Israel strips its judiciary of power

Originally published at: Israel strips its judiciary of power | Boing Boing


This is awful, but not unexpected, since there is certainly a direct connection between targeting a minority in a place and authoritarianism in general. It’s a sad day for Israelis, but if more of them had been making the connection between the state’s treatment of Palestinians and the protection of their own rights, they might have headed this outcome off earlier and kicked Bibi to the curb. You can’t have an authoritarian government for some, and true freedom for others. It never works out that way. Authoritarianism will always turn on the people who support it.


So an oft-elected guy abuses his authority & office to weaken the ability of a judiciary to hold him to account for high crimes that he’s currently on trial for.



Israel is about to lose a lot of support from the American Jewish community. Since the country’s founding in 1948 it’s been perceived by Jews (obviously not by Arabs) as a liberal-democratic or even socialist (see kibbutzes) haven of last resort. This nation-state, the story went, was a place to escape persecution by authoritarian regimes, which always succumb to lazy anti-Semitism when looking for scapegoats and treacherous cabals. The U.S. – on the claimed basis of shared democratic values – and American Jews consequently piled disproportionate financial, military, and diplomatic support onto it in the postwar era.

Netanyahu, in his lust for power and desire to evade the consequences of his corruption, has just ended that (already deteriorating) arrangement by openly attacking the country’s independent judiciary – a cornerstone of any liberal democracy. He did so without a pretense of popular legitimacy in order to pander to the small groups of ultra-nationalists and religious fundies in his coalition who --adding to the irony – are themselves authoritarians who trade in anti-Semitic tropes in their own unique way.


And then he did a crime and changed his mind.


I want to note that the vote was 64-0… so the entire fucking Knesset supported it. :woman_shrugging: Clearly, not a single politician are listening to their constituents there.


The opposition walked out.


Ah… makes sense. Still.

The Al-Jazeera story mentions the walk out:


Obviously way too many Israelis do support this guy and/or other political figures who are even more extreme, but it’s worth pointing out that Netanyahu (or his party, anyway) hasn’t been winning anywhere near a majority of the votes. In the most recent election in 2022 his Likud party only won 23% of the votes. In the elections prior to that the party won 24%, 29%, 25%, 26%, 23%, 23%, 22% and 9%. But even with nowhere near a majority the multi-party system gives him the opportunity to form coalition governments that don’t necessarily reflect the will of the people.


Yes, I’m aware how parliamentary politics work.

The POINT is that he is IN power with enough popular support that he’s able to put the country on the path to destroying democracy. This is all primarily so he can bring greater Israel to fruition for his far right ultra-orthodox supporters.


A very dark day for Israel indeed. They’ve always been prepared (and externally supported) against external threats, but apparently not internal threats, (parallels with the U.S. political situation are obvious). For progressive U.S. politics what needs to be quickly and carefully attended to is a rift on the left on this issue (said as one whose representative is Pramila Jayapal). Here’s hoping that Biden’s folks are working hard on a joint sensible response to this singularly horrid political choice made by Netanyahu -sigh-


And stay out of prison.


Before the vote:


In that case the comment isn’t meant for your benefit, but rather for those of us on the thread who are less familiar with parliamentary systems and assume (reasonably or unreasonably) that a guy who has been elected as PM so many times must have broad popular support.


I bet this ushers in a new golden age of peace and prosperity for Israel.



Mark Lavin LOVES Netanyahu, which tells me all I need to know.


Okay… so why was the reply not framed in a way that it’s clear that it’s a “yes and” type comment? If you meant to springboard off my comment (which I don’t mind), can you make it clearer that’s what you’re doing, since I tend to be the target of mansplaining around here?


An oversight on my part. My apologies.


I hardly think Donald Trump or (one of his friends) lurks here on the BBS of all places.


While most of the blame for this turn of events must go to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extreme right-wing coalition of Jewish nationalists, some falls on America’s leaders who, to varying degrees, for years refused to acknowledge Israel’s drift toward authoritarianism or, for that matter, its serial abuses of millions of the people who lived within the borders it controlled.

As recently as a week ago, only nine people in the U.S. Congress dared stand up to the lie that Israel was not a racist state. This despite decades of denying fundamental human rights to Palestinians in territories over which it asserted power simply because they were Palestinian.

The chorus of American leaders who regularly promised Israel’s leaders we would be with them (no matter what they did) invited Netanyahu and the thugocracy he assembled around him to do their worst. The Israeli leaders knew there was no price to pay. They knew that American aid would keep on coming. They knew American leaders would apologize for or cover up their crimes, block the U.N. from taking action against them, and maintain the myth that they were democratic when becoming less and less so.