On February 13, Thomas L. Friedman penned a piece in The New York Times entitled, “Biden’s 46 Words About Israel at a Critical Moment.”
I remember well the days when William Safire and AM Rosenthal ran the roost. They were titans and their words resonated the world over. Democracy is just not the same without that dynamic duo.
Tom Friedman has never come close to their stature.
Israel has changed dramatically over the past 75 years. It has become more observant and more invested in the building of Judea and Samaria. Friedman and his followers have not caught up to the evolution that has taken place.
The present governing coalition of Israel that was democratically elected is more representative of the majority of Israelis. It is the wave of the future, and it is hard for the Left to get used to this new reality. The Tom Friedmans of the world cannot grasp the sea of change that has occurred. He calls Netanyahu’s Coalition “ultranationalist and ultrareligious.” This is far from the truth. These are the best and brightest Israel has produced. They are representative of the majority of Israelis. Left-controlled media outlets would like to make you think otherwise.
The demographics speak for themselves. They are true visionaries looking out for Israel’s future. Unlike those on the Left, who are having one child per family, those on the Right are having five or more children per family. The Left does not want to face this reality.
The Supreme Court in Israel has become the personal bodyguard of the Left. It has assumed powers that even Ben Gurion would cringe at today. Friedman, in his article against Judicial Reform, fails to point out how vastly different Israel’s Supreme Court is from America’s.
Israel’s Supreme Court is not appointed by a Democratically-elected government. Israel’s Supreme Court is internally self-generated and perpetuated. It is, to borrow a cliché, “an old boys’ club.” In America, the president picks a potential Supreme Court Justice and the Senate has a chance to either accept or reject the choice. The Robert Bork selection on July 1, 1987, by President Ronald Reagan makes the point loud and clear. Bork was a brilliant judge who was the last appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court to be rejected by the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee first rejected him in a 9 to 5 vote and the full Senate rejected him 58 to 42. The point is, as much as I might disagree with the rejection of Robert Bork, it is a Democratic process. He might have become one of the Supreme Court’s greatest justices, but Democracy prevailed and was accepted. No such process goes on in Israel. The Democratically-elected leaders have no say as to who sits on Israel’s Supreme Court. This is what Prime Minister Netanyahu is fighting for.
For 28 years, one man had sway over Israel’s Supreme Court. His name is Aharon Barak. Interestingly, Robert Bork said that Aharon Barak “establishes a world record for judicial hubris.” One of his acts was that judges cannot be removed by the Legislature, but only by other judges. Much of today’s contentiousness stem from the despotic measures enacted by Aharon Barak.
Israel will figure out the changes that are needed and the pace of those changes. Of course, compromises will be made, as they are in all Democracies. One thing is certain: Tom Friedman does not have the last word on Israel.