November 14, 2011


A New Knesset Session, a New Assault (Liel Leibovitz, November 14, 2011, The Tablet)

Here's a partial list of the bills under consideration, which will likely be voted on in the coming weeks:

• A bill that would guarantee the government a majority in the committee dedicated to nominating Supreme Court justices. The judiciary and executive branches are currently separate entities, which explains, in part, Israel's robust and critical court system. This, of course, is a problem for a government frequently dedicated to breaking the law, as Netanyahu's administration does any time it colludes with settler groups. But the bill is not just a bit of ideological legislation; its practical purpose is to enable the appointment of Noam Sohlberg to the Supreme Court. Sohlberg's record is worth a closer look; some of his highlights on the District Court include acquitting a policeman who killed a Palestinian despite admitting that the deceased was shot "without cause" and stripping an Israeli man who had dodged the draft of his passport. [...]

• A bill that would severely limit the funding NGOs can receive from foreign governments. The bill's mastermind, Likud's Ofir Akunis, wasn't too subtle about the proposed legislation's purpose: The goal, he wrote in his draft of the bill, was to curb "the inciting activities of many organizations who masquerade as human rights groups and wish to influence the political discourse, the nature and the policy of the state of Israel."

These bills, most likely, will pass. If they do, Israel will no longer be able to truthfully call itself a democracy. 

Posted by at November 14, 2011 3:47 PM

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