Israel’s Supreme Court is no friend of the Palestinian people – Middle East Monitor


As hundreds of thousands, across Israel, joined anti-government protests, questions began to emerge as to how this movement would influence, or perhaps merge, with the larger struggle. widely opposed to the Israeli military occupation and apartheid in Palestine.

The Palestinian media shared with obvious excitement the news of statements made by Hollywood celebrities, such as Mark Ruffalo, about the need to “approve the new hard-right government of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu”.

Netanyahu, who sits at the center of the current controversy and mass protests, had trouble finding a single pilot for the flight that was taking him to Rome on March 9 for a three-day visit with the Italian government. The reception of the Israeli leader in Italy was equally cold. Italian translator Olga Dalia Padoa reportedly refused to interpret Netanyahu’s speech, scheduled for March 9 at a synagogue in Rome.

It can be understood that it is necessary to make strategic use of the crisis against Netanyahu’s far-right government to expose Israel’s fraudulent claim to true democracy, apparently ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. Care must be taken, however, not to validate the racist institutions native to Israel that existed for decades before Netanyahu came to power.

The Prime Minister of Israel has been involved in corruption cases for years. Although he remained popular, Netanyahu lost his post at the helm of Israeli politics in June 2021, after three hotly contested elections. However, he returned on December 29, 2022, this time with even more corrupt – even by Israel’s own definition – characters such as Aryeh Deri, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the last two of whom are -current ministers of finance and national security. , respectively.

Each of these characters had a different reason for joining the coalition. Smotrich and Ben Gvir’s work ranged from annexing illegal settlements in the West Bank to deporting Arab politicians deemed ‘loyal’ to the state.

Although Netanyahu is an orthodox ideologue, he is more concerned with personal ambitions: keeping power as long as possible, while protecting himself and his family from legal problems. He just wants to stay out of jail. To do so, he must also satisfy the dangerous demands of his allies, who have been given the freedom to unleash army and settler violence against the Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank, as was done in Huwara, Nablus, Jenin and elsewhere. .

But Netanyahu’s government, the most stable in years, has bigger goals than “wiping” Palestinian towns off the map. They want to change the very judicial system that would allow them to fundamentally change Israeli society itself. The reform would give the government control over judicial appointments by limiting the power of the Israeli Supreme Court to exercise judicial review.

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The protests in Israel have little to do with Israel’s occupation and apartheid, and hardly anything to do with Palestinian rights. They are led by many former Israeli leaders, such as former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former minister Tzipi Livni and former prime minister and opposition leader, Yair Lapid. During the Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid era in power, between June 2021 and December 2022, hundreds of Palestinians were killed in the West Bank. Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, described the year 2022 as the “deadliest” in the West Bank since 2005. During that time, illegal Jewish settlements expanded rapidly, and Gaza was routinely bombed.

However, the Bennett-Lapid government has had little pushback from Israeli society for its bloody and illegal actions in Palestine. There were few objections before the Israeli Supreme Court, which approved most government actions in Occupied Palestine, regarding the certification of apartheid and the validation of the supposed legality of the Jewish colonies, all illegal under international law. The Supreme Court’s stamp of approval was also granted when Israel passed the Nation-State Law, recognizing itself exclusively as a Jewish state, eliminating the Muslim and Christian Arab populations that share the same land mass between Jordan. River and the Mediterranean.

Netanyahu and his judicial reform plans – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The Israeli judicial system rarely took the side of the Palestinians, and when small ‘victories’ were recorded now and then, they hardly changed the overall reality. While one can understand the desperation of people who want to fight Israeli injustice by using the country’s own ‘justice system’, that language has added to the confusion as to what Israel’s ongoing protests mean. for the Palestinians.

In fact, this is not the first time Israelis have taken to the streets in large numbers. In August 2011, Israel experienced what some referred to as Israel’s own ‘Arab Spring’. But that was also a class struggle within clearly defined ideological boundaries and political interests and rarely surpassed a parallel struggle for equality, justice and human rights.

There are dual socio-economic struggles in many societies around the world, and the sympathy between them is not without precedent. In Israel’s case, however, such confusion can be dangerous because the outcome of Israel’s protests, whether success or failure, could inspire unfounded hopes or embolden those fighting for Palestinian freedom.

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Although there are serious violations of international law, the arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions and daily violence against Palestinians take place mostly within Israel’s legal framework. All of these actions have been fully approved by the Israeli courts, including the country’s Supreme Court. This means that, even if Netanyahu fails to fix the judicial system, Palestinian civilians will continue to be tried in military courts, which will allow the demolition of houses, the illegal seizure of land and the construction of settlements.

To properly engage in the ongoing protests is to further expose how Tel Aviv uses the judicial system to maintain the illusion that Israel is a country of law and order, and that all actions and violence in Palestine are completely justified , however bloody and destructive. according to the country’s legal framework.

Yes, Israel should be allowed, not because of Netanyahu’s attempt to co-opt the judges, but because the apartheid system and the military occupation regime have a complete disregard and violation of international law. Whether Israelis like it or not, international law is the only law that matters to an oppressed and oppressed nation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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