Legal Forum Update – January 2008

[The Legal Forum is a voluntary organization of lawyers in Israel dedicated to supporting right wing causes. If any diaspora lawyers would like to help out either with money or pro-bono sevices it would be appreciated. From time to time they want to know what foreign laws have to say about the issues in Israel.]

Public relations
1. The Legal Forum on the campus – We are currently enlisting students around the country (in addition to those already active with the Forum) to serve as the Forum’s field coordinators at their respective campuses. Coordinators will enlist additional members and manage the Forum’s research teams. Student activists will assist in the Forum’s activity and will raise grassroots support for the Forum.

Fighting against corruption
2. Names of public officials on company stationary – Following the Legal Forum’s appeal to the Knesset’s Ethic Committee, the committee ruled that the names of Knesset members and ministers may not appear on company stationary. (Several months ago, the Legal Forum received a letter displaying the name of the Treasury Minister Bar-On on the stationary of the law firm, in which he used to be a partner.) The committee’s is available on .

3. Prime Minister’s freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria – The Legal Forum has called on the Attorney General to instruct Olmert to repeal his recent directive, requiring ministers to receive his approval for any construction in Judea and Samaria. The decision, which was not voted on by the cabinet, limits the minister’s freedom of action and represents an unauthorized seizure of power.

4. The Majadele affair – In an answer to a question addressed to him during a Knesset hearing, the Minister of Culture declared that his religious and national interests would always take precedence over ministerial considerations. This statement runs contrary to the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and a democratic state and violate two pledges of allegiance taken by Majadele as a member of the Knesset and as a minister. The Forum has called on the Ethics Committee to take action against the minister.

5. The Forum has called on the Minister of Interior to revoke the passport of MK Naffaa, following Naffaa’s illegal visit to Syria. Although Naffaa is currently under a police investigation, he has declared his intentions to continue traveling to Syria.

6. Ramon’s cabinet appointment – After reviewing the ruling of the partial panel and the minority opinion of Justice Edna Arbel, we have requested a hearing of our High Court appeal before the full panel. The appeal, filed by attorney Yossi Fuks, will be reviewed in January.

7. Following our demand to dismiss Deputy Chairman of the National Security Council Itamar Yaar, we were told that he will leave the Council shortly, independent of our demands. As you recall, Yaar served as the Deputy Chairman of the NSC during the Disengagement and mislead Knesset members as to the security benefits of the withdrawal.

8. Major General Gershon, who headed the Home Front Command during the war in Lebanon, has also resigned independent of our demands and threats to appeal to the High Court.

National Projects
9. Cooperation with the Judea and Samaria University Center – The Legal Forum is continuing its cooperation with the Ariel College and has employed students as part of their practicum. Students research a variety of issues on the Forum’s agenda and are mentored by our members.

10. The Legal Forum has established three new teams:

    • Outposts team – The team addresses issues related to the outposts, their relationship with government agencies, and legal status.
    • Economic team – The team will work to right the wrongs in economic and social legislation, monitor government policies, and research relevant issues.
    • International team – The team will assert the right of Jews to live anywhere in the Land of Israel and handle issues related to the legal status of Judea and Samaria. Recently, its members met in Israel with representatives of the New York Association of Jewish Lawyers. The team is also drafting an international campaign plan.

11. The Legal Forum supports the decision of the police Superintendent General to tighten measures against violent policemen (as reported by Haaretz). The plan complements the Legal Forum’s law draft against police brutality in Israel.

12. Army Radio – The Army Radio has not yet agreed to meet with us to discuss the station’s broadcasts on Shabbat and the orders, which force soldiers to desecrate the Shabbat. The objective of the meeting is to find a solution that would free the station’s servicemen from working on Shabbat and enforce the Chief Command’s orders regarding Shabbat observance. We are holding talks with the Army Radio’s legal advisor Major Adi Ben Shach.

13. Our Pastures and Bedouin Farms law draft has been accepted by the Minister of Agriculture and will be submitted to the Knesset with only minor changes.

14. The JNF law bill is undergoing changes and will focus on exchanges of land between the State of Israel and the JNF. The changes are made in cooperation between the JNF and the Forum’s attorney Itzhak Bam.

15. The Forum is currently drafting several new law bills aimed at reinforcing the Jewish character of the State of Israel. One of them focuses on the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in company and non-profit registration. Until now, the law required companies to recognize Israel only as a democratic state and did not address the Jewish nature of the state. The amendment, initiated by the Legal Forum, is currently undergoing the approval process at the Knesset.


1. Merry Christmas – The Israeli media was full of Christmas holiday spirit. Tadmit has focused on a specific broadcast on the national radio, during which the announcer ended the broadcast with “Happy Holiday” and immediately clarified that she was referring to Christmas.

Tadmit has filed a complaint with the Broadcasting Authority Ombudsman, who found it to be “unjustified,” despite the fact that the previous Ombudsman justified an identical complaint, filed last year. We are planning to file a complaint against the Ombudsman, who systematically and callously ignores public sentiment that does not match his own.

2. Tadmit section in Besheva – Two weeks ago, Besheva newspaper began publishing a Tadmit item in its Micro-scoop media section.

3. The Broadcasting Authority reform and fee – We have distributed a brochure, covering the upcoming reform in the Broadcasting Authority, among several Knesset members. Some of them have notified us that they will not support the reform in its current version and will oppose the restrictions on the reduction of the Broadcasting Authority fee.

A delegation from the Jerusalem Journalists Association met with MK Uri Ariel in an attempt to convince him to support the restrictions. Tadmit coordinator Chani Luz also took part in the meeting. MK Ariel criticized the Authority’s organizational and fiscal conduct over the years, as well as its ongoing one-sided reporting against “the settlers.”

Below, please find links to media mentions of the Forum’s activity in the past month:

Full panel hearing of the Ramon appeal:

Prime Minister’s freeze on construction in Judea and Samaria:

Support for Friedmann’s reform:

MK Naffaa’s passport:

“Merry Christmas”:

Rafik Halabi:

January 10, 2008 | Comments »

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