Saturday, May 24, 2003

Regarding "Rivlin: Justice Barak leading 'constitutional coup' " and "Lapid blasts speaker for 'incitement' ", Ha'Aretz, May 23, 2003: Few things portray the state of the state of Israel's democracy better than Thursday's frontal attack by who is supposed to personify that democracy, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, against the Supreme Court and its president, Aharon Barak. Reuven Rivlin is right, "the real danger to Israeli democracy [...] is at home - from inside the establishment". The establishment, though, that Mr Rivlin and Michael Eitan should blame first and foremost for the damage done to Israel's democracy is the political one, at both the opposition and the government level. The party of which Rivlin and Eitan are proud members has also done its share of damage. True, the Israeli Right did not invent corruption, wheeler-dealing, and small-interest-groups politics ( for that we have to thank, among others, many of the founding fathers of the State ), but it seems to have turned all that into an art, and made it into an even more inseparable part of our daily lives. Elected officials who are either directly or indirectly responsible for the recent farce surrounding the (non)lifting of the parliamentary immunity of one of their own should sit silently in a corner and be ashamed of themselves, instead of hurling accusations at one of the last national institutions in Israel that at least appears to try to preserve law-abiding as a national priority.

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