Israel’s Supreme Court Rejects Apartheid Analogy

Adi Schwartz reports the statement by Dorit Beinisch, President of the Supreme Court.

A synopsis of the ruling is available in English but the full ruling is available for now only in Hebrew.   Schwartz’s translation of the paragraph Beinisch wrote about Apartheid is here.

12 Responses to “Israel’s Supreme Court Rejects Apartheid Analogy”

  1. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    How long will it take for the BDS people to rubbish this judgement because it was made by an Israeli court, despite the fact that the army’s closure of the road was overturned? And it won’t take them much longer to reject President Beinisch’s demolition of the “apartheid” analogy either.

    It’s interesting to note that the Israeli courts, and especially the Supreme Court, regularly overturn the army’s measures on “security”. Despite this, no doubt, someone will label the Supreme Court a lackey of the “Israeli Apartheid State”. Sigh. Pity their intellect and logic fails to match, by far, their vehemence.

  2. Stephen Rifkin Says:

    And yet that fool Akiva Eldar is scribbling in today’s Ha’aretz how Israel IS apartheid. I have to remember it’s not a sin to be crazy AND stupid but it is a sin to be crazy and stupid while wishing extermination upon all the people who are not.

  3. Absolute Observer Says:

    Stephen Rifkin

    “it is a sin to be crazy and stupid while wishing extermination upon all the people who are not.”

    “extermination”? Perhaps, with comments like this, you need to check your own sanity.

  4. Nancy Says:

    This isn’t directly on-topic, but it’s an interesting op-ed in the Jerusalem Post about the IDF’s accountability process – both in terms of military investigations and with regards to the Israeli judicial system. I thought readers of the post here would be interested. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1262339382152&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Otherwise, my first thought in reading this post was that critics of Israel would just find President Beinisch’s holding to be self-serving. It’s still what I think – though I’d like to be convinced otherwise. Come to think of it, critics of Israel will also conclude that what’s asserted in the Jerusalem Post op-ed also lacks credibility. Perhaps there’s no winning.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      Nancy, I take it that by critics of Israel you mean, in general terms, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) crowd. If so, who cares what they think, although that doesn’t mean that where met, they shouldn’t be engaged with (no pun intended). That goes for the JP article, as well. As ever, such people should be strongly requested to produce evidence as to why Benjamin, a former army lawyer, etc, is wrong. If they can’t, well…

  5. Absolute Observer Says:

    I don’t think we should be too hung up about what the BDS think or not think. To do so, implies that they still have some connection with rationality when it comes to “criticism” of Israel.

    As for me, the decision is good as far as it goes, although, assuming I understood it correctly, like most national supreme courts, it still leaves too wide a discretion on the question of “security” to the military occupying forces.

    Having said that, it was good, but not surpsrising that the court continues to recognise the fact that the status of the WB is occupied land.

    I would like to read the quick dismissal of the notion of “apartheid” in more detail. Any links? I assume also the the claim to apartheid referred to the OT and not to Israel as a whole?

    Perhaps someone could tell me otherwise, but, as far as I know, the SA courts accepted the concept and practice of apartheid as a “legal” even if some judges sought to mitigate it? In other words, was apartheid grounded in a formal constitutional and legal norm; a situation completely different in Israel.

  6. Absolute Observer. Says:

    The problem of the “rationale” of the lenaguage of “security”……….

    עדכון בעברית אחרי האנגלית
    Who’s Afraid of a Tambourine?
    Posted: Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Two months ago we wrote that Israel had prohibited the transfer of musical instruments into the Gaza Strip. In that post we quoted Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s response to a query submitted by Israeli parliamentarian Dov Khenin last July regarding the ban: “According to the information available, no applications to bring musical instruments into the Gaza Strip have been received for the past two years”, wrote the Deputy Defense Minister. Apparently we were mistaken – and so was the Deputy Defense Minister.

    In March 2009, UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) submitted an application to transfer percussion instruments, drums, guitars and ouds (a stringed instrument popular in the Arab world), designated for a number of musical projects for children and youth in the Gaza Strip. In order for the army to consider the application, the musical instruments were classified as humanitarian goods, the import of which would not violate the ban on the entry of goods beyond the “humanitarian minimum” determined by the army.

    After going through the standard, long and tiresome bureaucratic process of obtaining a permit to bring in humanitarian goods to Gaza, the musical instruments were transferred on July 4 – five months after the application was submitted to Israel. While international organizations can bring in certain goods for humanitarian projects (e.g. the transfer of learning materials is permitted only for schools operated by UNRWA), for Palestinians living in Gaza and for local organizations the ban on importing goods beyond the “minimum” remains unchanged.

    The few music stores that exist in Gaza have started to run out of stock due to the restrictions on the import of their wares. Yehya Al-Jerou, the owner of a well-known Gaza store specializing in sound systems and musical instruments, used to import large quantities of goods from Israel and the West Bank every month up until June 2006. Due to the increased restrictions on the transfer of goods since then, he has been forced to start buying sound systems and musical instruments through an Egyptian dealer and import them via the tunnels – paying top dollar for low-quality merchandise. The high prices have deterred most private customers, and his main business is now in selling to institutions and local organizations trying to run musical programs. Apparently, according to Israel, these activities are not considered humanitarian, since they are not operated under the auspices of an international organization. Al-Jerou says that he does not even bother trying to arrange the import of musical instruments from Israel, due to the ban on goods that are not considered “humanitarian”.

    If tambourines and other musical instruments pose a security risk in that they could “aid terrorist activity”, according to Vilnai, or, alternatively, are not sufficiently “humanitarian,” why does Israel allow international organizations to import them, but not local organizations?

    The lack of transparency, inconsistency and vagueness that characterize Israel’s policies on the transfer of goods to the Gaza Strip continues to confuse not just Gaza residents and aid organizations, but apparently even the Deputy Defense Minister himself.

    Goods
    Needs Vs. Supply
    6/12/09 – 2/1/10
    Industrial Fuel
    Needs Vs. Supply
    6/12/09 – 2/1/10

    מי מפחד בתוף מרים?
    פורסם: יום שלישי, 5 בינואר 2010

    לפני חודשיים פרסמנו כי ישראל מונעת מעברם של כלי נגינה לרצועת עזה. בפוסט הבאנו גם את תשובתו של סגן שר הביטחון, מתן וילנאי, לשאילתה שהגיש ח”כ דב חנין ביולי האחרון בעניין האיסור: “על פי הנתונים שבידינו לא התקבלו כל בקשות להעברת כלי נגינה לרצועת עזה במהלך השנתיים האחרונות” כתב סגן שר הביטחון. מסתבר שטעינו – וגם סגן שר הביטחון טעה.

    במרץ 2009 הגישה יוניס”ף (קרן החירום הבינ”ל של האו”ם לילדים) בקשה להכנסת כלי הקשה, עוד, תופים וגיטרות המיועדים למספר פרויקטים מוזיקליים לילדים ובני נוער ברצועת עזה. על מנת שהצבא יואיל לשקול את הבקשה, כלי הנגינה תוארו כסחורה הומניטארית, שכניסתם אינה מפרה את האיסור על הכנסת סחורות מעבר ל”מינימום ההומניטארי” שקבע הצבא. לאחר שעברו את התהליך הבירוקרטי הקבוע, הארוך והמייגע של קבלת אישור להעברת סחורה הומניטארית לעזה, הועברו כלי הנגינה ב-4 ביולי – חמישה חודשים לאחר הגשת הבקשה לישראל. בעוד שארגונים בינלאומיים יכולים להכניס סחורות מסוימות עבור פרויקטים הומניטאריים (כך, למשל, אפשרה ישראל העברת חומרי לימוד אך ורק לבתי הספר שמופעלים ע”י אונר”א), עבור פלסטינים המתגוררים בעזה וארגונים מקומיים, האיסור על סחורות מעבר ל”מינימום” נותר בעינו.

    חנויות המוזיקה המעטות בעזה החלו להתרוקן ממוצריהן בשל ההגבלות על כניסת מוצרים. יחיא אל-ג’רו, בעל חנות מוכרת בעזה למערכות סאונד וכלי מוזיקה, נהג לייבא מישראל ומהגדה המערבית מדי חודש כמויות גדולות של כלי נגינה ומערכות סאונד עד ליוני 2006. לאור ההגבלות על העברת סחורות שאף החמירו מאז, הוא נאלץ להתחיל לקנות דרך סוחר מצרי מערכות סאונד וכלי נגינה ולהכניסם דרך המנהרות – במחיר גבוה ובאיכות ירודה. המחירים הגבוהים הדיחו מחנותו את רוב הלקוחות הפרטיים ונותר לו בעיקר למכור למוסדות – ארגונים מקומיים שמנסים לקיים פעילות מוזיקלית. אולם, לפי ישראל, פעילות זו אינה נחשבת להומניטארית – משום שאינה מתקיימת בחסותו של ארגון בינלאומי. לדברי מר אל-ג’רו, אין הוא טורח כלל לנסות ולתאם הכנסת כלי נגינה מישראל, בשל האיסור על העברת מוצרים שאינם בגדר מוצרים “הומניטאריים”.

    אם תוף מרים הוא בבחינת סחורה אשר, כדברי וילנאי, יכולה “לסייע בפעילות טרור” או לחילופין אינה “הומניטארית”, מדוע מאפשרת ישראל לארגון בינלאומי להכניסו, ואילו לארגונים מקומיים אסור? חוסר השקיפות, חוסר העקביות והעירפול שנוקטת ישראל סביב מדיניות העברת הסחורות לרצועת עזה מצליח לבלבל ככל הנראה, לא רק את תושבי עזה וארגוני הסיוע אלא אפילו את סגן שר הביטחון עצמו.
    מעבר סולר תעשייתי לעזה
    צרכים מול אספקה
    2/1/10 – 6/12/09 כניסת סחורות לעזה
    צרכים מול אספקה
    2/1/10- 6/12/09

    For further information and previous posts, visit http://www.gazagateway.org
    For Gisha’s site, click here לקבלת מידע נוסף וקריאת פוסטים קודמים באתר, היכנסו ל- http://www.gazagateway.org
    לאתר עמותת גישה, לחצ/י כאן

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    • N. Friedman Says:

      Absolute Observer,

      The policies of countries vs. their enemies are typically muddled and inconsistent. I think you make far too much about the measures, inconsistent or not, taken by Israel. Perhaps, the Israelis should be more consistent. Perhaps, the concern is more complicated and there is something about who is moving things that justifies the restrictions in issue. Who knows? Why does this even concern you?

  7. Absolute Observer Says:

    It concerns me for any number of reasons, none of which concern you.

  8. Zkharya Says:

    Well, prima facie, AO’s observations (!) of this seem reasonable.

  9. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    AO, I wasn’t, and am not, concerned about what the BDS crowd think, merely starting a clock running. They are usually quite quick to rubbish anything that neutral observers might see as a positive sign concerning I/P, and remarkably slow in commenting on anything which directly undermines their position (eg, imagine the West Bank trade unions claiming to be far more concerned about pay and conditions than about a boycott of Israel, and then start counting the days or weeks while waiting for a response).

  10. Absolute Observer. Says:

    Brian,
    I take your point.
    AO


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