian nonstop terror have also been violations, not only of international law, but of the Oslo "peace accords" themselves. Since when does international law rule out acts of self-defense against terrorist attack and aggression? And who says Israel should be the very first state on the planet, rather than, say, the ninth or tenth, to accept and abide by the arbitrary dictates of "international law". Heck, even the "judges" at the International Court of Justice, sitting behind their own nice security fence in the Hague, have yet to declare Israel's fence in violation of "international law" (before then trying to indict the US for its similar "violations"). Even some from Israel's Left have denounced the Israeli Court ruling.

The real effect of Israel's own "rulings by PC fad and campus mood swings" on the part of Israel's Supreme Court justices may be to pull all of Israel into one humongous constitutional crisis. While Sharon agreed to accept the Court justices' arbitrary personal opinion dressed up as a court ruling, there are already efforts in the parliament to "bypass" the Supreme Court and to put the judicial tyrants in their proper places. What would happen if the parliament now were to approve officially the old route of the "fence" the justices just ruled as illegal? What would the judges do - call the cops? And whom would the cops obey?

Such a "Mexican standoff" might be just what Israel needs. It has been brewing for many years. The parliament should not rest at tweaking the Court's nose, but should aggressively seek to democratize the Israeli Court. Adopting impeachment of Court justices via ballot initiative or parliamentary vote would be a giant step in the right direction.