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After passage this week of an anti-boycott law that limits free speech and has severely damaged Israel's democratic standing, conservative lawmakers are now seeking to obliterate the separation of powers.

The moves are prompting Israel's most influential thinkers, on both the left and right, to do the unthinkable: use the word fascism.

Dimi Reider, a progressive journalist, explains the new move by Likud members:

This is what an attempt at a fascist coup looks like – Likud MKs enraged by court petitions against the boycott bill are now pushing for legislation granting the Knesset a veto over Supreme Court appointments. Such a law would destroy the separation of powers in Israel.

(NOTE: for an explanation of how this is different than U.S. legislative checks, see "Author's Note 3" at the bottom of this diary.)

As much of the Arab world continues to convulse from democratic upheavals, Israel stunningly is moving, due to its reactionary, right-wing leaders, in the opposite direction, and the actions have dire consequences not only for America's relationship with one of its strongest allies, but for the region itself.

Some of Israel's most influential writers, as a result, are screaming from the rooftops about what is happening...

Ben Caspit, one of Israel's most influential and centrist thinkers, a columnist for Ma'ariv, writes this regarding Israel's anti-boycott law:

This is a blatant and a resounding shutting of people’s mouths. This is a thought police. There is no choice but to use this word. Fascism at its worst is raging.

And he's not the only one. Here is Alon Idan from Haaretz:

The widely held view that the slew of anti-democratic laws legislated by the 18th Knesset is a slippery slope to Fascism in the future is disingenuous. The Boycott Law is Fascism: it is a categorically anti-democratic law whose goal is to annul any possibility of legitimate protest.

There's no slope to slide down here; we're not talking about symbols, or process. We are instead witnessing purposeful, palpable manifestations of Fascism. This is the reality itself - not something which will happen in the future; and it leaves no crevice for a voice of opposition to make itself heard in what was once called the only democracy in the Middle East.

The calls of fascism in Israel are growing louder and louder, and as a result, Israel's most conservative leaders are reacting by introducing legislation that goes even further than a clamping down on free speech. The proposed bill would obliterate the separation of powers structure currently in place, giving a small group of Knesset members power over the Supreme Court in that it could veto appointments by the currently-functioning JAC committee. It is thus an attempt to wrest power, over time, from the only body capable of striking down the draconian laws now being passed in Israel.

It is, in short, a further move toward fascism – and those aren't my words, they are the words being used by many of Israel's leading commentators.

And while this latest law will probably not pass, the implications of such laws even gaining enough momentum to be sponsored by mainstream Likud politicians are profound. For at a time when the United States and President Obama are investing much capital in furthering peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and at a time when the White House's frustration with the Israeli government and lack of trust grows, these moves could only weaken Israel's standing with its most important ally.

The implications for Israeli society, of course, are profound as well, for sure. But on the international stage, at a time when the Palestinians are moving toward seeking statehood through the United Nations, a move Israelis fear will create a diplomatic tsunami against them, its lawmakers are passing laws that further alienate the Western world.

Yesterday, the United States had unusually harsh words couched in a non-condemning statement. This from Haaretz:

When asked to comment on the anti-boycott law, the U.S. State Department said the law was an "Israeli internal matter" but also hinted its criticism by pointing out the right to peaceful protest in democratic countries.

"Freedom of expression, including freedom to peacefully organize and protest, is a basic right under democracy," a State Department official said.

At a time when the Arab Spring continues to bloom (to varying degrees), Israel is reacting by moving in the opposite direction.

And only the Supreme Court, which is now under attack, can reverse the course.

Author's Note 1: Here is further explication of the bill from Didi Reider:

[the bill] would grant the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee the power to veto Supreme Court candidates for justices and for presidency.

In other words, the highly political parliamentary committee – currently chaired by Yisrael Beitenu – will be able to overrule the integrated Judicial Appointments Committee; the JAC has nine members, including the Justice Minister plus one other minister; two delegates from the Israeli Bar; two MKs, traditionally one from the coalition and one from the opposition; the Supreme Court President and two other justices. The JAC has long been a dam between the increasingly anti-judicial parliament and the embattled Supreme Court/High Court of Justice; it now appears that the Likud has decided to stop trying reform the committee and to simply go over its head.

In other words, this is an attempt to allow a small legislative body to override the integrated JAC set up as a bi-partisan protectorate of the judiciary.

Minister Dan Meridor and Education Minister Gideon Saar have already come out blasting the bill as "dangerous" and "anti-democratic."

Author's Note 2:

DK commenter Weasel points out additional, problematic legislative moves recently that demonstrate why Israeli commentators are really alarmed by the direction lawmakers are taking their country. From Weasel:

   Yisrael Beiteinu advances anti-leftist bill

The Yisrael Beiteinu faction is planning to arrange a Knesset vote on a proposal to set up a commission of inquiry against leftist groups less than a day after the 'boycott bill' passed a Knesset vote.

The use of governmental power to smash "leftist" organizations (which is also the purpose of the "Boycott Law") is a classic symptom of fascism.  

Weasel also points out the recently-passed "Nakba Law," which curtails free speech by outlawing commemoration by Palestinians of The Nakba.

Author's Note 3: Some seem to be confused as to why this proposed law would be problematic, suggesting (correctly) that the U.S. has legislative checks, particularly the Senate Judiciary Committee.

However, the structure in Israel, and the way in which powers are separated, is different. To make as best a parallel as I can to the U.S. system, this law is akin to giving a group of lawmakers the ability to veto the Senate Judiciary Committee's recommendations, if the SJC was composed of both lawmakers and Supreme Court justices.

This is much different, for it would give a small cadre of lawmakers the ability to hand-pick (and veto) justice appointments, regardless of what the established body recommends.

Author's Note 4: Regarding push-back on my use of the word "fascism," I am re-posting a comment I made to DK commentor bink's thoughtful critique:

As a Jew invested in Israel's success and as one with a deep family history of loss connected to the Holocaust, I do not use the word fascism lightly, for in this context, one cannot use the word without the obvious echoes to the truly brutal and fascist regimes.

It is for this reason that it is both important and striking that Israelis themselves are recognizing what is occurring within their country to have fascist reverberations, for writers such as Caspi (quoted in the diary) understand painfully how serious it is to use the word, given its embedded meanings and reverberations.

Trust me, I don't use the word lightly. But I do believe, in this context, it's not hyperbole. Israel is in no way a fascist country, but the laws being passed and proposed are, in my view, fascist in nature.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:21 AM PDT.

Also republished by Eyes on Egypt and the Region and Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    h bridges, rblinne, Cedwyn, PeterHug, MrJayTee, WOIDgang, farbuska, Lepanto, angry marmot, TomFromNJ, cybrestrike, OHdog, blueoasis, gchaucer2, DefendOurConstitution, Geekesque, downsouth, weasel, elliott, brainwave, sofia, MartyM, Robobagpiper, SeaTurtle, Matt Esler, DailyDrew, Steve In DC, pino, Flyswatterbanjo, capelza, banjolele, raptavio, dmhlt 66, Jackson L Haveck, expatjourno, SCFrog, AZ Independent, nicki37, punditician, madmsf, roadbear, terabytes, jazzbuff, hillpeople, high5, Tyto Alba, mdmslle, eigenlambda, Safina, Dr Colossus, No one gets out alive, roses, fiddlingnero, ewmorr, esquimaux, Dexter, outragedinSF, DEMonrat ankle biter, Sandino, Cocker Mom, marleycat, dark daze, Aunt Martha, Eric Blair, elengul, politicjock, mconvente, willibro, Sanuk, Lefty Coaster, Methinks They Lie, Jagger, Euroliberal, Jeff Simpson, draa, citizendane, OllieGarkey, Dianna, lgcap, Nulwee, slapshoe, Wolf10, JustJennifer, bassinduo, randomfacts, musicalhair, IndieGuy, gecko, catilinus, Friendlystranger, An Affirming Flame, JaceInVA, Imhotepsings, mslat27, Shadowmage36, Vinnie Vegas, jethrock, Eiron, think blue, chira2, Paolo, Seneca Doane, Anak, thehoch, DWG, cpresley, millwood, Jay C, cslewis, royce, unspeakable, Pinko Elephant, Uberbah, ybruti, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, hkorens, tin woodswoman, sostos, Andrew M, yaque, happymisanthropy, wu ming, alguien, lysias, petulans, LucyandByron, Dom9000, PDX Dem, ramara, Ptah the Great, Terra Mystica, DFH, valadon, Fire bad tree pretty, Romo2Austin, RageKage, Maikeru Ronin, Celtic Merlin, Larsstephens
  •  Hang on. I'd hate to sound like I'm defending (26+ / 0-)

    the Likud - let alone a fascist coup. But the highest legislative body having veto powers over supreme court appointments? How's that different from the U.S., where the Senate needs to confirm judicial appointments (and not just to the SCOTUS, either!)? Sorry, I may have misunderstood - but I'd appreciate a clarification.

    "Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning -- the good guys against the bad guys. Question is: Who are the good guys?" ("The Professionals," 1966; Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) to Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan).

    by brainwave on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:30:22 AM PDT

  •  If that is true (16+ / 0-)
    And only the Supreme Court, which is now under attack, can reverse the course.

    If that is true, and the Supreme Court is the only entity resisting the move toward rightwing authoritarianism, then it is hopeless.  Happily, it is not quite so bleak.  A number of civil society organizations are mounting a campaign to push back in the streets, in the courts, and in the political sphere.

    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:42:33 AM PDT

  •  Scary that our ally seems to be running from (5+ / 0-)

    the ideals of democratic government.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:42:45 AM PDT

  •  More of a fascist move (43+ / 0-)

    than attempting to bring Supreme Court appointments under Knesset authority is the move to specifically target leftist organizations:

    Yisrael Beiteinu advances anti-leftist bill

    The Yisrael Beiteinu faction is planning to arrange a Knesset vote on a proposal to set up a commission of inquiry against leftist groups less than a day after the 'boycott bill' passed a Knesset vote.

    The use of governmental power to smash "leftist" organizations (which is also the purpose of the "Boycott Law") is a classic symptom of fascism.  

    A similarly fascist-trending law is the "Nakba Law," which forbids any public commemeration of disaster that befell Palestinians when 750,000 were driven from their homes in 1948. This law was passed by Israel with no outrage in the West.  In some ways, it is even a more classic sign of fascism: a law that curtails free speech and targets minorities on the grounds they are not nationalistic enought.  

    Modifying the appointment process for Supreme Court judges would not be a big deal in and of itself.  However, in the current context, and with ministers specifically warning the courts to "steer clear" of the Boycott Law, it clearly is part of the move in the direction of fascism.

    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:50:25 AM PDT

  •  Co-sponsoring MK Levin (Likud) was pretty (21+ / 0-)

    clear about the intent of the proposal:

    "This law will break the hegemony of the radical left-wing elite in the justice system and return the sovereignty of the people and the Knesset to democratic life in Israel," Levin said.

    "Whoever vetoes laws should have to stand before the public and be chosen in a transparent and democratic process," Levin said. "This law will prevent the method in which Supreme Court judges appoint their friends to the bench, and will prevent judges with post-Zionist agendas from being appointed."

    Levin added that the bill "has a special importance because a new Supreme Court President will be chosen in the next few months. This will end the 'seniority method' that exists today."

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:53:42 AM PDT

  •  I Understand (17+ / 0-)

    That you perceive this as a dramatic development and I support your right to color it as such here.

    But I'm wondering if the diary might get its message across to a wider audience without such a blaring headline.  (Even though I see it comes from the Haaretz piece.)

    Fascism is a historical phenomenon unlikely to be repeated.

    Humans are quite capable of generating new and innovative forms of authoritarianism -- and I think we can understand them better if we don't keep returning to Fascism as a blanket term.

    Besides -- it is fairly easy to debunk that this is not Fascism and this lets people who support the Israeli right dismiss your argument without addressing the meat of it.

    What seems to me is clear:

    The Israeli right is imposing institutional changes that will help them maintain power and suppress the opposition.  Given their record, this is bad news for Israel, for the Palestinians and, by extension, us.

    I feel bad for people on all sides who simply want to live in peace and security.  It seems like that goal is moving further away.

    Find me fast on Daily Kos by following me.

    by bink on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:54:39 AM PDT

    •  Hi bink, your comment is intelligent and well- (21+ / 0-)

      reasoned, and I understand your perspective.

      Believe me, as a Jew invested in Israel's success and as one with a deep family history of loss connected to the Holocaust, I do not use the word fascism lightly, for in this context, one cannot use the word without the obvious echoes to the truly brutal and fascist regimes.

      It is for this reason that it is both important and striking that Israelis themselves are recognizing what is occurring within their country to have fascist reverberations, for writers such as Caspi (quoted in the diary) understand painfully how serious it is to use the word, given its embedded meanings and reverberations.

      Trust me, I don't use the word lightly. But I do believe, in this context, it's not hyperbole. Israel is in no way a fascist country, but the laws being passed and proposed are, in my view, fascist in nature.

    •  I think that your comment will garner (18+ / 0-)

      much support here, and I will admit that as recently as a few months ago I would have agreed with you wholehertedly that employing the term 'fascist' when referring to the institutions of Israeli governance was most often an intentionally provocative and presumably underhanded way of going Godwin without going full Godwin.

      I agree that 'fascism' in relation to Israeli governance is jarring, but in light of these most recent developments it may well be apt...

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:12:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I trust your sense that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JNEREBEL, volleyboy1
        employing the term 'fascist' when referring to the institutions of Israeli governance was most often an intentionally provocative and presumably underhanded way of going Godwin without going full Godwin./blockquote>

        I think that's the case here.  The proposed law is so technical, so "inside-baseball", that to call it a step toward fascism is just unnecessary hyperbole.

        Of course, using "fascism" and "Israel" in a sentence is sure to get a lot of attention for a topic that would otherwise garner little.  But of course, it's Israel we're talking about.  

        Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

        by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:11:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose you then take issue with Israel's (4+ / 0-)

          leading centrist voice, Ben Caspit, using the term as well.

          •  I expected that you would go there (0+ / 0-)

            And I think that's just wrong.  

            Your diary seems to be based on the fact that a commentator here and there used the word "fascist", so you feel justified in repeating it.  Like when Bart Simpson heard the word "bosom" at the dinner table then felt justified in saying it over and over.

            The problem is that this isn't fascism, and you've failed to show how it is.  So instead you just quote someone else.  

            But there's another problem -- you grabbed attention here by juxtaposing "Israel" and "fascism" (A lot of kossacks seem to love that) when you knew that the word "fascism" has a painful and cruel echo here in Dkos-I/P.  

            Caspit speaks in Israel to Israelis.  You speak here, where Israel Derangement Syndrome runs high, and you do so coming as close to a Godwin as you can without any substantive justification.  

            Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

            by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:37:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, Caspit speaks to Israelis, and can thus use (6+ / 0-)

              the word fascism, knowing how devastatingly loaded the word is, and knowing the implications of doing so.

              However, an American Jew cannot use the word when speaking to American Jews and progressives because...

              ...I'm waiting.

              The "Israel Derangement Syndrome" canard is a fun, easy ad hom to throw around, but it is not only false, its use belies the lack of a real, intelligent critique on your behalf.

              The serious measures that have already passed, and are being proposed, are fascist in nature, any this diary is as pro-Israel as you can get, for it is a progressive critique meant to expose and counter those policies that are damaging Israel's democratic standing, and dulling the potential of a country I love dearly.

              •  I quibble with you over (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RedPencil, Mets102

                Israel Derangement Syndrome (IDS). It exists and is in full force as even illustrated in this diary.

                It is not true in your case, but it most certainly is a fact.

                You have posters here claiming Israel is just like Syria. You have people - another diarist with the title of a diary that says "Israel bans free speech for Jews".. I mean come on.

                I don't think that is the case in you but, I if you think IDS is simply an ad hom to be pulled in trivial instances I am here to tell you that you are wrong.

                DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:47:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Today was the first time I ever used IDS (0+ / 0-)

                Fizziks introduced me to it, and I thought this diary was a very apt use of the term.  Somehow, the folks here at Dkos get up in arms when Israel does little things, like proposing this technical law.

                And yes, there is a difference between Caspit's comments and yours.  You write here, at DKos, where everyone starts to breathe faster when they see "fascism" and "Israel" in the same sentence.

                Here's what I mean:  During the US attorney scandal, I'm sure I thought, and perhaps said, that the firing of US attorneys for political reasons was a step toward fascism.  But that opinion was based on extensive knowledge of the way our system of laws are enforced, and how US attorneys get appointed, and the tradition of non-politicization of those offices.  But if I were to breathlessly scream "FASCISM" to someone without that context, they'd never understand.  

                This is what you have done.  You have blared "fascism" without explaining what happened.  And then when you did explain it, it didn't sound like fascism at all.  It still sounds like our system.

                Caspit is commenting in an arena where the context of the maneuver is understood, or should be.  You're commenting here at DKos, where people equate everything that anyone in the Israeli government does with the immoral and cruel occupation.

                Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

                by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:56:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is an excellent point... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jersey Jon

              the difference between the discussion inside Israel and Daily Kos.

    •  On dkos, pretty much every government is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jersey Jon

      "fascist". It's the word of the decade (tied with "corporatist plutocracy").

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:15:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  wrong. (8+ / 0-)
      Fascism is a historical phenomenon unlikely to be repeated.

      this displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the word. there have been lots of different types of fascism in the world, and there still is facism in the world at this very moment. Maybe you equate facsism with national socialism? But that would be wrong, not all facists are nazis, but all nazis are facists, ie facism is the superordinate concept, while nazism is just one type of facism (without a doubt the most famous one).

      "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

      by Mudderway on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:19:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aufklaerer

        Where is the cult of personality that defines Fascist leaders?  Where is the cult of heroism and the will?  

        Find me fast on Daily Kos by following me.

        by bink on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:26:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm using a different definition than you are (8+ / 0-)

          and I suspect that other readers may be using the same definition as I am, i.e., Lawrence Britt's 14 Characteristics.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:28:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not even talking about israel here (9+ / 0-)

          I didn't rec the diary, because I'm not yet convinced that israel is heading there(though I do think that certain right wing movements in Israel are facist in nature), though this news is very troublesome, no doubt about that.
          My comment was just to point out that

          Fascism is a historical phenomenon unlikely to be repeated.

          this comment is wrong, facism is not just a historical phenomenon, but instead something very relevant, that has througout history happened lots of times, and will most likely continue to happen again and again in the world, escpecially, when more and more people think that it won't happen again.
          Fascism hardly ever looks exactly alike, while it is still a growing movement, which just adds to its danger, because one can point out things missing in this new facist movement, that was their in others and so oversee the actual danger.
          So yeah the whole point of my comment was to point out that facism is extremely likely to be repeated again, no society is safe from it in the longview, unless the society actively fights attempts to further the society into a more fascist direction.
          I just hate the views, that "it can't happen here" or "the world is different now, so it won't happen again", but sadly those views have been getting much more prevalent the further away we get from the most famous cases of fascism.

          "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

          by Mudderway on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:42:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's National Socialism: (6+ / 0-)
          cult of personality
          cult of heroism and the will

          Fascism is basically the hollowing out of liberal capitalist democracy by the interests of the military-industrial complex, set in motion by a coalition of conservative elites and right-wing populists. German National Socialism mixed this with the attributes you mentioned, but there were many other fascist regimes after the Third Reich, for instance in Spain under Franco and Chile under Pinochet. You could argue (and some do) that South Africa was basically a fascist state under Apartheid. You could argue (and many do) that Portugal, Greece, Argentina were under fascist rule for some period of time after WWII.

          I'm not sure, however, if the term applies here, because there seems to be a free press and a protesting public, so while Likud and Yisrael Beitenu may have fascistoid tendencies, this doesn't suffice to characterize the status quo of Israel's political system as a whole. Not yet.

          "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

          by aufklaerer on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:51:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well of course Israel isn't fascist yet, (4+ / 0-)

            but thats the danger of fascism, when a country actually is fascist its too late anyway. Upthread I reccommended "the anatomy of fascism" by robert paxton, its about how fascist movements are structured largely before they achieve power, how they act ect. And he doesn't just write about the successful ones, but also about fascists movements, that failed. Its a very interesting and well written read.

            "We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

            by Mudderway on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sometimes, style is substance. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mudderway, yaque, Terra Mystica

              As a Marxist, I view every capitalist democracy under permanent threat of developing authoritarian, anti-democratic, or even fascist tendencies, i.e. treating people either individually or collectively as less than human, less than equal, using force, suppressing rights etc.

              Having said that, I agree with bink that it might not be the most brilliant overture for a serious debate about Israel to imply it's on the road to fascism. We aren't obliged to take the sensibilities of all potential discussion members into account, but it might serve to make for a civilized debate if we don't antagonize on purpose - and 'fascism' is most certainly a red flag for some defenders of Israel who would otherwise be able to contribute to the discourse.

              "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

              by aufklaerer on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:15:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Unlikely? What? (11+ / 0-)
      Fascism is a historical phenomenon unlikely to be repeated.
      Maybe you're using a narrower or purer definition of fascism than I do, but I'd say not only that it has been repeated many times since World War II -- in Argentina, Chile, Portugal, Greece, Indonesia -- but that we were heading full steam toward it in the United States within recent memory, and steered away only at the last possible moment. I have no doubt that if the Republicans had won both houses of Congress in 2006, that would have been the last free and fair election held in America in our lifetimes.

      That being said, I would like to see us backing even farther away from the point of no return than we already have -- we're still uncomfortably close, as you can tell from Republicans' desperate shock-doctrine antics over the debt ceiling. They're acting like this because they think they still have a chance to win, and they're betting everything on it.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:25:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IMHO, fascist forms of gov't (10+ / 0-)

      are not by definition just the 1940's Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

      While the Nazis in Germany utilized the fascist form of government to perpetrate the Aryan supremacy myth and cause murder on a scale unimaginable, we cannot use it to define fascist governments.

      I believe you know that history recycles and rebrands ideologies; Today's Tea Party movement is a re-brand of John Birch/Barry Goldwater conservatism. A right-wing authoritarian regime that has 90% of the similarities with historical fascism, is fascist.

      I'm not saying thats where Israel is now, I would just disagree with the premise that fascism is a phenomenon that is relegated to the bowels of history. No, it is alive and well, just living on in new names.

      "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

      by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Valid comment, but as Santana said (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AZ Independent, yaque, Terra Mystica

      Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The term fascism here has utility in marshalling opposition based on that principle. I would vehemently object to the term Nazism, of course. German fascism was by far the worst but by no means the only manifestation. Fascism is alive and well in many parts of the world today.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:07:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope Israel's Supreme Court prevails. (6+ / 0-)

    It has always been Israel's most rational democratic branch of government.

  •  The occupation continues to define Israel. (28+ / 0-)

    The settlements are more sacred than democracy.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 06:59:40 AM PDT

  •  Trying to determine the constitutionality of a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elliott, Matisyahu, Lefty Coaster

    law is made so much more tricky in the absence of...um...a constitution.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:03:20 AM PDT

    •  Not really -- in fact, it may make it easier. (0+ / 0-)

      It's harder to turn the whole thing on creative redefining of anachronistic words, and more on the actual substance.

      A constitution isn't like a regular law, since it defines what is legitimate in the first place. It's easy to fool oneself when the constitution is on paper -- but when it's not, then it's obvious that the constitution is not exactly law, but more of a description of cultural legitimacy of law.

      By not making that mistake, you avoid other mistakes as well.

  •  Israeli "settlers" (8+ / 0-)

    ...should welcome boycotts against them.  It's non-violent, not particularly devastating, allows people to let off steam, and it is far better treatment than what they deserve.  Laws like this will only increase, not reduce, the levels of animosity and intolerance.

    Wisconsin is closed for political maintenance.

    by Subversive on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:06:20 AM PDT

  •  Title is misleading... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matisyahu, Jersey Jon, fizziks

    I don't like getting into any debate here over Israel, but come on, at least change the title.

    A veto power over the Supreme Court makes it sound like they could overrule their decisions, which is far, far different than merely restructuring the appointment procedure.

    Also- less important but still an issue, why is it "Knesset" that is seeking this veto power? I don't see diaries on here about the U.S. that say "Congress seeks..." when they mean "Republicans seek..."

    I think the main reason so many Jews like myself are so offended by most Israel-related diaries here is that they treat Israel as a monolithic evil power based on the actions of the Irsraeli right.

    •  I believe it is a combination of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matisyahu, yaque

      of the ruling coalition MKs (Yisrael Beitenu and Likud). Multi-party system, yes it confuses me too sometimes!

      "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

      by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:32:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Structurally, this is what is occuring... (8+ / 0-)

      ...to a degree, as conservative Knesset MKs are proposing to have a small legislative committee veto appointment choices proposed by a committee (JAC) that is composed of the Supreme Court President, two justices, the Justice Minister and several lawmakers.

      This committee is structured such that actual justices can have a major say in determining who is professionally qualified to sit on the Supreme Court, while not allowing them to dictate.

      This new law would allow lawmakers to veto candidates that come out of this committee, which are often supported by the Supreme Court.

      However, as you point out, there is no move to actually have veto power over decisions. But this law is no less damaging, for in essence, lawmakers are tying to have total power to mold the Supreme Court so that they will never have to veto a decision coming from the body, for such decisions would always be to their liking.

      •  Didn't see your point, BlueGA, about confusion (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        downsouth, Matisyahu, Lefty Coaster, yaque

        with Knesset language. I changed it to "lawmakers," as I don't want readers to think the Knesset as a whole already has the votes for this to pass.

        And I tacked on appts. at the end for clarification, despite my view that this really is, given the structure of the Israeli separation of powers, an attempt to veto the Supreme Court itself in the appointment process.

      •  Ok, with that explanation . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JNEREBEL

        How is this even remotely like fascism?  And why would you use that loaded term in the context of an Israeli political maneuver?

        Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

        by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:22:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's pretty simple, really...this maneuver is a (6+ / 0-)

          direct response to petitions being filed to the Supreme Court to strike down the anti-boycott bill just passed, which a strong chorus of Israelis find so odious that they can think of no other word to use than fascism to describe it.

          This maneuver is an extension of that law, in that it is an attempt, over time, to allow a small group of partisan legislators to have the sole power of forming the make-up of the Supreme court procedurally.

  •  First they came for the Muslims (4+ / 0-)

    Then they came for the Christians.
    Then they came for the International Solidarity Movement.
    Then they came for the left-wing "elite".
    Then they came for me.

    We've seen this pattern before. What is not fully appreciated here is BDS is not only the best hope for the Palestinians it is also the best hope for the Jews. Governments, including our own, won't solve this problem. Israeli, Palestinian, and International civil society has to bridge the gap.

    •  Actually, they came for the left, first, foremost (4+ / 0-)

      Indeed, the principal basis of Nazi anti-semitic antipathy was that "teh Jews" were too sympathetic to, or even the supposed originators of, communism (ie: popular democracy, as opposed to monopoly corporate fascism).

      Rabid, obsessive anti-communism is a more definitive marker of fascism than anti-semitism, per se...although opportunist scapegoating of (any) convenient minorities, drawing from, extrapolating, and tailoring long-established extant cultural prejudices, is also a consistent ploy of fascism.

      Which is why even a Jew can be fascist, as contradictory and counter-intuitive as that may seem, historically...the phenomenon manifests in all "races", religions and nationalities, and is ALL about right wing extremism, seeking to establish and consolidate absolute hegemony, to ruthlessly suppress any "damn commie" impetus toward real democracy, civil rights, human rights, labor rights, etc.

      Put simply, Fascism is when those forces most hostile to labor seize absolute power.  

      Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

      by Radical def on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:38:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this is one reason that I get really pissed off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      canadian gal, volleyboy1, Mets102

      with the 'fascist' discussions here.  How do you begin?  You invoke a holocaust poem...written SPECIFICALLY to address those who didn't speak out against the Nazi incarnation of fascism.  and twist words around to demonstrate the irony, knowing you can score points b/c of the history of the poem.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Not as clearly stated as other comments....but ill-conceived.

      Note this is just the first half your comment I'm objecting to--not the second.

      •  The reason for the parallel (0+ / 0-)

        is the public accepts the taking away of rights of "disapproved" minorities and the inevitable that everybody's rights get taken away in the end.  Note in my other comment I was very specific on who we should focus upon, Likud and their allies. Progressives in the U.S. should back the progressives in Israel who's backs are currently against the wall.  This is a long time coming as been shown by other comments on the history of loyalty oaths and Nakba-denial laws. You shouldn't be pissed off with me. You should be pissed off with Likud.

        •  1.) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102

          you didn't address my issue at all.  That poem is central to Holocaust memory, and pretty much echoes throughout every Hebrew school in the country.  It's the POEM, not the parallels, that are unnecessary, painful and uncalled for.  If M.B. can call people out for invoking 'ironic fascism', I don't see how this is any different.

          2.) most people in this thread (on both sides) are furious with Likud for this move.  You know that full well.  Trying to pretend that we're not in order to get your poem across is disingenuous.

  •  You just wrote a diary... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that claimed Israel's democracy is in danger (which is interesting, since you think an occupying force can simultaneously be a democracy).

    Now you are claiming Israel is moving towards Fascism.

    I guess by Friday you'll write another recommended diary that claims Israel is on the brink of becoming Communist.

     

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:18:14 AM PDT

    •  I don't think those two points are exclusive (4+ / 0-)

      It is clear that the "liberal" (classic-sense) democracy that Israelis have enjoyed are being threatened with fascist-like legislation aimed at silencing popular sentiment, public demonstration, and concentrating power in the hands of a few. So, fascism.

      Am I wrong? If so, how.

      "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

      by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:30:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But if Israel... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AZ Independent

        ..is an occupying force (as the diarist believes), how can Israel simultaneously be deemed a democracy?

        If you are an occupying force, then aren't you already embroiled in Fascism?

        Sorry, this is the very reason I usually avoid Israel diaries.

        If I was an ardent reader of Israel diaries, I would be driven crazy by the sophistry this diarist invokes in his/her Israel diaries.

        When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

        by wyvern on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:19:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is the US a democracy, even though we (7+ / 0-)

          occupied Iraq in 2003, Afghanistan in 2001, not to mention the historical occupation of Japan, and the vast "protectorates" of the Pacific?

          Occupation of territory does not equal fascism.

          The diarist (he) is actually very informative; sometimes colorful language helps to make a point clearer, if the context is correct.

          "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

          by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:47:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh come on (13+ / 0-)

          it's perfectly logical - Israel is an occupying force in the occupied territories, and maintains constitutional government in Israel proper, though, inevitably, the constant pressure of maintaining an occupying force for decades has increasingly come to corrupt that constitutional system. In a similar way, but to a lesser degree, US democratic institutions have been undermined by the fact that it's engaged in semi-permanent occupations - even if in the US case these are halfway around the world rather than next door and have been going on for a lot less time

          This is so obvious that I have to wonder who exactly is engaging in the sophistry here.

        •  I don't see an intellectual inconsistency (5+ / 0-)

          Israel, like the US, is an occupying force.  In the occupied territory, democracy is, at best, constrained by the occupying power.  In the "homeland" (I really hate that word), democracy is practiced more or less.  The elected government continues the occupation.  In that sense, Israel is a democracy.  The Israeli government, however, is moving to eliminate some of the checks and balances that are essential for democracy and so there is a move in the direction of an authoritarian state--fascism if you will.  Of course, the US has moved in the same direction, unfortunately.

          I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

          by Eric Blair on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:55:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It Could Happen Here (5+ / 0-)

    This is an object lesson in what can happen when reactionary religious elements take control. It has happened in Israel. It could happen here.

    •  Dude, this HAS happened here, in 1787 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JNEREBEL

      The proposal is similar to our supreme court appointment process, except ours is even worse, since one political official, the president, nominates appointees.

      Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

      by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:24:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One big difference - the U.S. has a constitution.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geekesque, capelza, yaque

        ...that establishes the judicial branch as a separate and equal branch of government. Although Congress has the power to consent to appointments to the Supreme Court, the power of the Supreme Court (and the judicial branch as a whole) is enumerated in the Constitution.

        The judicial branch's position in Israel is rather more precarious, and as recent developments in Israel have demonstrated, the powers of the Israeli Supreme Court are almost solely defined by the political process. This has resulted, for example, in decisions by Israeli administrations to simply ignore Supreme Court rulings. Without a constitution that clearly enumerates the independent and coequal status of the Judiciary, the judiciary powers are merely a function of laws adopted by the Knesset.

        In any event, my original comment was really directed more to the full panoply of rightwing abuses in Israel, including the anti-boycott law, the discriminatory housing and marriage laws, the endless occupation and the rising influence of orthodox religious elements in Israel.

        •  Actually, the US constitution (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1, yaque, RandomSequence

          does not make the Supreme Court "co-equal"; that's a term that has shown up later.  The Constitution does not give the Supreme Court the power to determine the constitutionality of the acts of Congress or the President.  That was a power that was co-opted by the Court in Marbury v. Madison.

          just sayin . . . .

          Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

          by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:59:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the Court doesn't have the right to determine (5+ / 0-)

            constitutionality, then what does

            The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;—between Citizens of different States;—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

            mean?

            If the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and an act of Congress is passed contrary to the Constitution, and the Supreme Court doesn't have the authority to strike down the offending act of Congress... then who does?  The courts have always been the ones charged with disambiguating between laws and figuring out which ones are binding or not.

            Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

            by eigenlambda on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:41:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The commenter was apparently... (0+ / 0-)

              ...referring to the concept of judicial review (i.e., the power of the court to deem legislation unconstitutional), which wasn't overtly established until Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

              Perhaps the commenter was just attempting to demonstrate his constitutional erudition, but the subject of judicial review has nothing to do with this diary or the fact that the Israeli Supreme Court does not enjoy the protection of constitutionally enumerated powers, the consequence of which has been increasing disregard of the Israeli Supreme Court by the Knesset and Israeli administrations.

            •  You need to read debates from the period. (0+ / 0-)

              Madison's notes from the convention. Propaganda pieces like the Federalist papers. Congressional discussions from the 1790s.

              In fact, the question "who has the power to decide what is constitutional" was in fact a contentious issue.

              One understanding was that this was the "check-and-balance" -- that the President over-ruled unconstitutional congressional action by veto, and Congress overruled unconstitutional presidential action by it's 2/3 over-ride. The judiciary merely decided formal, technical issues -- not broad constitutional issues.

              And if you say "Well, what if the President and Congress act together unconstitutionally", what most folks from the 1790s would have said is "well, then we're fucked, since if you manage to get that much power, how the hell do you think mere judges won't be co-opted as well."

              I'm not at all sure that Marbury was properly decided -- it was a power grab by the judiciary that Congress and the President were willing to allow, since it took one responsibility away from them, it covered their asses.

              Of course, no lawyer will agree with me -- but then, the law is primarily theology, and I take legal theory as seriously as theological theory. Both are completely ahistorical clap-trap meant to legitimize and rationalize the current system, not derive the system in some sort of intellectually honest way.

          •  Actually, the Constitution does... (0+ / 0-)

            ...provide for three equal branches, insofar as the powers of each are clearly delimited and not subject to revision or proscription at the prerogative of the other branches. The constitution doesn't have to use the term "co-equal"; it provides for the independence and equality of the branches by its very structure. Similarly, the constitution does not describe the two legislative branches as "coequal", and yet it is a given that the two legislative are coequal in the same sense that the three governmental branches are: neither can revise nor proscribe the enumerated powers of the other.

            Frankly, the whole "branches are not coequal" argument is a favorite of the radical rightwing in this country. I'm not saying the commenter is a troll; he was perhaps unaware that he's citing a rightwing fever dream.

            As for judicial review, it too is irrelevant to the equality of the branches established in the constitution. Again, it is a silly rightwing belief that judicial review, as conceived by Marshall and since established with the acquiescence of the other two branches, somehow elevates the Juducial Branch above the legislative and executive branches and thereby threatens democracy.

            •  No it doesn't (0+ / 0-)

              That's all anachronistic back-reading of changes after that time.

              Just look at the structure -- you have an extensive Article I describing the legislature, followed by a strong Article II describing the Presidency.

              After that, Articles III-VII are fairly short, describing other, less dominant branches. If you insist that the Judiciary is an "equal branch", then the structure would demand that we have 5 equal branches, including the States and the never-invoked constitutional conventions for amendment.

              Basically, if the judiciary is an equal branch, then some form of nullification must be accepted as well.

              But all of that is ahistorical. The court is coequal not because of what the constitution says, but because of how the constitution has evolved. In fact, the judiciary is co-equal -- but not from the bare words, but from our unwritten constitution, our actual real constitution.

              The problem is that we anachronistically back-read into the written constitution -- we pretend it says what it doesn't say, rather than openly understand that the written constitution is merely a starting point for our functional constitution.

              That illusion, that empirical and intellectual error, then creates the "fevered right-wing trolls" -- they take very seriously what is simply dogmatic rationalizations to avoid properly describing our system.

              It's one of the root causes of problems in our political system -- we can't in fact describe our system, because we insist on untrue premises for historical reasons.

              It may even be tied to the "co-equality". The job of the law is to codify current practice, to rationalize it and make it consistent. The "rationalizers", the re-inventors of fact and process must keep a continuing description of changing practice both consistent and coherent -- you must re-write the past.

              That's an important job -- it's impossible for legislation to actually cover all contingency, to predict the future and all cases. Lawyers fill in the cracks. But when people trained to do that in effect become legislators, when they become "co-equal" with the legislature, you end up with a legal system and culture that becomes divorced from reality, constantly trying to re-write the past so the system can be perfectly consistent.

              That's why right-wingers, engineers, fundamentalists, Libertarians and lawyers often tend to go together -- it's a fetish for consistency.

  •  Other moves towards fascism: Glenn Beck (15+ / 0-)

    Does having the government body warmly welcome Glenn Beck count as a move toward fascism?

    Glenn Beck gets warm welcome in Israel

    By all accounts, Glenn Beck's visit to Israel this week couldn't have gone better.

    Making the second of what he calls "solidarity" trips to Israel this year, the conservative pundit and former Fox News personality came to the parliament, or Knesset, in a widely watched public appearance ahead of a "Restore Courage" rally he's scheduled for Aug. 24 in Jerusalem.

    More than a dozen Israeli news outlets filled the packed room Monday morning to hear politicians laud Beck as "one of Israel's greatest friends," in the words of Likud lawmaker Danny Danon, who'd invited Beck.
    ...

    Lawmakers thanked Beck for his unwavering support for their country, which they said came from his deep-rooted Christian values.
    ...

    Beck also visited the settlement of Ma'ale Zeitim, where well-known millionaire and pro-settlement supporter Irving Moskowitz held a reception in his honor. Moskowitz, a Florida-based businessman, has long provided financial backing to groups that are looking to expand Israel's settlements.

    Reporters weren't invited to the event, but one political official who attended said the mood was "adoring."


    "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

    by weasel on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

    •  Maybe, but the real news (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, yaque

      is that Glenn Beck visiting Israel lowered the average IQ by 1.5 pts.

      I'm truly sorry Man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union--Robert Burns

      by Eric Blair on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:56:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone who supports Beck in any way should (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      be considered a charlatan or worse a fanatic, IMHO.

    •  Well..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, Mets102
      Does having the government body warmly welcome Glenn Beck count as a move toward fascism?

      No it doesn't.

      What it does show is that the coalition and those that applaud Beck are seriously deluded (particularly if they think he is a real friend) and reaching out to people who will "green light" their behavior.

      Beck says a lot of nice things to them or at least things they want to hear. Of course they like him. It doesn't make them fascist but it does show a weakness in their sense of judgement.

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh (6+ / 0-)

        Christ, Volley.  I think everyone knows that the real issues are the laws and policies, not Glenn Beck.  99% of people here can actually see the humor in my post.  I'm mocking Beck, deal with it.

        I suppose you have to have something to argue against in this diary.  It's a little sad that the best you got is defending the reception for Beck.  He's really not worth the trouble.    

        "How did you go bankrupt?" "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." - Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.

        by weasel on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:44:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh.... Part Deux (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mortifyd, Mets102
          Christ, Volley.  I think everyone knows that the real issues are the laws and policies, not Glenn Beck.

          Then why invoke him? What's that... you were trying to get away with a quick shot and conflation of support for Israel = support for Beck? Oh sorry, didn't mean to mess up your meme.

          99% of people here can actually see the humor in my post.  I'm mocking Beck, deal with it.

          My bet is not that 99% of people see that at all, and given your attempts at conflation of Beck with Israel you are being disengenous here.

          I suppose you have to have something to argue against in this diary.

          No... actually I don't. I think these laws are horrible and are a step on the road to fascism. I have something to argue about your ridiculous conflations.

          It's a little sad that the best you got is defending the reception for Beck.

          Who "defended" a reception for Beck? Is calling someone who receives a person like Beck "deluded" a defense of such?  Of course not. I am simply contextualizing the Beck visit. You'll note I also said: "It doesn't make them fascist but it does show a weakness in their sense of judgement."

          Perhaps if you just stuck to facts and left the hyperbolic posturing somewhere else you might meet less resistance.

          DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:41:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I can think... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matisyahu, Matt Z, Jersey Jon, JNEREBEL

    ...of a lot of ways to describe this law.  Half-assed is what first comes to mind.

    But facist?  By taking power away from the executive that makes appointments and spreading it to a committee of the legislative branch?

    Not much different than what we have here.

    If anything, splitting decision making authority among branches is the opposite of fascism.

    If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

    by JPhurst on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:26:28 AM PDT

    •  The executive doesn't make appointments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Blair, happymisanthropy, yaque

      all branches of government and the Bar Association are involved in making appointments to the Supreme Court.

      Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

      by eigenlambda on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:04:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ultimately... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JNEREBEL

        ...the President, not prime minister, makes the appointment.  But you are correct in that there is a screening process which recommends candidates.  As I understand it, that process would continue, but the Knesset committee would also have the power to veto the appointment.

        I think the process works fine as is.  Changing it might politicize the judiciary, but wouldn't lead to fascism.

        If missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that. -- President Barack Obama

        by JPhurst on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:34:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Many do (18+ / 0-)

    not want to hear this, but Israel has never been a democracy for its Palestinian citizens, who live at the margins of Israeli society (economically, politically, in terms of access to health resources or education) or for the Palestinians it has occupied for over four decades, who must every day deal with an occupying power that does not recognize them as legal subjects, which means they can be abused at will.

    Israel has been a democracy for its Jewish citizens. But laws such as this have always been a fixture of the Israeli state; for example, from 1949 to 1966 Arab citizens of Israel were put under martial law and expulsions were commonplace.

    So perhaps laws such as this are less of an anomaly for this state than most think.

  •  (shrug) They are what their voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majorityvoice

    decide they are.

    And clearly you're anti-Semitic for criticizing. Or self-hating. Or both.

    Or something like that. :P


    Kevin dropped his ice cream and blames Obama? He's gone hamsher!

    by punditician on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:31:10 AM PDT

  •   Is Glen Beck some Israelis Jews new messiah (0+ / 0-)

    You would think this for the way he was welcome to Israel and spoke before the Knesset,or maybe he was in Israel too promote the practice of the Mormon church  conversion of  the soul of Jewish Holocaust victim               http://www.harretz.com

  •  Thanks for the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    The Likud, and other right-wing parties in Israel, are dangerous, yet Barak's Labor and other centrist/ "left" parties don't have the appeal with voters anymore.

    Also, at least they are allowed to protest this new law...

    I can't give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma- Wizard of Oz; If you have half a brain you won't need a diploma- Frank Levey

    by weathercoins on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

    •  Barak is no longer with Labor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eigenlambda, yaque, Mets102

      He and five other ministers broke off to form Atz'maout (Independence). Their party is defense oriented with strong support for the IDF.  They are considered Center (neither Center-Left or Center-Right).

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:43:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is the headline makes it sound like... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, Jersey Jon, volleyboy1, yaque

    ...the right wing of Likud (and its allies in YB) represent enough Israelis to make this bill have a serious chance of passing.  They don't.  You said yourself that this bill has little chance of passing.  This is like one of those chain emails where a bill sponsored by a handful of far left or far right House reps (I remember one not too long ago that would basically outlaw gun ownership) is sent out and depicted as if it has a serious chance of becoming law.

    If this passed the Knesset, it would inch Israel closer to fascism.  But since it won't...well, it won't.

    Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

    by Matisyahu on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:20:49 AM PDT

    •  And btw, even if this passed... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, Matt Z, Jersey Jon

      ...it wouldn't really move the country that much closer to fascism at all.  It's basically the same as giving the Senate Judiciary Committee veto power over judicial nominees - which they basically already have.  Some form of legislative branch control over judicial appointments exists in nearly all democracies.

      Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

      by Matisyahu on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:23:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two points: (5+ / 0-)

        A) As stated upthread, you are mistaken about the parallel. This is more like giving a group of lawmakers the ability to veto the Senate Judiciary Committee's recommendations, if the SJC was composed of both lawmakers and Supreme Court justices.

        B) While this bill is not likely to pass, the fact that it is being offered by mainstream lawmakers, including the one who just sponsored the anti-boybott bill, makes this a very serious matter. And while it is not likely to pass, this does not mean that it WILL NOT pass.

        Which is why public pressure, right now, is needed.

        Hence this diary.

        Progressive action, in my opinion.

        •  No and no (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jersey Jon, fizziks, JNEREBEL

          A) No, this is exactly like the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It is a group of lawmakers that is a subset of the body as a whole, the membership of which is tied roughly to the composition of the body as a whole.  How is that different from the SJC?

          B) No, the bill doesn't even have unanimous support from Likud and YB.  My guess is that if it's even brought to a vote, it will lose by a wide margin.  If it's close or if it wins, I'll grant it was a bill supported by mainstream politicians.  But if, as I suspect, it loses by a wide margin, how does it qualify as "mainstream?"

          In any case, as I said, I'm not even worried about this.  You haven't explained how the CLJ committee is perceptibly different than the SJC committee.  If the SJC committee votes against a judicial nominee, it's pretty much a death sentence for that nomination.  How is giving the CLJ veto different than that?

          Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

          by Matisyahu on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:40:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And before responding (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fizziks, JNEREBEL, Jersey Jon

          I read your upthread comments.  You still haven't explained how the composition of the CLJ Committee makes it different than our SJC.

          Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

          by Matisyahu on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:41:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In fact, I'll be exact (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fizziks, Jersey Jon, volleyboy1, yaque

            Here is the webpage of the CLJ Committee:
            http://www.knesset.gov.il/...

            It's membership consists of:
            Netanyahu Coalition
            3 Likud MKs
            1 YB MK (Chair)
            1 Shas MK
            2 other nationalist religious MKs*

            Opposition Parties
            2 Kadima MKs
            1 United Torah Jerusalem MK
            1 Arab party MK
            1 Socialist MK
            1 Labor MK

            (* I'm actually not sure if one of them, Michael Ben Ari, is in Netanyahu's coalition, but he's definitely a right-wing nutjob)

            The alternates are 1 Labor, 1 Kadima, 1 Shas.

            That's a pretty close reflection of actual Knesset membership.

            What's the problem?

            Preaching to the choir and then shooting them when they don't sing loud enough isn't a good strategy for increasing the size of the congregation.

            by Matisyahu on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the problem is . . . It's FASCISM! nt (0+ / 0-)

              Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

              by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:26:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Hey Matisyahu...to quickly state the problem: (0+ / 0-)

              The primary problem is that this new law being proposed is being done so as an addendum to the anti-boycott bill being passed. Meaning: Danon and others, angry that the court was being petitioned about the (what I consider fascist-in-nature) anti-boycott law, decided to create a new structure whereby legislators could mold the court so that such petitions would have no chance of being struck down.

              In essence, this new law is, in intent, a corollary to the anti-boycott bill, hence the view by me and others that it is an extension of anti-democratic move made by said bill.

              Israel currently has a separation of powers structure that is different than that in America, where the JAC -- a committee composed of both legislators and judges -- is a protective bridge, making it such that the legislative branch cannot have full say in who can, and cannot, serve on the Supreme Court.

              What Danon and others on the CLJ Committee want is to subvert this separation. Now, as you point out, their proposal would create a structure that would be similar to what we have in the United States (if the U.S. had a parallel JAC committee).

              One could argue that America's system of allowing the legislative branch to control who can, and cannot, sit upon the Supreme Court (rather than, say, an election) is not a true separation of powers.

              But I'm not interested in arguing my point. What I want to say is that my (and others') "fascist" reference does not relate to whether or not it would mirror the U.S. structure, but how this new structure in Israel is intended to safeguard the anti-boycott bill (and others like it coming down the pike) that just passed.

              As for the composition of the CLJ Committee? Clearly Danon thinks that its composition would allow for easy vetoes of "leftist" judges. Here's Levin:

              Levin, who heads the Knesset's House Committee, said that the bill "will break the radical leftist elite's hold on the legal system

              Anyway, that's all I can really spend on this. Feel free to respond. Just know the fascism language I and others are using with regard to this new bill is being employed as part of a progression that started (well, not really, but...) with the anti-boycott measure.

              Peace.

  •  Likud is a fascist party (7+ / 0-)

    It's is the direct descendent of Jabotinsky's "revisionist" zionism, the Irgun, the Stern Gang, and Herut.  Built on a fascist foundation.

  •  It's getting harder and harder (9+ / 0-)

    to tell Israel from Wisconsin these days.

    "If you give the people a choice between a watered-down Republican and a Republican, they will choose the real thing every time." Harry Truman

    by Haningchadus14 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:28:20 AM PDT

  •  yikes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeremy10036, Jersey Jon, fizziks

    isn't there an ongoing genocide going on in the Nuba Mountain range in Sudan and other places that might better warrant your attention.

  •  There are two different issues here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot

    One is the attack on freedom of speech, and the other is how Justices are chosen.  In the United States our Senate has to confirm all federal judges, at all levels, so I don't see any basis for condemning Israeli conservatives' desire to have that same power.  

    I'll Rochambeau you for it.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:30:44 AM PDT

  •  WTF? In USA Congress has veto over SCOTUS appts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeremy10036, Jersey Jon

    In USA our Congress has veto powers of SCOTUS appointments; but i guess such an arrangement of checks and balances is OK everywhere -- but not in Israel.

    Antisemitism is applying to Israel and the jews a uniquely stringent standard of judgement, a standard different from that applied to everyone else.

    Ceterum Censeo: Veritas et Libertas Ultra Omnis Sunto

    by Victor on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:31:48 AM PDT

    •  Blind charges of "anti-Semitism" won't be (12+ / 0-)

      tolerated.

      Try reading closely to see how this is different than the situation in the U.S., and how the Israeli system of checks is different.

    •  this seems to go much, much further (7+ / 0-)

      they are a small committee, not the whole parliament, and they are demanding the right to vet who can even be nominated for judicial office, rather than merely having to approve the qualifications of someone already nominated. This sounds a lot more like Iran than the US to me anyway

      •  where are the diaries about Iran becoming fascist? (7+ / 0-)

        Although I disagree with the previous commenter's antisemitism charge, there is the Israel fixation that is somewhat disturbing.

        •  Come on, stop it. (19+ / 0-)

          Stop pretending like Israel is some little backwater that has nothing to do with the United States or its people and so Americans who are concerned with that country and its relations with Palestinians are just "deranged."

          The United States gives billions to Israel in military aid.  It protects the Israeli government's actions with its veto power in the UN Security Council.  9/10ths or more of both houses of our Congress fall all over each other, racing to outdo their colleagues in praising any and every internationally controversial action Israel takes (i.e. the Flotilla massacre, Cast Lead, etc.).

          In short, our government has enormous influence over Israel and ties itself up in its actions.  We see this and so does the rest of the world.  Which, I don't know if you've heard, has caused us some rather large, shall we say, "public relations problems" with huge portions of the Muslim world that care deeply about the Palestinian struggle for liberation and see the US blocking that at every turn with its gigantic, uncritical backing of Israel.

          Beyond that, Israel and our country both at least claim to be democracies.  That means they are subject, at least theoretically, to the will of their citizens.  Directed campaigns by outraged people here in the US just might change things for the better.  Maybe reduce the uncritical nature of Israel-support from the US government; cause some rethinking in Israel; lift the burden of occupation on the Palestinians a little; reduce the persuasiveness of jihadist calls for attacks against Americans because of Israel a bit.

          Iran's government is anti-American as a matter of ideology.  It is run fairly autocratically.  The US government does not unconditionally shower billions in military aid on it.  It does not protect Iran in the UNSC and there is no overwhelming support for the Iranian government in our Congress; quite the opposite in fact.

          So, we Americans could gather together in the millions and scream all we want about how terrible Iran is and it will not change a god damned thing.  Our government is already hostile to it (actually, far too militarily hostile for most on the left's comfort) and the Iranian government would actually welcome that, as it would reinforce their claim that America is the primary enemy and use that to shore up its power over its people.  It would be an exercise in futility and may even be counter-productive.

          To sum up:

          (1) Yes, we know Iran and other countries out there are run by terrible people who violently offend our values.  There's just not that much we can fucking do about it, so we tend not to go off about them so much.  We just hope the Iranian/other oppressed people can someday shuck off their overlords.  We cheer quite loudly if/when that happens.

          (2) Israel, on the other hand, leaves us with hope of having some positive influence on the situation.  If we can raise enough hell, we just might be able to reduce suffering and increase some real freedom in this world.  So we give a shit about what happens there and raise hell about it.

          Nothing deranged about that.

          Between excessive citizen activism and excessive trust or passivity, the former is far preferable to the latter. - Glenn Greenwald

          by An Affirming Flame on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:31:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh! Did I miss Ahmadinejad's 29 (7+ / 0-)

          standing ovations in Congress?

          Really, it is disingenuous to act like Israel is not a important part of American politics.    

          And THAt IS NOT and ZOG thing so don't even go there.

        •  When Khamenei is invited to speak to a joint (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster, elliott, MrJayTee

          session of Congress, I'll be right with you.

          Part of it is a sense of betrayal.  Everyone knows about the government of Iran, many people don't know about Operation Ajax and how Iran got that government, but for my entire lifetime Iran has been run by Ayatollahs.

          Meanwhile, even 10 years ago, Israel wasn't like this.  I mean, sure, the whole I/P thing was still going on then, but in fact the Palestinians were stalling in the hopes that Bush would be more sympathetic (oops!).  But now were watching a democracy slip into what could be McCarthyism.

          Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

          by eigenlambda on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:00:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think we mostly assume (0+ / 0-)

          that Iran already is fascist - to almost all intents and purposes. You can't "become" something you already are.

          I guess after the suppression of the Green Movement one can say they became even more fascist than before. You didn't notice anyone remarking on that?

    •  Wow. That took all of 23 seconds for the first (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geekesque

      anti-Semitism attack.

      A new record?

      Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

      by Methinks They Lie on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:59:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I definitely disagree with the antisemitism charge (5+ / 0-)

        however I fully embrace the Israel Derangement Syndrome charge.  Two days in a row a rec listed diary has been about the internal politics of a tiny, far off nation.  I can't see that happening with any other country.

        •  that's because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LucyandByron

          there is a profound historical link between the US and Israel that doesn't exist in the case of - oh what would be another tiny, far off nation? Uruguay, Brunei, or Malawi. How many dual-citizen Uruguayan-Americans, Bruneian-Americans, or Malawian-Americans do you know? When was the last time you heard about a US politician be afraid to take out a certain position for fear of offending the Uruguayan, Bruneian, or Malawian lobby? How many Americans go off to live in Uruguay, Brunei, or Malawi (rather than the other way around?)

          Israel can pursue the policies it does because of its links and unwavering political and financial support from the US. It is only natural that people in the US feel a certain responsibility for them. You know that. So why are you pretending things are otherwise?

    •  this antisemitism charge is not helpful (5+ / 0-)

      Linking criticism of Israel with antisemitism merely enables many people here to promote blatant antisemitism later.  

      On the other hand, while there is not antisemitism, there is clear Israel Derangement Syndrome at play here.  A tiny far away nation is contemplating a law that probably won't pass and is in fact opposed by the prime minister that would bring its judicial selection procedure actually closer to that of the US - and OMG there has to be a rec list diary about it!

      •  But it's not just a rec list diary about a techni- (3+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor, 50licks, fizziks
        Hidden by:
        Lefty Coaster

        cality, it's a rec-list diary that says that

        contemplating a law that probably won't pass and is in fact opposed by the prime minister that would bring its judicial selection procedure actually closer to that of the US

        is, of all things, fascist???

        and this from a diarist who said:

        one cannot use the word without the obvious echoes to the truly brutal and fascist regimes.

        So I think this may be a little more than Israel Derangement Syndrome.

        Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

        by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:36:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When "criticism" of of Israel are about "fascism" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        50licks

        It's not only helpful -- it's entirely appropriate.

        Accusing Israel for sliding into fascism, over considering a governmental policy roughly comparable to what any number of other countries do already, is insane. More than that, it is, in fact, antisemitic.

        If the diarist had managed to refrain from accusing Israel of fascism, and simply argued against the policy on its own merit, this would have been a while different ball of wax.

        Ceterum Censeo: Veritas et Libertas Ultra Omnis Sunto

        by Victor on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:43:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree the fascism accusation is stupid and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1, Mets102

          hyperbolic, and will be nothing but red meat for the useful idiots of antisemitism.  Shame on the diarist for engaging yet again in stupid hyperbole.

          But please - as someone who is deeply involved in the fight to stem the tide of blatant, disgusting antisemitic rhetoric at this website* - I urge you to just drop the antisemitism charge in this particular case.  Sadly, the way things are is that such a charge will also be red meat for the useful idiots.

          *see this letter for a bit of background if you are unfamiliar

        •  then why are people in Israel saying it? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster, LucyandByron

           the post was actually reporting that Israeli Jews were accusing their own government of slipping into fascism

            it is entirely ridiculous to say that it is anti-Semitic to quote what the Jewish left says about the Jewish right. Or even to agree with it.

            not to mention that the Israeli right constantly invokes the holocaust, and makes Nazi comparisons, when attacking the Israeli left. Does that make the promulgators of this law themselves anti-Semitic? Or those non-Jews who support them?

            the Israeli right does not represent Judaism, or Jewishness, or all Jews, or anything else of the kind - much though they constantly demand that others treat them like they do. These claims and the means they have of trying to enforce them are precisely what inspired other Israeli Jews to accuse them of fascism. By playing along, you are just building their case, and in the process, helping to destroy democracy in Israel

  •  Ummm...isn't that what we do here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jersey Jon, volleyboy1

    That bill is disgusting no doubt, but the premise is basically the same as here.

    As it stands now, I'd wish our Supreme Court was as enlightened, fair and apolitical as Israel's.

    Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. ::Goethe::

    by Jeremy10036 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:35:32 AM PDT

  •  Oh, Lord. (11+ / 0-)

    It's hardly 'fascism' to give the legislature power to veto court appointments. If it were, the U.S., Britain, France and a lot of other democracies would be considered fascist.

    'Fascism' is a pretty clearly defined term. This isn't it.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:37:34 AM PDT

  •  Like I said the other day, they are becoming (0+ / 0-)

    fascists.

    I'm waiting for the apology from the three posters who HR'd me for saying it two days ago. My comment was uprated by others, but these three seem to revel in such behavior.

    Every election either the democrats lose or the republicans lose. But in every election there is always the same winner. And he drives a Mercedes.

    by Methinks They Lie on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:42:14 AM PDT

  •  This diary lacks context. (6+ / 0-)

    And in this case context is everything.

    How many people here know how the judges selection process works in Israel?

    How many people here actually understand the structure of the Israeli Judiciary?

    How many people here know what are the limitations on the power of the Israeli judiciary?

    How many people here know how many justices are actually sitting in the Israeli supreme court (I don't even think the majority of Israeli judges know this with all the temporary appointments)?

    Like in every country that is based on the separation of branches there is always a gap between the judiciary, legislative and executive. We all remember President Jackson exclaiming  "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!"

    The Brits, elegant as always, solved this by the supremacy act where Parliament supersedes the two other branches.

    Now, In Israel there has been in the last 25 years  a "constitutional revolution" where Aharon Barak promoted and enshrined  the concept of "Everything is Justiciable", in which the supreme court can intervene at ANY  decision made by the two other branches and is not bound by the written law but by the more fluid concept of "Spirit of the law as understood by an enlightened person", whatever that means.

    The result was an increase involvement of even lower courts in the daily workings of the government, we are talking about even the little minutia.

    Here is an example. Just several days ago the Supreme court has dismissed a petition by a mother who wanted the IDF to stop the promotion of a Lt. Colonel who according to her did not do enough to evacuate her son during the second Lebanon war.

    The fact that it was dismissed is not surprising, but the fact that the supreme court had agreed to hear the petition in the first place just shows that the justices feel comfortable enough to review and pass judgement on the simple operational question of evacuation during battle and the promotion of mid-level officers.

    This kjnd of judicial overreach is something unheard of even among the most Liberal judges here. Can you imagine Justice Kagan grilling a lawyer for teh army about why platoon B did attack from this side and not from that, or who was responsible for the delay in the MEDVAC?

    And they do this without going via any transparent selection process.  

    In Israel, judges are selected for promotion by a committee made up of 9 members, three of them supreme court justices.

    The make up of the committee is such that the supreme court justices have virtual veto power over the appointments, and this have led to accusations of nepotism and self-perpetuating judicial philosophy on the court.
    A classic example is the case of Prof. Gabizon, that while no one disputed her credentials and her intellectual prowess was denied an appointment to the supreme court just because of here philosophical disagreement (and maybe personal) with the current chief justice.

    The result is that there is a disconnect between the judicial system and the people, who see the decisions made by their elected representatives overturned or delayed on sometimes very flimsy by the supreme court that itself is viewed as a closed clique. Somewhat the supreme court in Israel is viewed as not the arbiter and translator of the law but as the arbiter of morals as well.

    And this is not just with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  The disdain the judges have for the political system and sometime for the populace itself in Israel is not very well hidden.

    "One might almost call it poetic, if poetry weren't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket hating sodomite."

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:42:47 AM PDT

    •  So you sympathize more with the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eigenlambda, yaque, elliott

      Knesset that frequently passes fascistic and racist measures, which fail to become hard law only because of the "out of touch" Supreme Court?

      Or are you saying that Israel is much more fascistic than the Supreme Court prefers to let it be?

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:18:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't sympathise with anyone. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, Mets102

        I don't care one way or another.
        In the end both courts and Parliament cannot function without having the trust of the people.

        What I do find amusing is the immediate hyperbole and the quick accusations of the F-word without even trying to understand the whole picture or even have some basic idea how the system in Israel actually works.

        But if the way judges are selected in Israel is a benchmark for fascism then many other countries are as fascistic if not more.

        In England the justices are appointed by the queen  after the recommendation the Lord Chancellor who is also  member of Parliament (that is, a political figure).

        Heck, in the US all the appointments of judges are vetted by the legislature (unless the judge is elected by the people).

        However, it is strange (or maybe not) that everybody here sees this as a result of the I/P conflict as this is the only major thing that affect Israeli society. No corruption, no separation of religion and state, no economic gap. Nothing. The only thing that interests the Israelis is the I/P conflict.

        "One might almost call it poetic, if poetry weren't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket hating sodomite."

        by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:47:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is Israel going the right direction (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eiron, yaque

          in any of those categories?

          I must have missed them passing the right to civil marriage.  

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:24:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh I see (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            volleyboy1, yaque, Mets102

            And I missed the federal government repealing DOMA and recognizing gay marriage or defending women right to choose.

            But I didn't miss France's law regarding the Burka and Swiss law regarding building of Minarets.

            The black shirts are roaming the streets!!!!!

            And like gay right in this country so is civil marriage in Israel. Already many many Israelis are choosing to hop to Cyprus and get married there (a marriage recognized by the state).

            I don't pretend that the situation is rosy and great and everything is in complete harmony with the spheres.  This law is a remnant of the Ottoman law.

            However, these kinds of changes are coming, but not from the courts by the way, but mostly as pressure from the society itself.

            "One might almost call it poetic, if poetry weren't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket hating sodomite."

            by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:21:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can a Muslim and a Jew get married (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, LucyandByron

              in Israel?

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:47:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You know the answer to this (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1, Mets102, yaque

                No. Unfortunately, As it stands in Israel one cannot marry outside of the religion INSIDE Israel.

                The state recognize such marriages if conducted anywhere else. So the state definitely allows for inter-religion couple to have the full benefits of couples married in Israel.

                Is this situation OK? Not by a long shot.
                Do the Israeli society works toward changing it? One can say that there is a very serious debate in the manner, and as with gay rights in the US, the outcome is inevitable (when will the US recognize gay marriage conducted elsewhere?)

                Actually some of the objections to changing the law comes from the religious leaders of the non-Jewish minorities as it will reduce their own power base.

                The funny thing? The political party most active in Israel to change this law is not the lefty Meretz (which had their chances and mange to blow it one after the other) but.... Lieberman.
                Now, this will send some heads around here into a spin.

                "One might almost call it poetic, if poetry weren't the last refuge of the bearded, cricket hating sodomite."

                by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:07:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Gotta take the Love Boat to Cyprus, IIRC (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Geekesque, capelza, yaque

                Unless the monopoly of religious ceremonies has changed since I checked, it was that or go to Cyprus, the Reno of the Middle East.  

                This was the plan for anyone who wanted a secular ceremony: the godless, the interfaith, people who were  rejected by by the religious authorities of "their own" community, e.g., me, because my husband is a Cohen and I was a divorcee, or Greek Orthodox on their third marriage, etc.    

                It's a nice two-day cruise, and Cyprus, birthplace of Aphrodite, is lovely and has good food and two national breeds of cat.    

                "A city for sale and doomed to speedy destruction if it finds a purchaser!" -King Jugurtha of Numidia

                by LucyandByron on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:09:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  No that is not what he is saying (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eigenlambda, yaque, Mets102

        He is explaining context of the law. That is not a justification for the law, it is merely contextualizing the law.

        DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:17:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the problem is that the Knesset (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, yaque

          does pass legislation that would be more fitting in 1970's South Africa or 1920's Mississippi, and that the only barrier to that has been the Israeli Supreme Court.

          In essence, this is a move to remove the only entity that's prevented Israel from banning Arab political parties, allowing the state to discriminate in housing, etc.

           

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yeah. that's something Troubador failed to do (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1, yaque, Jersey Jon

          Until today, I didn't know anything about Israeli courts.  Now I'm under the impression that they're designed as a check on parliamentary power, and seen as a bastion of liberalism and the rule of law, or a hotbed of out of touch liberal elitism and subversion.  Is that a fair assessment?

          Troubador should have spent more time going over what's going on and less time gathering sound bites.  <- that makes him sound like a traditional reporter, doesn't it?

          Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

          by eigenlambda on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:20:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's what he said at all. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, yaque

        I think his comment is regarding the scope of the Supreme Court's jurisdiction in Israel, and stating that they assert a far broader subject matter jurisdiction than any US appellate court would ever dream of.  It's an interesting issue, particularly because of how fascinating a jurist Aharon Barak is.  As a US lawyer, I'd love to meet him, and I'm mildly amused that we share a first name, albeit in translation ;p.  I don't think the commenter endorsed fascism (or any other system of governance) at all, I think his point was that the judicial system in Israel doesn't function and isn't organized the way Americans are used to.

        "What Washington needs is adult supervision" - Barack Obama

        by auron renouille on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:10:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hyperbole and half-truth? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd, fizziks, JNEREBEL, 50licks

    "Inches closer to fascism"?

    Not quite.  By the diary's own terms, nothing has happened--no one has inched anywhere.  A law has been proposed by a conservative faction.  If the law does not pass, will there be a diary that blares, "Israel Reaffirms Its Democratic Principles and Continues to Distinguish Itself from Its Neighbors"?  I suppose time will tell.

    "Knesset Seeks Veto Power over Supreme Court"?

    Doesn't quite look that way.  "Veto Power" implies that the legislative body can undo decisions of the Supreme Court.  But the diarist describes the law as doing little more than giving control over who gets nominated to get a supreme court appointment from the Knesset after a vote before that body.  That sounds like what we do here under that cornerstone of fascism, the US Constitution.  

    Consider how much money Obama the fascist is raising based on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's frailty?

    The word "fascism" is inapt here.  This is a political maneuver from the right.  So the left cries "fascism".  It's one thing when the Israeli press does it, it's quite another when we do it here.

    Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

    by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:43:47 AM PDT

  •  The F Word (4+ / 0-)

    Let's be careful throwing around charged words like "fascism"  Fascism is a particular political ideology that has more to do with the merger of corporate and government power than it does with repression of freedom.  Sure, repression of freedom, statism, nationalism, and militarism are all features of fascism, but fascism has a particular flavor beyond those things.

    I think Israel is doing bad things with the boycott bill, and probably with this Supreme Court bill (knowing only what's in this diary, I hesitate to commit myself without knowing more information from more sources, as with everything related to Israel).  However, let's not slap an anger-inducing charged label into the discussion - it's not helpful to a rational debate.

    Visit Sinister, a left-handed blog about writing.

    by ethanthej on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:46:41 AM PDT

    •  Many Israeli commentators are using the F word (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lysias, downsouth, yaque

      Should our debate here be narrower than the debate taking place in Israel?

      Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:46:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What does that even mean? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        canadian gal

        So if one commentator uses a word to describe a thing, that means that all commentators should use that word to describe a thing?

        I heard a story that President Obama might be an octopus.  It would be an injustice for you to tell me not to talk about the rumor that President Obama might be an octopus.

        Our debate should be sensible, reasonable, rational.  Just because a word is being used doesn't mean it should be being used.

        Visit Sinister, a left-handed blog about writing.

        by ethanthej on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:24:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our debate doesn't benefit from censorship (0+ / 0-)

          Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

          by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:33:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            canadian gal

            But it also doesn't benefit from censorship.  So my argument, that maybe we shouldn't toss the word Fascism around so easily, should also be heard.  Shouldn't it?  

            Look - my point is simple.  Let's get past the big shouty labels.  Let's try to dig down and see what the facts on the ground actually are.  If there is a legitimate need for a big shouty word for fascism, then that's obviously something to worry about.  But we need to figure out what's in the box before we slap a label on the box, don't we?  

            Visit Sinister, a left-handed blog about writing.

            by ethanthej on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:17:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Netanyahu's chutzpah (5+ / 0-)

    The man who's anti-Oslo speech helped instigate Yigal Amir is calling for censorship.

  •  When Israel's far right won its stunning victory (5+ / 0-)

    in early 2009 immediately following the IDF attack on Gaza providing the background political atmospherics for the campaign, I was afraid that this was the direction the Far Right coalition government wanted to take the country. Moving an already militarized Israel toward an ultra nationalist police state. Now they're levering Israel in that direction, doing it in incremental steps like this.  Other steps like the loyalty oath failed.

    Israel's Supreme Court's rulings are often ignored anyway whenever they impede plans to colonize the occupied West Bank.  

    Israel sees court rulings on Palestinian land as mere 'recommendations'

    Supreme Court rebukes state for failing to carry out order to move route of West Bank separation fence.

    So what if the Supreme Court rules? In Israel those decisions are just recommendations, especially if they deal with Palestinian land. In most enlightened democratic countries, saying that decisions of the courts obligate the state authorities is like stating that the sun rises in the east. But that may not be so for Israel.

    Last week, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch had to state that "rulings of this court are not mere recommendations, and the state is obliged to abide by them and to execute them with the necessary speed and efficiency, according to the circumstances of the matter."

    Plutocracy too long tolerated leaves democracy on the auction block, subject to the highest bidder ~ Bill Moyers

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:08:24 AM PDT

  •  israel looking more like syria every day (0+ / 0-)

    cannot peacefully protest in israel now, against their laws.  Sounds just like syria.

    •  That is ridiculous. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, Jersey Jon, Mets102, zemblan

      Back that up with information other than your silly hyperbole. You just look foolish when you say stupid things like that.

      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:18:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Israel will never be as bad as (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, volleyboy1, yaque

      Baathist Syria, which is ruled by murderous psychopaths and has been for generations.

      Israel is certainly not a traditional liberal democracy that respects minority rights, and it's getting worse every year, but it's not at the level of the predations of its worst neighbors.

      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

      by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:37:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my comment is israel is looking more like syria (0+ / 0-)

        that is still a true statement.

      •  Who are you talking about here? (8+ / 0-)

        Because the Palestinians living under Israeli authority will wholeheartedly disagree with your take.

        Israel has never been as bad as Syria is, but only regarding its Jewish citizens. The treatment of Palestinians by Israel is comparable to Syria's treatment of its own citizens.

        If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

        by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:41:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is simply not factually accurate. (5+ / 0-)

          The record of mass murder and torture of civilians under Baathist Syria is beyond anything that Israel inflicts on the Palestinians.

          Hafez Al Assad killed more Arab civilians in one week (Hama) than Israel killed in decades.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:45:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, Geek. (7+ / 0-)

            There is a record of wars, of mass expulsions, of occupation, of dispossession, of blockades that has lasted for 60 years. Palestinians who are citizens, Palestinians under occupation, and Palestinians in the diaspora have been subject to these crimes.

            It's not just about body counts, Geek, which is ridiculous. The psychological, societal, and cultural effects of what Israel has done to Palestinians are vast, and yes, indeed, comparable to what Syria does to its citizens.

            If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

            by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:55:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You know I am not one to deny the (5+ / 0-)

              way Israel has oppressed the Palestinians.

              But, it has never engagd in the kind of wanton slaughter and medieval torture that has characterized Baathist Syria.

              "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

              by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:02:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not saying you are. (4+ / 0-)

                What I'm saying is that you aren't recognizing the significance of what Israel has done to Palestinians over so long a period of time.

                Israel has engaged in wanton torture and slaughter of Palestinians, over and over again. Sometimes on a small scale, such as its invasion of Gaza in 1956; other times on a larger scale, such as its invasion of Gaza in 2009. There are thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel without charge, and all of them live in sub-standard living conditions. That's not torture?

                From Israel's founding to 1966, Palestinian citizens of Israel, that is the Palestinians who were not ethnically cleansed from their homeland, lived under martial law. They had less rights than Jewish citizens. They were subject to arrests and mass expulsions. In 1967, this regime was applied to Gaza and the West Bank. The treatment that citizens received become the treatment that the occupied received.

                Today, Palestinians hold rallies across the West Bank every Friday to protest the occupation. Without fail, they are attacked by Israeli occupation soldiers. This hasn't been going on for a couple of months. It's been going on for years. For years, weekly invasions of small farming villages by highly equipped soldiers lobbing tear gas at protesters and their homes, often resulting injuries. That's not torture or slaughter?

                With all due respect, an outsider isn't in a position to be judging whether a situation of 60 years of mass dispossession, occupation, invasion, slaughter, and torture on the one hand is better or worse than a totalitarian regime of thugs of rights violators, torturers, and murderers on the other.

                If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:28:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I do appreciate all of that. However, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Jersey Jon

                  when the US government wanted to torture a terrorist, they outsourced it to Syria, not Israel.

                   I am not saying Israel is not bad.  I am saying that Syria is truly exceptionally horrific.

                  "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                  by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:46:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They also outsourced it (3+ / 0-)

                    to Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. In other words, the Arab states collaborated with the US in the torture of Arabs. How is that relevant?

                    On the other hand, Israel has been torturing its Palestinian prisoners for years. Everyone of my father's cousins, who were young men in the early 90s in the West Bank, has been inside of an Israeli prison, even though none of them were guilty of anything except being members of Palestinian political parties.

                    Israel has never been a democracy to any Palestinian, but it's not just that. It has been absolutely brutal to them as individuals and as a society.

                    You tell me that Israel has never engaged in a Hama-sized massacre. I tell you that Syria has never engaged in a years-long blockade of its citizens aimed at creating a humanitarian crisis for 1.5 million people.

                    Who are you to say which one is worse?

                    If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                    by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:59:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Israelis and the Palestinians have been (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      canadian gal, volleyboy1, Mets102

                      involved in a dirty, vicious land dispute for the past 55+ years.  It is apples and oranges to compare the history of two peoples who have been at war since the 1940's to a regime that oppresses its own citizens solely to maintain a dictatorship.

                      There are no suicide bombers that Syria needs to deal with.  There has never been a  movement to erase the "Syrian entity" from the map.   Syria does not have Hezbollah lobbing missiles into it and kidnapping its soldiers, nor does it have Hamas massacring entire families during Eid celebrations.

                      The oppression and violence in Syria runs entirely one way, as opposed to Israel/Palestine where it has tended to run in one direction moreso because of the relative power of the parties concerned than because one side has adopted a morally superior position.

                      And, yes, as critical as I am of Israel, I will never equate it to the bestial regime of the Assads and their psychopaths, who do stuff like this. and are proud of it.

                      The body of a 15-year-old Syrian boy, bearing signs of what activists called torture, was returned to his parents six weeks after the boy disappeared.

                      Video footage of the boy's body obtained by Al Jazeera from a Syrian source shows what appear to be gruesome wounds: Riddled with bullet holes, the boy's body is missing an eye and several teeth, his neck and leg broken. A large part of his lower face is now a large hole

                      Hundreds in the town of Jeeza mourned the death of Thamer al-Sahri Wednesday. The boy had vanished six weeks ago along with his friend, Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old whose tortured remains were released by Syrian authorities in late May.

                      Hamza's body was covered in burns and scorch marks - signs of being tortured by electric shocks and cigarettes. Hamza's neck had been broken, his arms shot, and his genitals cut off.


                      Walid al-Qash'ami said he witnessed the killing of three children and a young man and woman. One child was shot in the head. Al-Qash'ami said he heard the officer who killed him say that he shot the kid "because he was annoyed with his constant crying."

                      "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

                      by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:45:08 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Geek, (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Anorish, Fire bad tree pretty, dan667

                        with all due respect, you're wrong.

                        The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood was engaging in violent attacks against the regime in the lead up to the Hama massacre. A lot of innocent people were being killed. The same is true now. Various factions within the large and varied group known as the opposition has engaged in violence that has claimed the lives of innocents as well as members of the regime apparatus.

                        The idea that Syria never had to deal with violent, non-state opponents is nonsense. It doesn't excuse the regime's response, any more than Israel's acts against Palestinians are can be excused.

                        As for quoting various instances, are you seriously suggesting that never has a Palestinian died under torture by Israel? Are you seriously suggesting that no Palestinian child has ever died as a direct result of Israel's occupation? Are you denying the footage during the early 90s of Israeli soldiers breaking the bones of teenagers? Are you denying that no child has ever been shot by Israelis?

                        Explain to me how this is any better than anything Syria has done:

                        If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                        by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:16:33 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  This is ridiculous. Straight up (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JNEREBEL, Mets102

                      Are Palestinians oppressed... Yes they are, do they get equal treatment, no they don't but the level of oppression doesn't reach the levels of Syrian oppression.

                      Let's look at examples.

                      The Bi'lin protests: There have been casualties there no one denies that. HOWEVER, had that been in Syria, there would have been 100x the killings AND those protests would never be allowed to happen in the first place. Want proof.. Look at what's happening now. Look at the past. Your hyperbole not withstanding, you cannot tell me that the Syrians would have even let those protests happen.

                      AND While we are on that... Yes Israel has arrested the leaders of these movements but they are let go. Syria, you really think anyone would have gotten out alive? In Israel, Palestinians who dissent are harrassed that is true. In Syria, people who dissent are killed or severely tortured (and yes I know torture does occur in Israel and the U.S.) but the level and amount is wholly different.

                      Ma'an News: The Palestinians have a legitimate news outlet that regularly criticizes the Israeli government. Do the Syrians have the same? Are they allowed serious opposition calling for an end to the regime? Please don't tell me you think they can do that openly.

                      The Occupation which is bad, at it's worst does not rival the Syrians. You make one point... Your family was put in jail for simply belonging to an outlawed party (I notice you did not mention which one), were they killed, maimed, tortured beyond recognition for that? I don't deny they suffered but was it simply for being in a political party the Occupation Authorities didn't like?

                      In Syria.. what do you think would happen if your family members were part of a party the Government didn't like? You wouldn't have those family members.

                      So look, you're pissed - I get that. But your comments are straight up hyperbole and bullshit. Israel is nothing like Syria - it has problems with racism and could do a lot more for it's Palestinian population to make things even equal out a little. But to compare it Syria? NO.

                      DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                      by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:12:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Bullshit is what Israel does to Palestinians. (3+ / 0-)

                        This is what the "Light unto Nations" has no problem doing to Palestinian teenagers:

                        Over sixty years of dispossession, occupation, torture, slaughter, and rights violations is absolutely comparable to what Syria does.

                        If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                        by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:29:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You have one film of something bad happening (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JNEREBEL, Mets102

                          HOLY CRAP - that happens every damn day to LOTS of people in Syria that oppose the government.

                          You are simply wrong here and I backed it up.

                          No one is supporting the Right Wing Israeli Government here nor are they supporting the Occupation, but, you are simply not telling the truth when you compare the two.

                          You don't have use overbearing hyperbole to make your point and if you do, then maybe you should be questioning your point.

                          DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:12:23 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What I did is provide (3+ / 0-)

                            just one example of what Israel has done to Palestinians. This is from the early 1990s, when Israeli soldiers were breaking the bones of teenagers after they were directed to do so by Yitzhak Rabin.

                            On top of Israeli torture of Palestinians, violation of their rights, political imprisonment, and wars, it has also conducted ethnic cleansing against them, and it has occupied them. What Palestinians have experience for over 60 years of Israeli brutality is absolutely comparable to Syrian victims of the Baath party.

                            There is no hyperbole in my comment, and I reject the characterization of my words as such.

                            If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                            by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:29:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Reject that all you wish.. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JNEREBEL, Mets102

                            This:

                            What Palestinians have experience for over 60 years of Israeli brutality is absolutely comparable to Syrian victims of the Baath party.

                            is simply not true. I pointed out a few examples, others have as well.

                            I lived there I saw first hand, the treatment of Arabs there. It is not positive - but it is nothing like the people in Syria.

                            Your statement is simply not true. Not. At. All.

                            DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

                            by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:54:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One thing I discovered (3+ / 0-)

                            when I went to Palestine is that unless you actually live among Palestinians and experience what they experience you don't know anything about what their lives are like.

                            Did you visit Palestinian families in Hebron, who live like caged animals, and sit with them as they experienced the brutality of the settlers and the complicity of the soldiers? Did you visit the people of Gaza, who've always been subjected to enforced poverty and made dependent on foreign aid, without which they couldn't survive? Have you been in a Palestinian village when it is invaded by Israeli occupation soldiers and innocent people are rounded up and taken in the night?

                            The idea that you know more about Palestinians' lives than I, a Palestinian, do is utter nonsense. For over sixty years, Israel has had no problem imprisoning Palestinians under false or political pretenses and torturing them. For over sixty years, Israel has had no problem with the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Since 1967, Israel has occupied Palestinian territory and prevented the Palestinians from exercising their right to self-determination.

                            The depths of Israel's depravity towards Palestinians is absolutely comprable to Syria's depravity towards its citizens. There is no way around that fact.

                            If the people one day wish to live / destiny cannot but respond / And the night cannot but disappear / and the bonds cannot but break. -- Abu'l-Qasim al-Shabbi

                            by unspeakable on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 03:14:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  This comment is blind to the facts. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          volleyboy1, Mets102

                          "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

                          by JNEREBEL on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:23:12 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  No to mention the people (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza, weasel

                  who were massacred and expelled in 1947/48. That 750,000 expelled and thousands massacred. How is that not just as bad or even worse than what Hafez did in Hama?

      •  that depends on whether one counts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        all populations under israeli control and occupation, or just those within israel proper.

        if one counts gaza and the west bank in the mix, the comparison with syria looks less of an exaggeration.

        •  Still an exaggeration. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          canadian gal, volleyboy1

          The Israelis wrongfully pick up Palestinians and imprison them.  Occasionally use excessive force.

          The Syrians torture children to death, and then drop off the bodies with the parents as a warning to other protestors.

          "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

          by Geekesque on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:47:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is why I argue against hyperbole (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mets102

          wu... your point is simply not true. There is no day to day comparison.

          Israel does bad things however, even on it's worst day it is nothing like Syria.

          This is just a fucking ridiculous argument.

          DK4: For those times when pissing in the hummus isn't enough

          by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:15:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is exactly what I thing has been happening (0+ / 0-)

    all over our country at the hands of reactionary right wing state legislatures and governors.  Fascism.  Pure and simple.

  •  wanna know what a real 'fascist coup' looks like (8+ / 0-)

    go look at pics of the 5 USSC justices who PICKED BUSH as our President

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:23:27 AM PDT

  •  Desperate government: Desperate move. The people (0+ / 0-)

    will osse in the shrt and long term.  I feel so sorry for the decent citizens of Israel.

    Hey Boehner and the Republicans: WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED????

    by LamontCranston on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:23:43 AM PDT

  •  Israel supported South Africa's Apartheid Regime (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Lefty Coaster, Eiron, Anorish

    The Israel Government rolled out the red carpet for Jon Vorster, South Africa's Apartheid Prime Minister and an anti-semite Nazi sympathizer during WWII.  

    They sold Uzis and other weapons to South Africa and helped them develop a nuclear weapons program.  They supported the racist government well into the 1980s, when SA was sanctioned by the UN and treated like a rouge state.  

    Read about some of this ugly history here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    When the Israeli government allied themselves with racists, Israel stopped being anything special and became "Just Another Country".  I'll bet some Kossacks never heard this story before.

    So it's not shocking that Israel is inching closer towards fascism, considering the company they've kept over the years.  

    •  Many Jews in SA (0+ / 0-)

      Supported the dismantling of apartheid. Courageous and principled, and against the wishes of the Community leaders.
      Who thought it best not to "rock the boat" in their adopted country.

      W are seeing a similar, if not identical demonstration of courage, principle in the Israeli and Jewish Americans who see clearly that the current policies and trends are inimical to Zionist and human goals.

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 03:48:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their right wing (8+ / 0-)

    is going as crazy as ours. That's really the bottom line - a radical pendulum swing is leading to a feeding frenzy, one likely to cause a swing back the other way.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:00:09 AM PDT

  •  Good diary. It helps show the pattern... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sura 109, Jersey Jon

    of a diarist with a growing extreme bias who seeks to incite a red meat eating group that loves to hate Israel as the most evil place on the planet, a notion that is, charitably, nonsense.

    •  Where you see "extreme bias" (10+ / 0-)

      I see progressive critique.

      Though I assume that you would view my critical diaries of President Obama as showing a deep hatred of America and an extreme bias against the U.S.A.

      Critiquing America is not anti-American.

      Critiquing Israel is not anti-Israel.

      Instead, it is the work of a progressive who endeavors to cast light upon and shift opinion away from those policies with which I disagree in Israel not due to a hatred for the country, but due to my love for it and my wish for it to realize its highest potentials.

      Of course, I'm sure that's something you can't accept. But that is more a reflection of you, and not me.

      •  Nope...Progressive critique is one thing... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jersey Jon

        but there is overload, in tone and content, especially the exclusion of balance and context.

        What you miss here, in my opinion, is the way you enable the haters to come forth and spew.

        It is rare, if ever, that you present information that sets forth Israel's side of a controversial issue.

        I can accept most anything, but I am not writing diary after diary, basically taking one side, which is a reflection of you, not me.

        •  Sorry to jump in - but (4+ / 0-)
          It is rare, if ever, that you present information that sets forth Israel's side of a controversial issue.

          Israel's side? You mean the Netanyahu government's side? Because the last time I checked, Israel, like the US, has varying opinion over its internal issues between elected officials.

          Because then we can argue that the policy of extraordinary rendition that occurred during the W years was the US side of the story -despite vehement protest from Democratic leaders.

          "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

          by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:06:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I mean Israel's side. (0+ / 0-)

            Why are you trying to put words in my mouth?

            •  My question is, what is "Israel's side" (3+ / 0-)

              Is it the Netanyahu government's position? Is it the position of one of the opposition parties?

              What metric are you using to say who speaks for Israel, and what information is "Israel's side"?

              "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

              by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:41:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, it is not his position... (0+ / 0-)

                solely, although in some respects it may be.

                My comment had more to do with imbalance that does not consider the other side of controversial issues, and in this case it's narrowed to position that invariably paint Israel in the negative, as if there is no opposing view on the issue.    

                •  Ah! See, there you hit on valid criticism! (0+ / 0-)

                  Some may see this as negative on Israel (as you do), while others see this as negative (potentially) for the right-wing ruling coalition.

                  The author could supplement this diary with the sponsor MK's view on the legislation. But I believe the point the author is trying to convey is the opposition to this legislation by the Israeli moderate/left - and how unchecked right wing politics could endanger Israel's democracy.

                  Something that is paralleled here in the States, as well, with Tea Party Republican policies that threaten to undermine what semblance of democracy we have left (unwarranted searches, unlimited "$peech", etc).

                  "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

                  by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:50:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  What will the diarist write when the law doesn't (0+ / 0-)

          pass?  Nothing, probably, but we'll see.

          Hill? What hill? No one said there was going to be a hill . . . . Was there a sign?

          by Jersey Jon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:06:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I find it easy to condemn the assault (8+ / 0-)

      on a free judiciary in pursuit of right-wing goals in any country, including Israel.

      In general, I think it is safe to say that the bulk of modern democracies have seen corporatist and right-wing nationalist movements gain ground in the past 20 years.

      A slide towards fascism was discussed here for years under the Bush II administration; From reading the main sources the diarist linked, and coupling other developments from Israel, it is not hard to see the emergence of a strong right-wing orthodoxy. When will members of Kadima become "fake Israelis", as Democrats here aren't "Real Americans" unless they tow the Republican/corporatist line?

      I do not hate Israel, as I imagine most people who are commenting here do not either. Your broad generalization of the audience, however, is telling - and not in a good way.

      "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

      by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:10:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may not hate Israel... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jersey Jon

        but there are many that do, and I was referring to them, the red meat eating group.  I do not believe I overgeneralized in the slightest.

        •  I welcome your competing analysis (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Flyswatterbanjo, capelza

          free market of ideas and all that. I'll read it if you post it. Hell, I'll even tip it.

          "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

          by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:09:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not going to waste my time. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jersey Jon

            Nor is this is not a competition.  However, that does not mean I cannot observe as I see fit, which is all that I did, even though you indicated I overgeneralized, which I most certainly did not.

            •  On the contrary! Ideas compete daily (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lefty Coaster, capelza

              If you have another take on this analysis, or you would like to detail the pattern that you see the diarist taking that incites the "red meat" crowd (or, as I've seen them called, "useful idiots") and hatred of Israel, and are concerned the conversation is dominated by The Troubadour and his "mis-analysis", "incitefulness", or what have you, you must provide the ideas you wish to spread.

              Otherwise, your ideas will not take flight. And you won't influence anyone. And we'll all be back to doing this again. THAT is the real waste of time.

              "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

              by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:45:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As I said...not worth the effort more than... (0+ / 0-)

                to state my observations.

                I am not enamored with the Daily Kos debating society.

                That does not mean, however, that my observations are meritless merely because I do not wish to participate in what I believe is irrelevance.

                •  In that case, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  capelza

                  I hope that the diarist takes your observations, however, without making a compelling argument as to why the rest of the DK debating society (it is catchy!) should see the author's bias, I'm afraid you won't be able to change the author's habits nor convince his readership.

                  This (and the internet) is the great forum of our time. I respect your right to make observations, however, expect these challenges to what you observe and state.

                  I'll try to keep your stance in mind for our future interactions, such that we both do not participate in irrelevant discussion.

                  "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

                  by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:42:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  See, your last retort... (0+ / 0-)

                    is why I find it a waste of time to engage.  It was unnecessary, in my opinion.

                    Nor are challenges unexpected.  I take them as they come, and respond accordingly, depending on how I feel.

                    •  Not to be petty, (0+ / 0-)
                      That does not mean, however, that my observations are meritless merely because I do not wish to participate in what I believe is irrelevance.

                      But there was a mention of this debate about ideas having some sort of irrelevance. I was simply trying to say that if you view this discussion as a waste of time, I'd hate to waste both of our time. Unfortunately, text does not carry emotion or tone well at all.

                      Truly, I meant it respectfully.

                      "When everyone's a crook, who can you trust?" - Queensryche

                      by AZ Independent on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 02:06:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Meritless (0+ / 0-)

                  And content less are quite different.  

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 03:54:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  and Glenn Beck addresses the Knesset (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    telling them antisemitism is rising in the US and West while Islam remains an existential threat to Israel and the West.  They get a full dose of Beck's teh crazy about Armageddon and the coming End of Days,
    Also the conservatives are pushing for a complete overhaul and  remilitarization of the IDF over the next ten years while the debate continues over the King's Torah and if the IDF code of conduct needs an overhaul

  •  Troubador, I haven't paid close attention to (6+ / 0-)

    the political machinations in the Knesset of late, but is there any sense as to what Labor's breaking point would be? I'd say it's high time for them to leave Bibi's coalition, which would presumably trigger elections.

    Unapologetic Obama supporter.

    by Red Sox on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:08:47 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, Charlie. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jersey Jon, zemblan

    No tip, no rec for you, at least not from me.  No donut either, but only because I'm sparing and merciful in the use of donuts.

    Can we please save the cry of "fascism" for actual fascists?  Israel is hardly perfect, and often worthy of contempt, but you have called them fascists for no further reason than to set the cat among the pigeons.

    You yelled fascist before you even tried to build a case.  Sorry, Charlie, but I tend to roll my eyes when I see someone yell fascist just to stir me up.

    Quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:19:16 AM PDT

  •  Fascism Versus Communism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron

    Fascism is "spiritual" (blood, will. divine destiny). Communism is "materialist" (pseudoscientific laws)

    Fascism is racist, communism isn't.

    Fascism coexists with religion, communism is atheist

    Fascism condemn class warfare, while communism emphasizes class struggle.

    It's all so clear to me now. I'm the keeper of the cheese. And you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.

    by bernardpliers on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 10:48:16 AM PDT

  •  The difference? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza

    From the structure outlined -- the "check" is the JAC itself. The Knesset ("the legislature") created a body to check itself, given that the Knesset is essentially sovereign in Israel.

    So this is not the equivalent of the legislative check in the US, where the "check" is against unrestrained presidential power. This is as if the president formed a separate committee to over-rule the Senatorial check.

    If you think this is a "legislative check", it's because you don't understand parliamentary systems -- the checks we have is because we have a frankly supreme executive, which needs to be checked by a much weaker legislature.

    In a parliamentary system, the checks you need are against the legislature, because the legislature is supreme over the executive (and judicial and any other branch you invent).

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