EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionThe Left

The Disappearance of the Liberal Illusion

Three recent decisions from the Israeli Supreme Court

Four months ago, I was present at a conference organized by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel. The conference focused on a report that the Association had published, entitled “One Government, Two Legal Systems,” which studied the apartheid methods that Israel applies in the West Bank. Among the participants in the second panel of the conference were former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner and Israel’s current Deputy Attorney General, Dina Zilber. Zilber’s talk was mostly apologetic, and not very successful at that: she tried to answer the claim that the State Attorney’s office consistently collaborates with the injustices perpetrated by Israel’s political system in the West Bank. …


Terrorist Rule of Law in Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teenager in East Jerusalem — apparently, in retaliation for the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank — was a public call to Israelis to “refrain from taking the law into their own hands.” This message, delivered by the Prime Minister both personally and through his spokesmen, is very revealing.

On a first look, it is nothing but a laconic statement — a sober appeal to the nation in a moment of escalating violence that’s alarming even by Israeli standards.

On a second look, it contains an embarrassing mistake. Kidnapping and murdering an innocent Palestinian teenager has nothing to do with “taking the law into one’s own hands.” …