It works out that retired Supreme Court president Aharon Barak - the man who shaped Israel's judiciary in his own image - doesn't care much for Jews.
In a speech last Thursday sponsored by the post-Zionist New Israel Fund, Barak said, "If you ask a Jew whether he supports equality with the Arabs, he will say: 'Certainly.' And if you ask if he supports kicking all the Arabs out of here, he will say: 'Certainly.' He sees no contradiction between the two."
After denouncing Jews as stupid racists, Barak went on to explain that in his years on the bench, as his anti-Jewish views developed, he gradually abandoned his legal duty to ground his judgments in Israeli law. Instead, he engaged in a free-wheeling dispensation of justice in accordance with his radical political views.
As he put it, "I remember the problems that were brought before me in my 20 years as a judge, when my line of thought was always administrative: How much power do the administrative bodies in the territories have? With time, as my knowledge of international law increased, my outlook began to change. Instead of talking about what is allowed and what is forbidden for Israeli forces, I thought about the rights of the people there: what rights they deserve."
So by his own admission, during his years on the court, Barak determined what "rights" the Palestinians "deserve," unfettered by annoying inconveniences like the pretense of law or the normal legal boundaries that inform the decisions of a state governed by the rule of law. It was due to his open contempt for Israeli democracy that under his judicial leadership the country was effectively transformed from a parliamentary democracy governed by law into a judicial tyranny governed by the preferences and prejudices of a fraternity of lawyers that Barak empowered to adjudicate permissible behavior on the basis of their shared radical political preferences.
Barak's bigoted castigation of Jews in his speech raised a storm of public protest. Unfortunately, the far greater danger exposed by his elucidation of his extra-legal judicial philosophy was largely overlooked. This is troubling because on a national level, it is much more important for Israel to roll back Barak's anti-democratic judicial revolution than to condemn his personal bigotry.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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