The following is a quick translation of an important series of tweets by our legal adviser Simcha Rothman:
Listen to this story about “The Kingdom of the Legal Experts,” and just how different it is from “The Rule of Law.”
The law clearly states that anybody whose actions or goals, explicitly or not, match the following three criteria are ineligible for election to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) –
1) Negation of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state
2) Incitement to racism
3) Support of an armed struggle against the State of Israel
Among the three options, only one is a criminal offence – incitement to racism.
I am allowed, because we live in a free country, to say that I don’t want the State to be Jewish, or that I think Iran is correct for wanting to destroy the State of Israel; however, according to the law, I can’t run on that platform for parliament.
That said, it is entirely illegal to incite to racism.
If I do incite to racism, there is a good chance I can be indicted. However, in order to actually be found guilty of incitement to racism, I have to cross a very high threshold of being a “clear and present danger” beyond the shadow of a doubt in order to pass the criminal threshold.
And now to the question: What do legal experts do when the law isn’t to their favor?
The answer: Whatever they want.
Regarding negation of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and support of an armed struggle against the State of Israel, which are written clearly in the law, the legal experts managed to completely purge it of meaning by demanding a “critical evidentiary mass,” “unequivocally definitive evidence,” and other such phrases which essentially mean “don’t bother us while we do whatever we want to do.”
Specifically regarding incitement to racism, where there is clear legal precedent and guidelines for a strict interpretation of the law (as described above), they decided that such syllogism is for the weak, and therefore Dr. Michael Ben-Ari cannot run for Knesset.
In order to justify this legal and logical acrobatics, Aharon Barak, and his disciples, made it clear that one cannot learn from the phrase “incitement to racism” in the realm of criminal law about the phrase “incitement to racism” in the realm of the basic law, “Basic Law: The Knesset.” It may seem to you mortals that the two phrases are identical, that “incitement to racism” is like “incitement to racism.” However, the legal experts know that these are two entirely different phrases that must be interpreted according to their separate purposes. Therefore, one who was been actually convicted of incitement to racism can run for parliament, and one who hasn’t been convicted of incitement to racism might still be barred from running.
“Regarding (Ahmad) Tibi, the honorable A. Barak ruled that although regarding the definition of the term ‘incitement to racism’ one can make use of the definition as it appears in The Penal Code, clause 144A, as was ruled by the honorable M. Shamgar in the matter of Moshe Neiman vs. The Central Election Committee (“The Second Neiman Case”), there is not definitive equality between the term “incitement to racism” as it appears in Basic Law: The Knesset and the definition of said term it appears in the Penal Code, clause 144A:”
Thus a clear-cut law with a simple meaning and understanding was turned into clay in the potter’s hand. It no longer matters what the law states – all that matters is what result the legal experts are interested in.
All of this would be OK if the judges and legal experts were better at identifying dangers than the politicians, but what ended up happening was that the judges repeatedly insisted on admitting, against the wishes of the politicians, a Hizballah spy into the Knesset. Azmi Bishara and Basel Ghattas received parliamentary immunity on a silver platter from the supreme court, and then turned around and used their parliamentary immunity to actively aid terrorism.
The endless arrogance with which individuals allowed themselves to turn explicit law into meaningless, empty words blew up in all of our faces, yet nobody seemed to learn their lesson.
“A Jewish and Democratic State”
Maybe we are a Jewish State, but calling Israel “democratic” is seaming more and more like a farce.
All of this and more is available in the book I’ll soon be publishing thanks to crowdfunding. A sample chapter is on this topic is currently available.