Comments on: Knesset passes bill on prolonged detention of refugees without trial http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/ Independent commentary and news from Israel & Palestine Wed, 01 Jun 2016 03:18:01 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8 By: Greg Pollock http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39575 Thu, 12 Jan 2012 07:14:53 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39575 MikeSailor,
I believe the High Court did issue a contempt order over the IDF’s failure to move the B’lin fence (I’m getting the name wrong, I know)–to no effect. The fence has been moved, several years after the initial order and I think a year or more after the contempt order. I do not know who was targeted in contempt or what actual effect it had, if any.

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By: Greg Pollock http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39574 Thu, 12 Jan 2012 07:09:11 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39574 Elizabeth,
I’m glad you replied and showed me wrong–to worse effect for refugees. I am not certain, though, if the law as applied will change all that much post this new law. And I note that the legal advisor to the Knesset thought the law unnecessary.
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Mya,
The US Supreme Court was ignored famously by President Andrew Jackson in the Indian Removal Cases (sort of eerie, huh?). There was no direct confrontation producing Court control. The social economy of the US evolved. The Court, at first taking hard stands favoring the masters (if you will), later, preciesely because of that, could rebel against later masters. The Court turned back its own power after the Civil War by narrowly construing that era’s 14th Amendment. This is why I am not too worried about the Nakba case (although I get all fumed like others) over the long term. But Israel’s High Court is evolving in an advanced information economy, unlike the US Supreme Court of the past. Refusal to obey orders ramifies. Israel’s trajectory will be different. I see what the US avoided, a direct confrontation over judicial power, unavoidable in your land. The Court could fight creatively, but to date it does not. This may be as much because of its internal dynamics (three [or larger] Justice panels taken from a pool of Justices) which tends to prevent risky stances. Having a full set of Justices always deciding together can produce more forceful decisions, for there are no future, alternative sub groups (panels) which might act differently.
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The US had the luxury of time and immense space denied to your land. Israel will tell us something new about judicial process. In my mind, the only question is how it gets there, and at what cost.

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By: Bronxman http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39543 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 19:30:44 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39543 Recently it was announced that Israel was preparing for the fall of the Assad regime by making arrangements to handle Alawite refugees. Can anybody tell me what the status of these people will be on entering Israel.

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By: Mikesailor http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39512 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:56:55 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39512 One fact, that seems to elude most, is the phrase: “Without trial”. Therefore, who decides? And if the err, for one reason or another, apparently there is no redress. Let alone that the law itself is an affront to anyone who even has a rudimentary knowledge or affinity for the concept of ‘due process of law’. It is so open-ended that anyone, even Jews, can be picked up and placed in this ‘camp’ without anyone even knowing. And with the state’s power to extort ‘gag orders’, this is a piece of open-ended legislation designed to be ‘re-interpreted’ to quash any potential dissenters. For it can be used in any way the ‘adjudicators’ wish.
Mya: The blatant governmental practice if disregarding Supreme Court rulings has been all too well documented. One of the curious aspects is the Court’s apparent acquiescence to this practice. I have yet to hear the Court enforce its rulings, especially when ruling against government practices, by citing the malefactors with contempt. I would admit that such a move could backfire politically, but it would at least show a court willing to enforce its own rulings, and the fight would then be whether or not the Court is a viable third institution of the governmental structure. Instead, they have been shown to bend over backwards rather than confront publicly and have the well-deserved reputation of acceding to the politics of the day, no matter what the affront.

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By: mya guarnieri http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39494 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 13:43:29 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39494 with all due respect, elizabeth, do you seriously believe the israeli supreme court is so strong? there are plenty of examples of the state ignoring supreme court rulings.

here’s an article i wrote that lists a few:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mya-guarnieri/what-israeli-democracy_b_900389.html

here’s yehudit karp bemoaning how weak the supreme court is: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/former-official-bemoans-government-s-disregard-of-supreme-court-1.353406

and here’s a nice one by jonathan cook that shows, yet again, how weak the court is and how the state ignores it: http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/israeli-government-faces-contempt-case-for-ignoring-arab-rights

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By: Elizabeth Tsurkov http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39484 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:45:26 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39484 Greg, you state: “This ammendment on refugees, the writer tell us, is actually immaterial under the perpetual emergency rule the State enjoys. Its sole purpose is to contour law which at present is not evoked. Its sole impact at the moment is to assert Knesset soverignty, partly for the news media.”

This is absolutely not true. This law has severe consequences. First of all, right now Israel has to release asylum seekers from prison within 60 days (it sometimes doesn’t do so, but this is the law). Now people will be kept indefinitely in Saharonim prison, until there’s no space for them because of the incoming asylum seekers.

In recent months, as a result of inter-Bedouin fighting in the Sinai desert, almost 1,000 asylum seekers were released from captivity of smugglers who were murdered by Salafi bedouins and from the captivity of other smugglers who got scared of being killed too. As a result, the number of people coming into Israel has peaked in the recent months and currently, people are usually released from Saharonim within two weeks because there simply isn’t enough space. However, once the fence along the border with Egypt is completed, the number of refugees fleeing into Israel is expected to drop dramatically. At that moment, people will start spending long months and even years in Saharonim, as this law allows. The construction of the holding facility/ concentration camp is moving along too. Once it is completed (it will take a while), there will be 11,000 new beds for refugees, and all the new refugees coming in will be jailed there for long periods of time. On top of that, the moment the holding facility is constructed, the Supreme Court prohibition on fining employers expires. NGOs will surely appeal again, but it could be that refugees will not be able to find work from that moment on because their employers could be fined.

So yes, this law is not immaterial, it will ruin lives, many lives.

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By: Elizabeth Tsurkov http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39483 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 11:34:53 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39483 Mya, Netanyahu cannot get around the Supreme Court ruling. There are such statements and headlines every once in a while, designed to scare employers from employing asylum seekers. The only thing the government can do is make those statements, since they are prohibited from fining employers. This is also why the government didn’t rush to state that assistance to asylum seekers is not in fact punishable according to the law – they want employers to fear that this is the law and that they can be punished. And have no doubt – it worked – hundreds of employers of refugees have been calling up NGOs since the law passed to make sure that they can still employ people. But others probably didn’t call and simply fired the refugees.

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By: Greg Pollock http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39438 Wed, 11 Jan 2012 04:20:35 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39438 Well, Elizabeth, soverignty is eventually going to have to be defined somehow, somewhere. I know the High Court has stood up to both the Knesset and Administration in the past; but I know of no other developed country where the highest court is often ignored by the State. The net effect of laws such as the boycott, Nakba, and this one is to place soverignty in the Knesset. At the moment, the Knesset is processing a bill which would ban the use Holocaust for naught but teaching purposes–the victim, in this case, is the Ultra Orthodox, a few of which dressed in camp era uniforms to make a political point.
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One comentor at this site, Ben Israel, avoud religious and on the right, said he favors a writen constitution because the politics of the Knesset is too volatile to be trusted long term; the bill I just mentioned supports his view.
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The Knesset can alter the appointment process of Justices. Some in the Knesset think they can deny jurisdiction to the High Court by subject. I think the High Court could insulate itself, and have suggested how on this blog. What I suggest here is that this Knesset is legislating so as to make a case for its absolute soverignty. This ammendment on refugees, the writer tell us, is actually immaterial under the perpetual emergency rule the State enjoys. Its sole purpose is to contour law which at present is not evoked. Its sole impact at the moment is to assert Knesset soverignty, partly for the news media.
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I think a strong Court is possible. But one needs realize what that Court would face.

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By: Carl http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39334 Tue, 10 Jan 2012 15:13:37 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39334 Sadly Israel isn’t out on a limb with this one. The attempt to dissuade asylum seekers by making life unbearable in host countries is a favourite around the world. In the UK we prevent asylum seekers without status from working or receiving any state benefits. It’s also illegal for homeless charities to offer them accommodation if I remember correctly. How they’re meant to eat, let alone house themselves legally is a mystery. Mind Australia sending refugees off to Christmas Island for ‘processing’ should surely win a prize for outright vindictiveness.

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By: Philos http://972mag.com/knesset-passes-controversial-bill-on-prolonged-detention-of-asylum-seekers/32487/comment-page-1/#comment-39323 Tue, 10 Jan 2012 14:15:20 +0000 http://972mag.com/?p=32487#comment-39323 I recommend to all readers to watch the film “Children of Men” by Alfonso Cuaron (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0206634/)
Israel has the dubious title of being at the juncture where dystopian science-fiction becomes reality. Unbelievably authoritarian…

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