Ayelet Shaked’s “judicial revolution”: A Canadian perspective (UPDATED)

By Dogan Akman (This is an update of the previous article.)

This past week, Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Minister of Justice, (“the Minister”) announced that if she is re-elected and retains her ministerial post, she intends to revolutionise the judicial system in the first 100 days of her tenure and she set out the items that comprise her “revolutionary” agenda.

As a Canadian lawyer who laboured in the Federal Department of Justice which is headed by the Minister of Justice who is also the Attorney General (A.G.) and has been following the Israel’s Supreme Court (“the Court”), I would like to contribute a Canadian perspective to the reforms proposed by the Minister and suggest additional reforms that would complement the ones she proposes.

For the record, I am neither a left winger nor a right winger but am committed to enhance the performance of the judicial system and of the administration of justice and increase the citizens’ faith in the judiciary’s integrity and credibility, in Israel which  has been  plummeting of late.

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March 31, 2019 | 8 Comments » | 1,045 views

Video: A First Temple period seal bearing a name that appears in the Bible discovered in the City of David

A First Temple period seal bearing a name that appears in the Bible (Natan-Melech) discovered in the City of David
Video: https://youtu.be/jMR-vk3gO8I

A rare and exciting discovery: A bulla (seal impression) and a 2,600-year-old stamp bearing Hebrew names were uncovered in the City of David.

The seal impression, dated to the First Temple period, features the words:

“(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech). The name Nathan-Melech appears once in the Bible, in the second book of Kings 23:11, where he is described as an official in the court of King Josiah, who took part in the religious reform that the king was implementing: “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned thechariots of the sun with fire.”

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March 31, 2019 | 0 Comments » | 1,004 views

The Nation-State Law under attack

By Victor Rosenthal

Amos Schocken is the publisher of Ha’aretz, the employer of Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, of Rogel Alpher and B. Michael, and other writers who pour out their hatred of the Jewish state both in Hebrew and English translation. To someone like me who believes that the battle to defend Israel in the information sphere is as important as the kinetic conflict on the battlefields, Amos Schocken is the devil.

Schocken and the rest of the Israeli Left passionately hate the recently passed Nation-State Law. To them, the statement that “Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people” is anathema. It is a statement of Zionism, which is Jewish nationalism. And they don’t care very much for either nationalism (except perhaps Palestinian nationalism) or anything connected with Jewishness. In fact, I suspect that they don’t care much for Jews either; but that’s another blog.

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March 31, 2019 | 3 Comments » | 870 views

Legal Experts Debunk Netanyahu’s Golan Heights Claim: Annexation Can’t Be Excused by Defensive War

T. Belman.  The law is irrelevant. Possession and strength wins the day.  If anyone thinks that Israel can be forced to give up the Golan they are sadly informed.

Trump and Netanyahu declared that the Golan could be annexed because Israel took it in a war of self-defense, but legal experts say this goes against international law – and that the West Bank is another story in any case

By Noa Landau, HAARETZ

Israelis stand on a defunct tank in the Golan Heights, March 2019.
Gil Eliyahu

The Proclamation on Recognizing the Golan Heights as Part of the State of Israel, which U.S. President Donald Trump signed last week during a ceremony at the White House, states its reasoning as: “The State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored this argument during and after the proclamation was signed. In his speech at the ceremony, Netanyahu said: “Israel won the Golan Heights in a just war of self-defense.” Speaking to reporters at the airport in Washington before his return flight to Israel, he said: “There is a very important principle in international life — when you start wars of aggression, you lose territory; do not come and claim it afterwards. It belongs to us.”

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March 31, 2019 | 15 Comments » | 1,191 views


By Charles Kushner, 

Over the past two years, the news media have told a story about my family and our business with little regard for nuance, logic or even facts. A familiar story line suggested that Kushner Companies was on the brink of collapse, about to be brought down by an over-leveraged building. Though I am a private person and prefer to keep the details of my family’s business as private as possible, I want to set the record straight.

My father, Joseph, a Holocaust survivor, worked in construction in New York after World War II and went on to become a developer and owner of houses and garden apartments.

I trained as a lawyer but soon followed in my father’s footsteps, seeing an opportunity for faster growth by buying apartments in addition to building them. In 1985, we partnered to start a new business, Kushner Companies, but shortly after we bought our first property, my father died from a stroke.

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March 30, 2019 | 2 Comments » | 384 views


By Lynne Lechter

Jews used to be considered smart, and having a Yiddshe kopf was a compliment.

No more.  There’s a new type of Jew on the loose in America: the ‘Yidiot.”

A Yidiot accepts anti-Semitic, riot-inciting Al Sharpton’s attendance at a New York City memorial rally for the Jews killed in Pittsburgh but is offended at President Trump’s appearance in Pittsburgh to honor them.

A Yidiot is silent when Farrakhan trashes Jews as “termites,” rants “Death to America, Death to Israel from Iran,” is feted in public with past presidents Clinton and Obama, and is sought after for advice from seventeen members of the Congressional Black Caucus, but believes President Trump is anti-Semitic.

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March 30, 2019 | 3 Comments » | 629 views

Why the American Revolution Worked and the French Revolution Didn’t


I consider myself an amateur historian, though some of my readers might place more emphasis on the amateur than historian.  One thing that has puzzled me is why different results sprang from the American and French Revolutions.  It might have something to tell us for today.

On the surface reading, the American and French Revolutions seem to hold similar ideals. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness does not seem that far removed from Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité.  And if one says the American slogan does not mention equality, the Declaration of Independence surely does.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights[.]

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March 30, 2019 | 2 Comments » | 945 views

Railing against Islamophobia, and anti-Trump, too

The fake news epidemic includes state-run propaganda from al Jazeera

By David Reaboi, WASH TIMES

In the wake of the terrible terror attack on two mosques that left nearly 50 dead in New Zealand, cable news outlets can’t seem to get enough of a certain very articulate man with a British accent who spits fire against Donald Trump and rails against Islamophobia and Israel.

Mehdi Hasan seems to be everywhere on TV these days. Reliably Trump-obsessed cable channels like CNN and MSNBC relish the opportunity to promote a foreign-born Muslim guest who, they believe, has the credibility to call the president and his supporters racists and white supremacists.

And Mr. Hasan, for his part, is relishing both the spotlight and the opportunity to make his case directly to an anti-Trump audience in the United States.

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March 30, 2019 | 1 Comments » | 859 views

The U.S.-Saudi relationship is in real trouble. And things could get worse—even much worse.

Like it or not, Washington’s ties with Riyadh still matter.

By John Hannah, FDD

Bipartisan majorities in Congress have already made clear their desire to punish Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for a long series of transgressions, including the kingdom’s role in Yemen’s catastrophic civil war and the murder of dissident U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. These efforts will only intensify as the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle ramps up. For the ever-expanding list of Democratic aspirants, the temptation to outdo each other in attacking President Donald Trump’s close links to the kingdom’s leadership will be nearly irresistible. It’s a truism of U.S. politics that there’s no downside to Saudi bashing. That’s doubly true today, with the controversial Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, and with talk of the use of bone saws on journalists, the detention and torture of U.S. citizens, and the abuse of women’s rights activists dominating the headlines. Even if Congress falls short of getting any new anti-Saudi legislation past the president’s veto, the constant drip, month after month, of hearings, bills, and public criticism targeting the kingdom risks doing serious long-term damage to the two countries’ strategic relationship.

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March 30, 2019 | 0 Comments » | 926 views

When They Come for the Jews, They Won’t Ask Questions


Albert Einstein observed, “If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.” His words are relevant today because anti-Semitism, briefly dormant, is alive again — in Europe and around the world. This “new form” of anti-Semitism claims to be different from the traditional racial and religious images. Its adherents say they are anti-Zionist, not anti-Semites. But their accusations mirror The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Only recently, a Belgian parade featured a float of grotesquely distorted Orthodox Jews in religious garb, perched on bags of money, à la the art of Nazi Julius Streicher. What makes this sickening display even more alarming is the official sanction given to it by the Mayor of Aalst, Christoph D’Haese, who stated, “It’s not up to the mayor to forbid such displays” and that the carnival participants had “no sinister intentions.” No sinister intentions? Adolf Eichmann also had no sinister intentions when he organized transportation to the death camps. After all, he himself had no part in the actual killing process; they just did their jobs.

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March 30, 2019 | 1 Comments » | 2,417 views

“New Europe” and the Islamist Agenda 

By Rachel Ehrenfeld, ACDemocracy

The European Union’s Progressive-Left post-nationalist leadership is set on challenging the sovereignty of  nation-states, by eliminating borders and letting in millions of Muslims.

This policy has already contributed to moving the “old” European continent towards a new Europe, occupied by new people with a new culture. Apparently, opening the continent to millions of mostly unqualified migrants who refuse to assimilate, and who drain the coffers of their host countries, seems like the preferred solution to the negative birthrates among the Europeans.

On August 30, 2010, as he was folding his tent near the Vatican, on his last visit to Rome, Italy, then Libya’s leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, forewarned: “Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration; it could turn into Africa. There is a dangerous level of immigration from Africa into Europe, and we don’t know what will happen. What will be the reaction of the white Christian Europeans to this mass of hungry, uneducated Africans? We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and cohesive continent or if it will be destroyed by this barbarian invasion.”

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March 30, 2019 | 0 Comments » | 559 views

If Our House Be On Fire

By Tabitha Korol

The Somalian pirates have once again sailed into North American waters.  But instead of kidnapping coastal dwellers for slavery or taking bounty to enhance their wealth, from the 16th century onwards (and again in the 2000s), they are here to continue the process of taking land, America from Americans for Islam and Israel from the Jews for the self-proclaimed “Palestinians.”  For centuries, the legacy of Muhammad’s raids  has been the acquisition of land and booty/wealth (Maal-e-Ghanimat), gizya (extortion/tax) from the conquered people, and modern-day welfare, such as the annual £25,000 ($33,009) received by Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary in Britain, who urges other “jihad seekers” do the same.

Salafi scholar Abu Ishak al Huweini lamented, “If only we can conduct a jihadist invasion at least once a year or, if possible, twice or three times, then many people on Earth would become Muslim.” He added that if they could not confiscate the wealth, they would kill the men and kidnap and enslave their women and children.  American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki instructed that the disbelievers’ property is never rightfully theirs, and may be forcefully “retaken” for Islam, a belief system that supports the Islamic right to anything they want – Europe, America, and Israel, home to the Jews for more than 3,000 years.  Islamists continue to disregard the Jewish kingdoms, sovereign Jewish state, and continuous Jewish presence in the land, Biblically documented and archaeologically verified.

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March 30, 2019 | 1 Comments » | 963 views

Trump’s Iran sanctions have hit terrorists hard

If the president is to finish the job, he can’t be held back by what may be an illusory threat of gas-price hikes and let the ayatollahs off the hook now that he has their backs to the wall. Tehran, as well as its satellites, are getting desperate.

By Jonathan S. Tobin, ISRAEL HAYOM

With weeks to go until the deadline to make a decision, the debate inside the Trump administration is heating up. The choice involves whether to continue to allow eight foreign nations to go on selling oil to Iran via waivers that allow them to legally evade the sanctions the United States reimposed when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Tehran.

But ironically the argument for ending the waivers got a boost this week from a source that is hostile to Trump’s tough policy towards Iran: The New York Times. In an article filed by Beirut bureau chief Ben Hubbard, the Times reported that, contrary to the predictions of Trump’s critics, the sanctions that have been enforced in the last year have had a discernible impact on the Iranians. Among those most feeling the pinch from the austerity imposed by American restrictions on commerce with Iran are the terrorist groups that it funds.

According to the article, the sanctions have created an economic crisis for Tehran that has caused it to cut down on the money it spends on funding terrorists, as well as the barbarous Bashar Assad regime that it has helped prop up via military intervention in the Syrian civil war.

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March 29, 2019 | 0 Comments » | 982 views

What to do about Gaza

By Victor Rosenthal

Moshav Mishmeret is an agricultural community about 21 km. north and slightly east of Tel Aviv. It is about 125 km. north of Rafah, which is at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, on a line that passes almost directly over Tel Aviv. The moshav was founded in 1946 by demobilized British soldiers and workers from the Ashdod port.

At 5:20 in the morning this Monday, a rocket fired from Rafah by terrorists associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad made a direct hit on a house in Mishmeret, destroying it, and injuring eight people. They were saved by the mamad, the reinforced concrete safe room now required in all Israeli construction.  The most seriously injured person did not get to it in time, and the others had left the door open for her. Several dogs that were in or around the house were killed, and if not for the safe room, probably the human residents would have been seriously injured or killed as well.

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March 29, 2019 | 6 Comments » | 582 views

Syria’s aggression in ’67 and ’73

By Dogan Akman

The Facts: 

  • Prior to the 1967 war Syrian gunners at the Golan Heights were periodically  terrorising both Arab and Jewish Israelis communities in the valley below.
  • In 1967, while Israel was peacefully minding its own business, Syrians, along with their allies, launched a war to destroy Israel. They lost the war and Israel conquered the Heights.
  • In 1973, Syrians, un-chastened by their defeat in 1973, once again declared war on Israel, to recover the Heights and to destroy Israel. Unfortunately, once again they failed miserably.
  • From 1967 to the present, over 52 years, Syria seriously refused to negotiate in good faith a peace treaty with Israel within the framework of U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338.
  • Syria has been assisting and collaborating actively with Hezbollah and Iran to put them in a position to try to destroy Israel.
  • After 52 years, President Trump decided that the situation being what it is on the ground that it was time to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Heights.
March 29, 2019 | 1 Comments » | 282 views

By recognizing the Golan, Trump revives the idea that aggression shouldn’t be cost-free

T. Belman. Gordon does an excellent job of analyzing this issue but I think one more things needs saying. She is right to point out the inconsistancy between the preamble and the body but unwritten at the time, was the belief that Israel was the aggressor at least if you follow the Arab propaganda. Thus the preamble was in accordance with the “facts”. But the preamble was irrelevant when looking at what really happened..  Threatening Israel as the Arabs did, including mobilizing on her borders constitutes an act of war not to mention the closing of an international waterways. Finally, what really counts when interpreting the resolution is to be found in the body. The preamble is not near as operative.

By Evelyn Gordon

International law used to distinguish between offensive and defensive wars. But modern interpretations have eliminated this distinction, and thereby ended up rewarding aggression.

When U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, foreign-policy experts keened in chorus that he was destroying a fundamental principle of the world order: that territory can’t be acquired through force. Let’s hope they’re right—because that principle, far from deterring aggression, actually rewards it.

The problem is that, as currently interpreted, the principle doesn’t distinguish between offensive and defensive wars. Thus for an aggressor, starting a war becomes almost cost-free (assuming he doesn’t care about getting his own people killed). If he wins, he achieves whatever goal he sought to achieve. And if he loses, the international community will pressure his victim to return any captured lands, thereby ensuring that he pays no territorial price.

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March 29, 2019 | 1 Comments » | 296 views

Golan in Israeli hands furthers US interests, too

By Yoram Ettinger, ISRAEL HAYOM

While U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights bolsters the national security of the Jewish state, it also yields major strategic benefits for the United States.

Thus, U.S. President Trump’s endorsement of Israeli sovereignty over the strategically commanding Golan Heights, which may be reinforced by a congressional resolution, highlights the synergy between the national security of America and Israel. It underlines the mutually beneficial, two-way-street strategic coordination and cooperation between the two allies.

This endorsement enhances the posture of deterrence of Israel – a systematic, unwavering, effective beachhead of the United States in the Middle East – and therefore extends the strategic hand of America, without the need to deploy additional U.S. forces to the region.

In fact, Israel’s upgraded strategic profile has been a most effective U.S. force multiplier in the Middle East.

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March 29, 2019 | 0 Comments » | 297 views

INTO THE FRAY: Gaza – Disaster foretold


What has unfolded in Gaza should not really surprise anyone willing to face up to the inclement realities. After all, it was not only entirely foreseeable, but easily foreseen

The nightmare stories of the Likud are well known. After all, they promised Katyusha rockets from Gaza as well. For a year, Gaza has been largely under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. There has not been a single Katyusha rocket. Nor will there be any Katyushas. – Yitzhak Rabin, Radio Interview, July 24, 1995.

I am firmly convinced and truly believe that this disengagement… will be appreciated by those near and far, reduce animosity, break through boycotts and sieges and advance us along the path of peace with the Palestinians and our other neighbors. – Ariel Sharon, Knesset address, October 25, 2004.

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March 28, 2019 | 15 Comments » | 1,019 views

Ayelet Shaked’s “judicial revolution”: A Canadian perspective

By Dogan Akman

(My questions or remarks are in red.)

This past week, Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Minister of Justice, (“the Minister”) announced that if she is re-elected and retains her ministerial post, she intends to revolutionise the judicial system in the first 100 days of her tenure and she set out the items that comprise her “revolutionary” agenda.

As a Canadian lawyer who laboured in the Federal Department of Justice which is headed by the Minister of Justice who is also the Attorney General (A.G.) and has been following the Israel’s Supreme Court (“the Court”), I would like to contribute a Canadian perspective to the reforms proposed by the Minister and suggest additional reforms that would complement the ones she proposes.

For the record, I am neither a left winger nor a right winger but am committed to enhance the performance of the judicial system and of the administration of justice and increase the citizens’ faith in the judiciary’s integrity and credibility, in Israel, which  has been  plummeting of late.

  1. a) The process of selection and appointment of the judges of the Supreme Court

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March 28, 2019 | 5 Comments » | 562 views