Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Israel's constitutional erosion continues

The Jerusalem Post's most eligible columnists, Caroline Glick and Evy Gordon, today both address aspects of Israel's deteriorating constitutional structure.

Glick takes Attorney-General Meni Mazuz to task for his decision to undermine the JNF, effectively nationalizing all its land:

The law states that lands owned by the JNF - a privately owned and funded trust - are to be administered in accordance with the JNF's charter. Mazuz decided that from now on, the ILA will ignore the JNF's charter and administer its lands in the same manner as it administers state-owned lands.

The JNF was founded at the dawn of modern Zionism for the purpose of raising money from Jews in the Diaspora and in Israel to buy lands in the Land of Israel for Jewish settlement. Its charter stipulates that JNF lands are to be used specifically for Jewish settlement. Stemming from this, it was agreed in 1960 that the ILA would only lease JNF land - which comprises some 13 percent of the total land in Israel - to Jews.

Gordon, meanwhile, notes that Israel's High Court has taken another bold step towards limiting the right of the public to choose its own leaders, this time indicating that officeholders can be disqualified based on public statements which call their moral judgment into question:

Last week, the High Court of Justice abolished freedom of speech for senior government officials and replaced it with an Orwellian Thought Police. The justices declared themselves empowered to oust or deny promotion to any official whose public statements fail to meet their standards of morality and good taste.

Why don't we just dissove the state and replace it with a benevolent dictatorship of philosopher-kings with advanced law degrees? The result would be the same.


Avi said...

Simple... because I don't have an advanced law degree (or any degree according to the Ministry of Education).

I think we would get a better government with the Philosopher-King model. Though I feel stupid because I can't remember which philosopher that was.... Rousseau?

Zman Biur said...

Rousseau?Bzzz! Sorry, the answer was Plato.

We might get a better government from trained orangutans. Can't get much worse, at least.

Haredi society effectively is governed by philsopher-kings. Works well, if you're one of the kings.

Historically, when philosophers become kings, you'd better watch out.

Avi said...

Sorry about the double post.

So, what do we do about it?
Of course, my friend, when she was at Pardes said that one of the rabbis there said that if you were gonna make aliya, don't become a rabbi, get involved in politics.

I am taking that advice to heart.