Friday, September 4, 2009

The Ongoing Farce of Mixing Law With Politics

Regular readers will know I don't have a high opinion of the popular trend to use legal perspectives and tools to interfere with political processes. But here's a cute example.

It seems some canny lawyers have maneuvered the High Court into demanding the government explain why the ratio of demolishing illegal Palestinian homes is so significantly lower than that of Jewish homes in the illegal outposts. Interestingly, all sides to the discussion agreed about the facts themselves: very few Palestinians who build homes on land they can't prove ownership of, need fear the homes will be demolished.

Now I understand that lots of folks will be rolling their eyes at this point in deepest frustration: Don't you understand, Yaacov, the entire Occupation is illegal! The State of Israel is illegal! Zionism is the abomination!

Ah, but that's exactly my point. Two points, actually. The first is that the realm to resolve political disputes is politics, not courts. The second is that these people don't care about law, international or otherwise, unless they feel it says what they wish it to say. Were someone to prove otherwise, they probably would reject him (or her) as a Neocon or a fascist or an AIPAC-stooge; but it wouldn't make any difference anyway, because were the legal pillar of their argumentation to be seriously weakened they'd simply abandon it and move on to other arguments.

This is the way it always was with antisemites. Personally, however, I feel it's worth the effort to neutralize those of their arguments as may be neutralized. Not because their hatred will disappear, but because we need to keep them moving along.

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