Aftermath of Israeli Anti-Free Speech Law Passage
By Stephen Lendman
Page 1 of 3 page(s)
Buoyed by passage of their anti-boycott bill, Knesset Yisrael Beitenu and Likud party extremists taste blood and want more. Most worrisome is a proposed measure to investigate leftist group activities, heading for a final vote next week.
YNet News writer Moran Azulay quoted Meretz party chairwoman, Sahava Gal-On, calling it “a political inquisition,” adding:
“The Boycott Law has whetted the appetite of the settler Coalition. This is an attempt at perpetuating the persecution of left-wing and civil organizations. What will be the next step? Sham trials? Throwing people into gulags?”
Weighing in, Labor party MK Eitan Cabel said:
“The prime minister has lost control over his partners, who are running wild in the Knesset and taking advantage of the (tyranny) of the majority in order to trample the minority. We are in the midst of legislative anarchy.”
United Arab List-Ta’al party MK Ahmad Tibi wondered which ruling coalition partner was most racist, Yisrael Beiteinu or Likud, saying:
“In the beginning they were against Arabs. Now they’re against leftists, and maybe tomorrow they will go up against the feinschmeckers of the Likud” or anyone challenging them.
According to Kadima party MK Ruhama Avraham:
“This government does not pursue peace or social justice, but rather its own citizens.”
Another measure proposes giving Knesset members veto power over High Court nominations. Likud’s Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar called it “dangerous, problematic, and creates a clear hazard of politicizing” justice nominations.
YNet News writer Azulay said the draft measure proposes subjecting candidates to a public hearing to inquire “about (their) legal and constitutional views, (their) personal contribution to legal thought, (their) views about law, justice and the necessary balance between various values and the separation of authorities.”
The Knesset Justice Committee would first rule on each candidate’s eligibility, then let the Judicial Selection Committee consider approved ones.
Responding to this and other measures, Hadash party MK Dov Hanin said:
“A wave of anti-democratic legislation is threatening to drown us. This proposal was intended to send the Supreme Court a threatening and powerful message ahead of the hearing on the legality of the Boycott Law. I call on the democratic camp to stage a massive protest. If we don’t all come together to defend democracy, there will be (nothing) left to defend.”
Kadima’s Avraham called the proposal another public humiliation, saying:
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About the author: I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.