In its majestic equality the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread. The Red Lily, Anatole France, 1894
by Roi Tov
Most Israelis do not understand the concept of illegitimate laws. A law may pass through all the tedious processes of legislation. It may be approved by the Knesset Legislation Committee, and afterwards by the Knesset’s General Assembly. It may be published by “Reshumot” (Israel’s official publication announcing new laws) and afterwards be brutally enforced by civil servants. Everything may look “kosher” on paper, and still the law can be illegitimate, demanding automatic disobedience by the public. No government can pass a law violating Human Rights, which are International Law since 1994. No government operating under the Criminal Law system can legislate laws claiming to prevent a future crime. Not even Netanyahu’s Government can. Yet, he did just that.
Israeli Government Session, April 14, 2013
Not in Israel
Netanyahu’s new government is accelerating; yesterday we learned that its legislative committee is moving rightwards. Today, during its weekly meeting (Israel’s regular Government meetings take place on Sundays in a thinly disguised insult to the State’s Christian citizens), Minister of Interior Gideon Sa’ar proposed to prolong the “Citizenship Law” (formally “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 5763” from July 31, 2003) of the State of Israel, which dates in its actual version back to September 2005. From the days of its 2003 version, it has been temporarily approved by the Israeli government every year. In 2006, five judges of the High Court of Justice stated that the law contravened the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom and that it must be removed from the law books.
Yet, it has been extended in an extra-parliamentary fashion every year since then. In January 2012, the Supreme Court rejected several requests to stop the prolongations and nullify the law. Today, Netanyahu approved the motion, and the government voted in its favor. The prolongation of a temporary law by the government renders Parliament useless. If criticized, the government would claim, “it is a temporary arrangement, we are working on this.”
Government Session, April 14, 2013
Why the “Citizenship Law” is illegitimate?
The Citizenship Law expands the Law of Return, a racist monster giving automatic citizenship to every Jew arriving in Israel, despite the question “Who is a Jew?” having never been answered by the Knesset. Since the Citizenship Law also regulates entry to Israel, it includes clauses regarding family reunification, in other words defines that the foreign spouse of a citizen is granted citizenship. Is that bad?
That was the acceptable and legal part of the law. However, part of it is illegitimate since it makes citizens of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the West Bank and Gaza Strip ineligible for the automatic granting of Israeli citizenship and residency permits, unless they are Jews. The law stipulates that the Minister of Interior does not have the authority to approve Israeli residence for a resident of Judea and Samaria, unless they are Jewish settlers. This is so even regarding marriage, when it comes to Palestinian spouses who are younger than 35 (men) or 25 (women). The law prevents young Israeli citizens (supposedly Palestinian-Israelis) from marrying the spouse of their choice and living in Israel if the latter is a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza.
The problem is acute. Last month, a group of Palestinian women (from Israel and Palestine) victims of Israel’s family reunification policies sent letters to female Members of the Knesset asking for help. The most senior response came from Zehava Galon, who after the government decision said: “Minister Sa’ar continues the inhuman policy of his predecessor, Eli Yishai. Defining all Palestinians a ‘security threat’ is an act of racism that discriminates against citizens according to their ethnic and religious background.” MK Galon was among those who had requested the nullification of the Citizenship Law in the past.
Since it was amended in 2005 until 2010, 632 requests of citizenship were rejected by the Court, on the grounds that the petitioners may use their new status to become terrorists with easier access to Israel. The Court assumes precognition, and then violates the right of people to get married. The least we can do, is to demand from these superhuman Israeli Judges, Batmen of the State, to disclose their wondrous powers. How exactly do they achieve precognition?
Israel operates according to Criminal Law, also known as Penal Law, the law pertaining to crimes and punishment. The laws comprising this topic regulates the definition of offences found to have a sufficiently deleterious social impact and impose punishments on them. However, the law cannot impose restrictions on society that physically prevents people from committing a crime in the first place. This renders the current Citizenship Law illegitimate.
In March 2013, a woman known only under the pseudonym “Wahidi,” requested the Beer Sheva Court to annul a horrific decision against her by the Israeli Administration. She was born in Rehovot, Israel, to Jewish parents, converted to Islam, married a Palestinian man and moved to Gaza. Before entering Gaza, she was asked to give back her Israeli ID (the “blue” internal passport shown even to enter a shopping mall; the request had been illegal). The Palestinian Authority issued her a document of its own, but this is not good enough for her to visit her mother. The Israeli answer was to request her to pass a DNA-test every time she wishes to enter Israel. The Court has still to respond to another terror act of false precognition performed by the government paying the judges’ salaries. The woman is probably doomed. This is nothing but State Terror. There is no precognition.
About to begin my 12th year of exile and after have been brutally maimed, I have no expectations from the State of Israel or from its citizens; they are beyond redemption. Yet, I want to ask my American readers, how can you support a government openly acting beyond the limits of International Law and human legal systems? How can you support a regime openly legislating racist laws? Would you accept being discriminated against by your own government? If not, why do you accept others behaving in such a criminal way? Don’t trust my words, even Jewish Members of the Knesset define Israeli law as racist. Israel would not be able to commit these crimes without the financial support of the American government, which by doing that becomes an accomplice of racism.
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.
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