Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

The case of Amona: respect for Israel’s High Court?

Respect for Israel’s High Court?

This news report shows a lack of respect by Israel’s High Court. I want to share a new analysis about this.

At first glance, it is unclear why this “normally slow-moving court” suddenly decided to enact this “fast-paced drama.” All the more so because it said itself that it “could have rejected the request and determined that the date for implementing the decision remain [sic] as decided.”

That latter position is untrue, of course. If the government finds a way to avoid violence, gets to a compromise signed by all parties, the High Court cannot throw away that success. That way it would disgrace itself for all.

But why did it interfere the way it did? My suggestion: to show who’s the boss. Not the government — it bashed it in unusually harsh language — and not the residents of Amona who got in to an agreement with the State; only the High Court is the boss.

I’m not the only one who noticed. Complaints cited in the article:

  • It “demanded an unequivocal commitment” to it and not to the government.
  • It “had singled out Amona residents for poor treatment [while] other groups are not asked to come back and change technical matters.”
  • It “continues to torture Amona families.”
  • It “uses its rulings to cause rifts in Israeli society.”
  • This is a “dictatorship of the High Court.”
  • “[T]he ego of the High Court harms all of us.”

So the High Court bullied them until it was sheepishly obeyed.

However, let’s place ourselves for a moment in the shoes of these justices. They are not just there to solve legal problems. They also must demand respect for their authority. And this was their chance to do so.

In this case, it was treated slightly disrespectfully as an authority merely to rubberstamp this agreement. It refused. It is not just here to agree with others. It has the last say and it wanted to show it. And it did and … won.

However, the above word bully might be misplaced here. A bully is someone who takes what’s not his or hers. But here, the High Court only insisted on its right to rule, its proper power.

And you know what? While having not too much respect for what goes on in that Court, I like some of what it did here. Why?

In democratic societies the world over, respect for authority is waning. Some of that is no doubt the result of how those authorities behave, like parliaments and governments ignoring the needs of the population.

However, as the prophet implies (Jeremiah 29:7), if we would not have authorities, people would eat each other alive. We cannot throw out authority, no matter how imperfectly it behaves. We must improve authorities, but not disgrace them.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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