Supreme Court overturns Hanin Zouabi’s disqualification from running in elections

Hanin Zouabi, un-disqualified from the elections

As I suspected in my earlier post on the traitorous Hanin Zouabi’s disqualification from running in the upcoming elections, Israel’s leftist Supreme Court overturned the disqualification:

The Supreme Court on overturned the Central Election Committee’s decision to disqualify MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from running for a seat in the coming elections.

Sunday’s ruling, by a special panel of nine judges headed by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis, was unanimous.

“The court’s decision proves that the attempts to have me disqualified were the result of political and personal persecution against me, against my party and against the Arab public as a whole,” Zoabi said in a statement released moments after the ruling.

“The motions to have me disqualified were devoid of any legal merit. Still, this ruling does little to erase the threats, delegitimization and physical and verbal abuse that I have endured – in and outside the Knesset – over the past three years.”

But Ms. Zouabi, threats, delegitimization and abuse are a two-way street. Why is it OK for you to threaten, abuse and delegitimize your own country by consorting with known terrorists, and yet it is disallowed when aimed back at you? You are a hypocrite madam.

 The ruling, she added, “Proves that the Election Committee abused its authority. Balad and I will not be deterred by the delegitimization attempts made against us.

“We won’t allow anyone – in or outside of the Knesset – to decide the Arab public’s position or limit our political aspirations. We will continue fighting against racism and the occupation and we will continue to dutifully represent the Arab public.”

Attorney Hassan Jabarin, head of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, who represented Zoabi, welcomed the decision: “All disqualification motions against Arab parties and Knesset members over the past 15 years had no legal merit and were meant only to delegitimize elected Arab pubic officials.

“Zoabi’s case is different because there was also an attempt by the Right wing of the Knesset to portray her at a terrorist, despite the fact the she has never been accused of any crime.

Ah, but she was accused of a crime, only it never got past the Knesset ethics committee. Zouabi is guilty of abusing her Knesset diplomatic immunity.

The Likud-Beiteinu campaign issued a statement following the Supreme Court’s decision saying it was “regrettable.””We regret the Supreme Court’s decision to allow MK Zoabi to vie for a Knesset seat. Given the court’s interpretation of the law it is obvious that the law must change and clearly state that anyone supporting terror is automatically disqualified from being a Knesset member.

“The Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu will use their next parliamentary term to amend the existing law.”

I’ll believe it when I see it. The Supreme Court as it stands will never allow it. It is a vicious circle that will never be broken as long as the Supreme Court considers itself the ultimate arbiter in Israeli politics.  But I suppose we can always live in hope.

MK Ofir Akunis (Likud), who promoted the bid to disqualify Zoabi issued the following statement: “After two years of considerable efforts to have MK Zoabi disqualified – out of the deep belief that democracy has the right to defend itself against those who seek to destroy it from the inside – the court has spoken.

“I deeply regret the Supreme Court’s decision, but I respect it. I will continue to use the parliamentary tools at my disposal to protect and fortify Israeli democracy.”

He may respect the Court’s decision but I don’t, and I think very many Israelis will feel the same way – betrayed and abused in the name of some spurious “democracy” that seeks to do well with its detractors while condemning those who defend it.

MK Yuval Zellner (Kadima) echoed the sentiment: “I regret the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding MK Zoabi. She systematically and actively acted against IDF soldiers and the values of the State of Israel.

“Unfortunately, instead of focusing of promoting the legitimate needs of her constituents, Zoabi acted foolishly and compromised the fragile coexistence between Arabs and Jews.”

I’m very glad that Kadima joined in the condemnation of the Court’s decision, given that Kadima is positioning itself as center-left on the Israeli political spectrum.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) stated that while he respected the court’s decision, he found it “unacceptable.”

“Today, the court decided to back the Marmara’s terrorist instead of the Navy Commandos, using Zoabi’s parliamentary immunity as a shield. Zoabi belongs is prison.”

Precisely.

Danon stated that once the new Knesset is sworn in, he intends to promote a bill that would ensure that the Election Committee’s right to disqualify lists whose members incite racism or negate the existence of Israel, is upheld. The Election Committee jurisdiction on the matter is detailed in Basic Law: The Knesset.

“The ‘Zoabi law’ will be enacted and she can be sure that her days in the Knesset are numbered,” Danon exclaimed.

I wish him luck with that. The Supreme Court considers itself above the law in that it has taken upon itself to decide which law is legal in its eyes, instead of doing its job and simply judging cases on their merits according to those very laws created by the Knesset.  In other words the Supreme Court has erased the line between the legislature (the Knesset) and the Judiciary (itself). It considers and has made itself judge, jury and executioner.  That was supposed to have disappeared in democracies. So either Israel is not a democracy or the Supreme Court is breaking the law.

[...]

Attorney Nidal Othman, of the Coalition against Racism, welcomed the decision: “The court proved today that it was a beacon of sanity in the midst of the racist atmosphere in Israel.

“The Elections Committee’s racist decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, which upheld its duty as the protector of elected officials. The Elections Committee’s racist decision made a mockery of the principles of democracy. It is only right that the power to disqualify (lists) is removed from its hands and placed with a legislative authority.”

Yup, Israel is racist alright. Anti-Israeli racist. It allows Arab parties and Arab MKs, Arab judges and now Arab supporters of terrorists.  And now show me any Arab country that allows Jewish political parties, Jewish members of Parliament (assuming they have a functioning Parliament at all) and Jewish judges.

The right is often accused of being paranoid, but just because you may be paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get you. And that is the distinct feeling that one gets from the Supreme Court decision.

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17 Responses to Supreme Court overturns Hanin Zouabi’s disqualification from running in elections

  1. rrW says:

    As deputy DA Uri Corb put it – the courts are run by a band of asses. These days, I would trust an insurance agent or a second hand car dealer more than I trust the judges.

  2. normanf says:

    The problem is Israel’s Supreme Court is a self-selecting oligarchy that rules the country with an iron fist in the name of its leftist ideology. Its immune from the normal checks and balances that exist in other democracies and it can do what it wants – including refusing to enforce any law it doesn’t like.

    The law is clear that parties that negate Israel’s existence as the Jewish State are not allowed to exist and the Supreme Courts acts as if the law doesn’t matter. As it stands, the “rule of law” in Israel is a euphemism for the dictatorship of the Israel Supreme Court.

    • anneinpt says:

      Yes, precisely. That’s the point I was striving to make in my post. It’s not only infuriating. It’s dangerous to society because the average Israeli feels side-lined from any form of democracy. If the Knesset which is supposed to represent him is not allowed to enact laws, then what’s the point of the Knesset?

      As you say, the Supreme Court is unelected by the voter, so what kind of democracy is that?

      But any time the Knesset has tried to change the method of selection of judges, all hell has broken loose and you’d think the Knesset was trying to impose a dictatorship instead of the other way round.

  3. Without having read the opinion, I can only speculate that there was no legal finding that there was a violation of law. I have great doubt the Supreme Court would rule a terrorist is permitted to run for political office, let alone be allowed to remain out of jail. Although the facts suggest she is a terrorist, failure to bring her to justice is more than a minor oversight. Her parliamentary immunity may only be valid for parliamentary issues, and often only while withing the confines of the Knesset. Her actions on the Marmara were beyond that pale and should have been prosecuted and a finding of a violation of law made a matter of record. It doesn’t appear that procedure applied in this case, hence the unanimous decision by a court bound by the rule of law

    • anneinpt says:

      Elliott, thank you for your learned comment which probably explains some of the background to the Supreme Court’s decision – since Zouabi was never prosecuted there were no grounds to disqualify her.

      You very correctly point out that it is “more than a minor oversight” (in fact it was a major oversight) that Zouabi was never properly prosecuted for terrorism or aiding and abetting terrorists by her participation on the Mavi Marmara. That omission is a mystery crying out for explanation.

      • Unless the prosecution of the terrorist Zoabi is blocked by a statute of limitation, that should be the focus instead of unnecessary legislation that will be suspect as a virtual bill of attainder. There should nevertheless be an attempt to prosecute to raise the consciousness of the citizenry of her criminality and the incompetence of those who failed to put her in jail when they had the chance. It should also serve as a deterrence to those who think Israeli justice is tolerant of terrorists clothed in a politician’s lambskin.

        • anneinpt says:

          Thank you again for your informative comment. I appreciate your insight into the legalities of the matter. I think you would be interested in this article by Joe Settler at the Muqata:
          Run Zouabi, Run where he says much the same as you do, with the added bonus of an explanation of Israeli law in general and election law in particular. It certainly goes a long way to explain the anomaly in the lack of prosecution of Zouabi and the overturning of her disqualification.

          • Elliott E Alhadeff says:

            Thank you for that reference. I am not well acquainted with Israeli domestic law and therefore I still have some questions about the ability of the Knesset to “impeach” Zouabi, and whether that porcedure would, of itself, absent a criminal prosecution satisfy the disqualifying elements of the election law. I’d like to get access to the Israeli decision allowing her to run to see the basis of their unanimous decision. Also, I disagree with the idea that the Knesset should, on this issue, create a confrontation with the Supreme Court. Legislation that overrules the Court is a much less damaging alternative than direct assertion of supremacy which would be self defeating for both the Knesset and the Court and damage their authority.

            • anneinpt says:

              Elliott, if I find a link to the Knesset or court records about the case I’ll either post it here or email it to you.

              I disagree with the idea that the Knesset should, on this issue, create a confrontation with the Supreme Court. Legislation that overrules the Court is a much less damaging alternative than direct assertion of supremacy which would be self defeating for both the Knesset and the Court and damage their authority.

              I agree with you. The trouble as I see it is that we have a self-perpetuating vicious circle with the Supreme Court which deems itself the judge of any legislation that the Knesset enacts.

              So let us imagine a scenario where the Knesset legislates a law that puts itself above the Supreme Court – which in fact it is supposed to be in matters of legislation. But the Supreme Court deems such legislation illegal and strikes it down. Now who gets the last word here? Who rules the country? Who elected whom? How does Israel extricate itself from this tangle absent a Supreme Court judge who has the courage to declare that they are subservient to the Knesset?

              Remember, in Israel the judges are not elected by the people or even by their representatives, the Members of Knesset. The judges are elected by other judges and lawyers, with perhaps a couple of ministers on the committee. It is democracy in name only, and barely that.

              • Elliott E Alhadeff says:

                Thank you for your effort to get the text of the opinion. I will try as well.

                Regarding the legitimacy of the authority of the Court, we had much of that problem when our Supreme Court rendered the Dred Scott decision declaring Blacks as property and subject to the rights of their owners. It resulted in the 14th Amendment but until then, the Court was discredited and had to regain its position as a viable part of our government. The Obamacare decision has had much of the same affect, believed by some as having been decided more on political interests than on the applicable rule of law. Ultimately, the credibility and authority of any governmental entity will depend on its rational and competence in fulfilling its purposes. Indeed, any direct attempt to target one agency by another will be seen as a possible invalid exercise of power that goes beyond its authority and is implemented more to preserve its own status, which becomes questionable, at the expense of its targeted adversary. It seems best, therefore to deal exclusively with the merits of the issue rather than the personalities of those involved who will be judged inferentially by how well the problem is resolved. The method of selecting the members of the Judiciary seems designed to perserve its independence from either the Legislative or the Executive. That interest may remain paramount to any single case deemed wrongly decided and the other branches should be highly cautious before it considers demeaning that interest.

  4. reality says:

    the only democratic laws here are pro Arab . We bend over backward to make sure they aren’t insulted or disallowed to represent their people no matter how traitoriously they behav. So how come the Kahana party was banned & still is? Where’s the democracy for them?

  5. Bernard says:

    This is the point where democracy begins in invert and eat itself, Certainly, the courts have to be independent, but not at the point of upholding the right of a terror supporter to continued to use the freedom of a liberal democracy as a Trojan Horse to undermine those very freedoms.

    • anneinpt says:

      Very good analogy Bernard. Or as I like to say, our minds are so open our brains have fallen out.

      {BTW I’ve taken the liberty of deleting your double post}.

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