Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Court vs. the parliament - II

Even as I was writing the previous post, the forces of enlightenment were gearing up to defend us from the bad guys. You are invited to read Ehud Asheri on the most prestigious real estate that Haaretz can offer an op-ed piece (the center top of page 1 of the op-ed section). To which I have four quick comments:

1. Where Friedman offered substance, regarding how he sees the relationship between the court and the government, Asheri feels that bad mouthing is sufficient. Justice Minister Friedman is a megalomaniac (stated twice), he's an evil PR genius, he wants to weaken the protection of human rights, and so on.

2. Since Asheri bases his thesis on an ad Hominem attack, it might be relevant to point out that the two figures here are, on the one side, a 72-year-old well known law professor, Laureate of the Israel Prize, and a 40-year-old journalist whose most outstanding achievement I can think of is to write the reviews of Israeli TV programs (most of them are trash), a job that is fulfilled by Pronouncing: this is a fine program, that's a poor one.

3. Asheri's real agenda is stated in the very first paragraph:

Those who are impressed by the external image, and that applies to most media consumers, are apt to miss the scheming, manipulative, almost aggressive aspect of his personality. It is very easy to be seduced by the facade of the harmless, apolitical professor devoid of personal interests, like a fish out of water in the government. One must look beyond the external characteristics in order to see that the justice minister is one of the most sophisticated, populist, megalomaniac politicians in this country. [My emphasis]

Nice and comforting, isn't it? True, the masses of media consumers, they don't really understand what's going on, but we sophisticated readers of Haaretz, we do, which is why we must do something to save civilization. It seems to me that Friedman couldn't have put it better himself: this may well be an argument about the essence of democracy, but not all the vocal defenders of the court are truly democrats, in terms of assuming that the voters can be relied upon to make the right decisions often enough so as to justify giving them the power to do so.

4. I still am not in the position to say who's right and who's wrong in this discussion, since I'm not well enough versed in the details. But I do know who seems to be winning the debate.


Lydia McGrew said...

I just fully realized that y'all don't have a Constitution. That's almost beyond my comprehension. How was the form of the government set up without one?

But in any event, without a constitution, what _was_ this High Court of Justice supposed to be all about to begin with?

Yaacov said...

Heh. Yes, indeed we don't. Then again, neither do the British, while the Russians and I'll bet the Chinese, and even the Sudanis, all do, and a lot of good it does them.

This is worth a seperate post all on its own some day. I'll have to see how to go about it.