Tuesday 12 July 2011

Editorial: Israel's legislative nadir

A rotten law

The passing of a law by the Israeli Knesset giving the right of vexatious civil prosecution to petitioners from parts of the Israeli State who have suffered boycotts marks a nadir in the democratic life of Israel.

There might be very little objective reason to boycott the substantive and legally constituted state of Israel; however, there is every reason by conscience, law and legality to boycott the settlements which are viewed by international law to be illegal.

What makes the law egregious, very bad and a departure from common-sense and reason is that petitioner does not even have to prove “economic, cultural or academic damage” was caused, as long as the petitioner can suggest, assume or imply that a boycott can be reasonably expected to cause damage no matter how contrived.

This law as much as it abridges the freedom of expression and choice of the Israelis by inference confers undue legitimacy on these outposts of the law where already too much is squandered in maintaining an uneasy calm on illegally annexed lands of the Palestinians.

Israel wants no peace

Religionists might for their ulterior purposes suggest that modern Israel which is a fraction of the promised Canaan of antiquity to Abraham and his seed is the ancestral land of the Jews; it is without doubt that the imposition of ancient literality over what must for global interests of today be figurative at best is unfortunate.

However, the biggest signal from the leaning of the current Israeli parliament and government of Israel is not of a state seeking peace with its neighbours but one of a belligerent hegemony whose concept of peace is really that of security borne of being superiorly equipped as a threat and menace whilst depriving its closest neighbour of any means of its own defence and military projection if that course of action becomes necessary.

One can so easily conclude that Israel probably enjoys its continual projection of pseudo-victim within a hostile Middle-Eastern neighbourhood; and as long as we are always distracted and confronted with the spectre of an existential threat to Israel the need to force the issue for peace never assumes the needed priority because any useful peace settlement might well make Israel pale into relative regional insignificance.

Justice needs to prevail

It goes without saying that codifying such atrocious laws into their statute books and by so doing conferring legality on an illegality does make the reasonable, fair and just begin to question the legitimacy of Israel – for whilst representative democracy might well be purposeful, it can yet be abused by the tyranny of ideology.

One would hope that the legality of this law gets tested in the highest courts of the land and the bench will with boldness contemn the intent, purpose, process and enactment of this law whilst striking it down with a stinging rebuke to all those who gave support to this travesty.

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