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General News    H3'ed 3/29/20

Israel - the regime has been transformed into a criminal parody

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There is no plausible explanation for the dramatic events of the past 3 days, where Gantz, the narrow majority leader, purportedly committed to fight Netanyahu's corruption, yielded and joined Netanyahu to form a new government.

Tel-Aviv, March 28 - the past 3 days have left all in Israel stunned. Today, Saturday, we are informed that the new emerging coalition, again headed by Netanyahu, and joined by opposition leader Benny Gantz (Blue and White party), is considering a bill to allow criminally indicted persons to be appointed government ministers. [i] Such bill is intended to personally serve Netanyahu, who was indicted in three separate matters on bribes, deceit, and breach of trust. The central theme in Gantz's election campaign was fighting the corrupt Netanyahu government...

On Wednesday, Israel appeared on the brink of total chaos, and concerns of eruption of violence were mounting , after Interim Knesset Chair Yuli Edelstein (of Netanyahu's Likud party), defying Supreme Court decision, refused to convene the Knesset and allow the election of a new permanent Chair to replace him. Edelstein resigned instead, intending to leave the Knesset in limbo for at least a few days. [ii]


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2020-03-25, 1:33 pm - renowned journalist Attila Somfalvi : "People, aren't you afraid of the eruption of a civil war? Aren't you concerned of the eruption of violence? What the hell is going on?

https://twitter.com/attilus/status/1242776741220941824?s=20

The main concern remains of violence by the settlers, who are effectively organized as armed militias, and who would not hesitate to act violently, if so ordered by their rabbis (who are on state payroll!). The settlers, encouraged by US Ambassador David Friedman, are expecting immediate annexation of major parts of Palestine, following the late January announcement of Trump's "Deal of the Century". Trump's announcement (unworthy and far-fetched as it was) also amounts to a blatant intervention in favor of Netanyahu in the early March general election in Israel. However, the settlers' expectations were dashed following the outcome of the early March general election and Netanyahu's apparent loss of power. A Gantz led government could have agreed to concessions to the Palestinians in the West Bank.


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2020-03-25 3:38 PM B'tselem, human rights NGO reports serious overnight vandalism by settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank, 'expressing "the promise", which was written on a wall in Kafr Yasuf [Palestinian village south of Nablus-jz]: "Judea and Samaria means war"'. "Judea and Samaria" are the Israeli right-wing names for the West Bank Palestinian territories.

https://twitter.com/btselem/status/1242808169333698560?s=20

The calming response to Somfalvi came only 12 hours later, after midnight (early Thursday), from Netanyahu's cabinet minister and settlers' leader Bezalel Smotrich.


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2020-03-26, 1:20 am - settlers' leader, Minister Bezalel Smotrich re-tweets Somfalvi and responds: "There shall be no civil war!"

https://twitter.com/bezalelsm/status/1242954448588210176?s=20

By that time, however, the tables had turned through a sequence of events that makes no sense at all. Netanyahu was again in position to head the new government - his 5th.

On Wednesday, immediately following Edelstein's resignation, petition were filed in the Supreme Court, claiming contempt of the Court by Edelstein and seeking remedies. Indeed, after midnight (early Thursday) the Supreme Court rendered a decision, which in itself was unprecedented. The Supreme Court avoided imposing any sanctions on Edelstein for defying its previous decision, but denounced Edelstein's conduct 'an unprecedented violation of the rule of law'. At the same time, the Supreme Court decision appointed a new Interim Knesset Chair (a member of the newly elected narrow majority, headed by Gantz) and ordered him to convene the Knesset on the very same day, Thursday, to elect its new permanent Chair. Such decision was not only of dubious foundation in the law, it also amounted to a major breach of the separation of powers, where the Supreme Court effectively took over the management of the legislature. Moreover, according to Israeli law, the resignation of Interim Chair Edelstein took effect only 48 hours after its submission, and therefore, the Supreme Court's decision effectively generated a situation, where two Interim Knesset Chairs held office at the same time. [iii]

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Dr Zernik's core research pertains to e-government and its significance for Human Rights and Civil Society.

His work won appreciation in Israel and abroad: * Prof Uzzi Ornan - "All power to you! I hope that you see your tremendous efforts (more...)
 
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