The Rule of Law or the Rule of lawyers

By Malcolm Dash

To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means. – Thomas Jefferson, September 20, 1810

Israel, like any vibrant functioning democracy, needs a strong, independent judiciary – to interpret the law, not to make it.

“In Israel, the negative impact of the judicialization of politics on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy is already beginning to show its mark. Over the past decade, the public image of the Supreme Court as an autonomous and impartial arbiter has been increasingly eroded… the court and its judges are increasingly viewed by a considerable portion of the Israeli public as pushing forward their own political agenda…” – Prof. Ran Hirschl, Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism, Harvard University Press, 2004.

September 30, 2015 | 3 Comments » | 10 views

What Putin’s Syrian strategy means for Israel

T. Belman. Yes, Russia’s main goal is to establish a foothold in a reduced Syria. A secondary goal is to fight ISIS so that the movement doesn’t spread to the Caucasus. To what degree Russia will curtail weapons transfers to Hezbollah is yet to be seen. Russia will want to use Hezbollah to fight ISIS. It will also support the Kurds who wish to fight ISIS. The Implications of Russia’s Syria Intervention for Turkey. Will Russia’s move ruin Erdogan’s plan for Syria?. Russia will probably allow weapons to be transferred to Hezbollah as a pressure point on Israel to get concessions from it.

Ya’alon: We made it clear to Russia that Israel will continue to protect its interests

James Lewis writes in Russia is the New Hegemon that Russia is “.. rescuing the Saudis and Israel from Iranian aggression”. It remains to be seen.

Analysis: Russian president seeks to enhance his country’s influence in the region through his alliance with Assad: A dangerous gamble, but Israel need not worry for the moment.

By Ron Ben-Yishai, YNET

Monday’s speeches at the UN General Assembly meeting revealed the true desires of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.

The US president wants to end his time in office without another war and without having to send more US troops to fight on foreign land.

He doesn’t want to resolve conflicts but to prevent them by diplomatic means, and if he can’t prevent them – he’d like to handle them in a way that minimizes the damage. He sees the US as a world leader and its number one superpower – for one, because it’s military is the largest and most advanced in the world, but mostly because its recovering economically, while rivals Russia and China are slowly deteriorating.

September 30, 2015 | 3 Comments » | 11 views

Racist Tyrants, Polygamist Islamists, Despots of Every Stripe: Why Are We Funding the U.N.?

By Anne Bayefsky, NATIONAL REVIEW

The parade of dictators and despots taking the U.N. stage on Monday, as the organization marks its 70th anniversary, was nothing short of spectacular. As were the lies they told without batting an eye to a friendly and respectful audience. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has his hand out for an additional $20 billion this year, so let’s look at what American taxpayers are getting for their large chunk (one-quarter) of the U.N’s bills.

Xi Jinping, President of China, said “we must endeavor to meet” the goals of “democracy and freedom.” Meanwhile, he is an iron-fisted ruler of an undemocratic state where 1.3 billion people languish without civil and political rights.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, said that without the U.N. — “unique in its legitimacy” — “we would be left with no other rules than the rule of force.” This from a megalomaniac who gobbled up Crimea and now occupies other parts of Eastern Ukraine by force. Putin also said, “Everything that contravenes the U.N. Charter must be rejected.” Except apparently Chapter 1, article 1, which commits the organization to maintaining international peace and security and suppressing acts of aggression.

September 30, 2015 | 2 Comments » | 8 views

Is the Pope Ending Catholic Antisemitism?

by Susan Warner, GATESTONE INSTITUTE

  • “Nostre Aetate,” released in 1965, called for friendship and dialogue between Catholics and Jews, instead of the centuries-long repudiation of Jews by Catholics; St Joseph’s University became the first to respond by establishing the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations. Is Pope Francis picking up where Pope Paul VI left off?
  • Can Pope Francis’ hopes and dreams for reconciliation of Catholics and Jews override some unfortunate but pressing realities, such the Church’s desire to placate the Palestinians?
  • If Pope Francis is serious about a “journey of friendship” with the Jewish people, perhaps he would not be so quick to approve President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in the name of a hoped-for peace that will most certainly ignite an unhoped-for war between Iran and Israel.
  • By assisting the UN in establishing the “sustainable development platform,” the Pope is offering his permission to the UN — one of the most anti-Semitic, anti-Israel bodies on the face of the earth — to usurp power on behalf of a shared utopian agenda. Sustainable development notwithstanding, the UN should be encouraged to clean up its own house before it tries to clean up the world.

September 30, 2015 | 14 Comments » | 19 views

Obama’s Surreal U.N. Speech

By Elliott Abrams, NATIONAL REVIEW

President Obama’s U.N. speech today is filled with nice lines that unfortunately bear no relationship to his seven years of foreign policy — and in some cases, no relationship to reality. The speech had several strong paragraphs about freedom, human rights, and democracy. For example, Obama said: “I believe a government that suppresses peaceful dissent is not showing strength. It is showing weakness, and it is showing fear. History shows that regimes who fear their own people will eventually crumble.” But his administration has in fact steadily reduced American programs supporting human rights and democracy, and reached out to tyrannies such as Iran and Cuba — delaying the day when they will “eventually crumble.”

He spoke of the nuclear non-proliferation regime as one of the “principal achievements” of the United Nations, but of course that regime has been endangered by his awful Iran deal more than by any other development in decades. (And in what sense were nuclear non-proliferation agreements negotiated by the United States an achievement of the U.N., anyway?)

September 30, 2015 | 4 Comments » | 19 views

Netanhyahu is ready to accept ’67 lines plus swaps. Wants coalition government with Herzog to make it possible

T. Belman. The reason Obama didn’t make mention of the conflict in his UN speech is because he wants to achieve this deal on a back channel rather than noisily. Netanyahu’s willingness is probably the reason that Obama has been sweet talking Netanyahu after the bitter fight on the Iran Deal. This is what I surmise. I have no inside info.

By Ben Caspit, Al Monitor

After meeting in Paris with four former Israeli ambassadors Sept. 21, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly said that he would be willing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The problem, he said, was that a “third party” was preventing such a meeting from taking place. The Palestinian leader meant the Americans, more specifically, Secretary of State John Kerry, who will meet Netanyahu Oct. 1 in New York.

While American sources claimed Abbas’ statement was “inaccurate,” senior Palestinian and Israeli officials alike confirmed that the Americans were not enthusiastic about such a meeting taking place. They believe it would be explosive and cause the situation to deteriorate even further. The Americans have learned from experience. They bear the battle scars of countless disappointments. They would therefore prefer to spend time preparing for such a meeting, honing positions, coordinating expectations and going for a sure thing.

September 29, 2015 | 23 Comments » | 16 views

Putin warns Israel off targeting Iranian targets in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin is concerned about Israel’s repeated attacks in Syria, he said, after  talking for an hour and-a-half with President Barack Obama early Tuesday, Sept. 29, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Putin agreed that Israel’s security concerns must be taken into account in Syria, but he was worried by the IDF’s periodic strikes on positions in the embattled territory.

Sunday night, the IDF hit Syrian military targets with powerful Tamuz artillery rockets after two errant Syrian rockets landed on the Golan.

September 29, 2015 | 13 Comments » | 8 views

Muslim: ‘I despised myself for hating Israel’

By Roi Kais, YNET

WATCH: Egyptian Sharif Gaber’s video explains how logic ended his hate of Israel and his devotion to Islam, sending him on the run from the authorities.

Twenty-two-year-old Sharif Gaber is a typical young Egyptian in many ways but his political opinions have made him a highly controversial figure on social media – he’s a supporter of Israel and happily tells the world why.

“This video will cause me to lose friends, but honestly, it’s a message of love and not hate,” Gaber firmly wrote on his Facebook profile after his video explaining his liberal views regarding Israel went viral. “If you are bothered that I’m telling you to stop hating Israel, that’s your problem.”

September 29, 2015 | 3 Comments » | 13 views

‘Israel’s biggest challenge: Iranians on our northern border’

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz responds to Arabic press reports suggesting new Iran-Russia reconfiguration in Syria will see Iranian troops deployed in Quneitra, along border with Israel

Daniel Siryoti and Israel Hayom Staff

While Iran’s and Russia’s growing involvements in the ongoing Syrian civil war are not secret, new details reported in the Arabic-language press are causing massive concern for Israel.

According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, Russia and Iran have agreed to deploy special military units to Syria to take active parts in the fighting there. Furthermore, the paper reported, Tehran and Moscow have re-coordinated their military operations on Syrian soil, redistributing their involvement in a way that will bring Iranian troops to Israel’s border.

September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 8 views

The Middle East Studies Blind Spot

By Jeffery Herf, HNN

Anti-Semitism, the hatred of the Jews as Jews, has a history in the Arab states and in Iran. It is blatant and obvious in the declarations of the government of Iran and in the public statements of Islamist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The link between Islamism and anti-Semitism has been a continuing theme of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt since the canonical writings of Hassan al-Banna, Haj Amin al-Hussein, and Sayyid Qutb from the 1930s to 1950s. The evidence of its presence is extensive in the files of the American and British diplomatic archives. It was a theme in the liberal and left-leaning journalism of the World War II era and in the scholarship of the postwar decades.

Yet the discipline of Middle East Studies today, rather than building on this valuable scholarly legacy, shows too little interest in the topic. Or it finds anti-Semitism’s origins in the existence and policies of Zionism and the state of Israel while neglecting the presence of such antagonism in the years before Israel’s founding. In so doing, the current disinterest evinces the entry into the academy of aftereffects of the leftist ideological offensive against Israel and Zionism that achieved so much success at the United Nations from the 1960s to the 1980s and that culminated in the UN’s “Zionism is racism” resolution of November 1975.

September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 12 views

Congress Moves to Stop Iranian Sanctions Relief

Legislation would not allow Obama admin to release money until terror victims paid

By Adam Kredo, New Beacon

Congress is considering new legislation that would block the Obama administration from releasing billions of dollars to the Iranian regime as was agreed to under the parameters of the recent nuclear accord, according to Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.), the lawmaker spearheading the bill.

The bill, which is expected to be brought to the House floor for a vote this week, would require Iran to first pay $43.5 billion in legal penalties awarded by U.S. courts to American victims of Iranian terrorism.

President Obama would then be in a position to either disregard the requirement under his executive authority, thereby clearing the way for Iran to immediately receive $150 billion, or force Tehran to negotiate settlements for these terror victims.

September 29, 2015 | 6 Comments » | 14 views

Should Israel prefer ISIS or Iran on its border?

By Michael Curtis, AMERICAN THINKER

In his testimony before the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2015, former General David H. Petraeus speaking truth to power remarked that the crises of the Middle East pose a threat not just to regional stability but also to global stability and to vital interests of the United States. This is particularly true of the morass in the vicious Syrian imbroglio into which Russia has now entered in an increased fashion in its attempt to bolster the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria no longer exists as a state and the future of the area is unpredictable. Syria has disintegrated after five years of civil war, with 350,000 people killed, millions who have fled or been displaced, and the loss to the regime of Assad of three quarters of the territory of the country. Jihadist fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) seized the city of Palmyra, and threaten the Syrian oil fields. ISIS controls nearly half of Syrian territory. Rebels hold Deraa in the south, and Aleppo in the north of the country.

September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 10 views

Analysis: On Obama ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his UN speech

T. Belman. The author thinks that Israel is worried that the conflict is not getting attention from the US. I think that is a good thing. The last thing we need is for Obama to push for a two-state solution with the ’67 lines as borders.

By Tovah Lazaroff, JPOST

US President Barack Obama

For the first time since taking office in 2009, US President Barack Obama failed to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his annual address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

Last year, as he stood at the same podium, Obama assured the international community that as “bleak as the landscape” appeared to be in the Middle East,  America would “never give up the pursuit of peace” between Israelis and Palestinians.

But on Monday, during his 43 minute speech to the UNGA, the president was suddenly silent on the matter, awakening Israeli fears that his attention will be elsewhere in the last year-and-a-half of his presidency.

September 29, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 8 views

Report: Israel to Use Administrative Detention Against Rioters

Israel plans to increase its use of administrative detention against rioters on the Temple Mount, as Muslim violence continues apace.

By Yaakov Levi, INN

Among the steps Israel plans to take to curb Arab violence on the Temple Mount is increasing its use of administrative detention against rioters.

According to a report on Channel Two Monday, security officials have determined that the main body of rioters consists of 30 to 50 “professionals” who spend many hours on the Temple Mount, organizing riots and unrest, and inciting children and teenagers to throw stones and firebombs at police.

Until now, officials have relied mostly on restraining orders to distance rioters from the site. However, although they cannot enter the Temple Mount compound, they can infiltrate the area and exacerbate tensions among Arabs, setting off more riots. If they are locked up, officials hope that the rioters will no longer be able to incite riots.

September 29, 2015 | 6 Comments » | 12 views

Pro-Israel Lobby Faces Tough Road to Rebuild Trust With GOP Allies

Senior Republican Aide: ‘It’s hard to see what we gain’ from working with AIPAC

BY: Alana Goodman . NEW BEACON

When Rep. Peter Roskam, the staunchly pro-Israel Republican from Illinois, was preparing to introduce a motion to delay the Iran deal vote earlier this month, there was one group that he did not call—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

His failure to inform the influential lobbying group was not an accident. Republicans on the Hill have grown increasingly disillusioned with AIPAC in recent years. And after the group’s latest unsuccessful lobbying campaign against the Iran deal, it is no longer viewed as the de facto leader on Iranian legislative strategy.

“Their clout with Republicans started going south after the [Chuck] Hagel confirmation,” said one senior GOP adviser. “This is just an exclamation point on something Republicans have already been feeling.”

September 29, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 12 views

Analysis: When Jews get administrative detention

The district court ruling affirming Meir Ettinger’s detention until at least February did little to clarify the confusing legal melee.

By Johah Jeremy Bob, JPOST

When Jews like Meir Ettinger and two others are put in administrative detention, the normal divisions between the sides debating the controversial practice get tossed out the window.

Suddenly, some on the Right who support administrative detention of Palestinian suspected terrorists, and some on the Left who oppose that detention, switch sides or at least start making arguments they do not usually make.

Currently, some on the Right are slamming the government for illegally abusing the rights of Ettinger and others by denying them the presumption of innocent until proven guilty and denying them a trial where they could challenge the allegations against them (and a few like Itamar Ben Gvir, Ettinger’s lawyer, have advocated scrapping detention even for Palestinians.) Some on the Left are happy they have been detained and some are mad that the government has not publicly solved the Duma arson attack on Palestinians (departing from that, notably the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has opposed the detention.) Many got even angrier when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he knew who perpetrated the Duma attack, but could not bring them to trial, while detaining Ettinger and the others.

September 27, 2015 | 5 Comments » | 11 views

Thousands Enter Syria to Join ISIS Despite Global Efforts

NYT

WASHINGTON — Nearly 30,000 foreign recruits have now poured into Syria, many to join the Islamic State, a doubling of volunteers in just the past 12 months and stark evidence that an international effort to tighten borders, share intelligence and enforce antiterrorism laws is not diminishing the ranks of new militant fighters.

Among those who have entered or tried to enter the conflict in Iraq or Syria are more than 250 Americans, up from about 100 a year ago, according to intelligence and law enforcement officials.

President Obama will take stock of the international campaign to counter the Islamic State at the United Nations on Tuesday, a public accounting that comes as American intelligence analysts have been preparing a confidential assessment that concludes that nearly 30,000 foreign fighters have traveled to Iraq and Syria from more than 100 countries since 2011. A year ago, the same officials estimated that flow to be about 15,000 combatants from 80 countries, mostly to join the Islamic State.

September 27, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 9 views

Temple Mount riots ahead of Sukkot

T. Belman. YNET says “Renewed violence from Al-Aqsa Mosque comes on final day of Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, likely fueled by reports that right-wing Jews plan to enter Temple Mount.” This suggests that right wing Jews are the cause of the riots. Nonsense. What is going on is a turf war. The Arab leadership are determined to bar Jews from the Temple Mount. They start the violence and the government appeases them and further restricts Jews from entering. Israel policy should be that non violent Jews or Arabs should be permitted on the TM and any side that uses violence should be barred.

Israel has changed the issue to one of the rules of engagement. This is unsatisfactory. The policy should be to bar Arabs or Jews from the TM when members of their respective groups cause violence. Thus each side will be held responsible to restrain their violent members. This is not collective punishment. It is a condition precedent to being allowed on the TM. With such a policy there would be no need for amending the rules of engagement. An alternative would be to have different visiting hours for each group.

The Israel High Court has said that Jews have the right to pray there but allowed the government to prevent Jews from doing so in the interests of peace and stability. Thus the police should likewise be allowed to prevent the Muslims from praying there in the same interests.

By Elior Levy, Yael Freidson, YNET

Israeli police and border patrol troops employed riot control measures on the Temple Mount Sunday morning where masked Palestinian youth threw rocks and shot firecrackers at security forces just ahead of the holiday of Sukkot.

September 27, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 23 views