For the Peace of Jerusalem
By Hal Lindsey
On September 12, something without precedent will happen in Israel. That nation’s Supreme Court will decide if it (the Supreme Court) holds dictatorial powers unlike any other court in any other democracy — power not derived from any law ever passed. The court will decide whether to nullify a new basic law in Israel. That would be the equivalent of the US Supreme Court nullifying part of the constitution as “unconstitutional.”
Instead of a constitution, they have what are known as “basic laws.” On July 24, Israel’s highest legislative body, the Knesset, legally amended one of Israel’s basic laws. The amendment restricts the high court’s ability to nullify a law. So, if the court rules against it, it will be ruling against the rule of law.
In the United States, we have long accepted that our Supreme Court can nullify a law. But our high court has an objective standard by which to measure laws — the constitution. Since the constitution underpins everything in our government, all other laws and regulations must conform to it. If Congress passes a law that goes against the constitution, the court declares it unconstitutional, and it is automatically repealed.
Israel’s Supreme Court uses an entirely different standard for nullifying a law. They call it the “standard of reasonableness.” If members of the court do not think the law is “reasonable,” they can kill the law with a simple vote against it. Over the last few years, they have increasingly used this standard to remove laws with which they had a mere political disagreement.
“Reasonableness” is in the eye of the beholder. When the Knesset passes a law, a majority of the nation’s elected representatives obviously consider that law to be “reasonable.” The reasonableness standard itself was made up by the court and not based in law. It allows a small number of elites to override the will of the voters, sometimes on a whim.
I call them elites because that’s what they are. In Israel, the President appoints Supreme Court judges. This sounds like a lot of power until you understand that he does not choose them. He only appoints them. They are chosen by something called the Judicial Selection Committee. That is a ten-member group consisting of the Justice Minister, another cabinet minister, the court’s current Chief Justice, another judge from the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Hebrew University, two Knesset members, and two members of the Israel Bar Association.
As you can see, it is not designed for accountability to the people, but to keep the elites of the legal establishment in charge of all law. The system negates the power of elected representatives in favor of the old guard. So, on July 24, the elected representatives of the people of Israel passed a law that limits the court’s ability to strike down laws. It passed the law as an amendment to one of Israel’s basic laws, which makes it part of the highest law in the land. The basic law has now been changed in a legally binding way. But on September 12, the court will decide whether to break the new law by striking it down. Obviously, there is no legal way of doing that.
Imbued by propaganda from the old guard elites, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest the change. Many have become insurrectionists, advocating civil war. There have been talks of debilitating strikes even within the military. So far, the press has made it seem much worse than it is. But the elites seem intent on ripping apart the fabric of Israel’s democracy.
The Bible indicates that after Israel’s rebirth, it would be greatly troubled but remain intact. Even so, this is a good time to follow the admonition of Psalm 122:6. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”