No Country Is Obligated to Open Its Borders to Those Who Campaign for Its Destruction

This week, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the government’s decision to expel Omar Shakir, an American citizen employed by the anti-Israel group Human Rights Watch, and an advocate of the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). The verdict has of course been condemned as undemocratic, an assault on free speech, and the like. But these condemnations are nonsensical, writes Ben-Dror Yemini:

Canada banned former British parliamentarian and vehement Israel-hater George Galloway; France banned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, [a prominent Islamist and jihadist thinker]; Britain banned the American anti-gay protester Fred Phelps and his daughter . . . from entering the country, as well as Michael Savage, a far-right conservative radio host; the U.S. denied entry to the Filipina human rights activist Liza Maza who intended to attend a conference on American activity in her country; and recently, both the U.S. and Britain banned the entrance of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement.

It’s safe to assume that anti-Israeli elements will resume their usual drivel about damage to free speech, which is curious given that Shakir himself is an advocate of harming free speech. In 2015, Shakir signed a petition calling for a boycott of Muslims who dared accept the invitation of the Hartman Institute (a Jerusalem-based center for pluralistic Jewish thought and education) for an educational tour of Israel.

Every country has the right to deny entry to agitators, and there’s no country in the world that would allow a person who denies its right to exist enter its borders. This is true of Israel as well.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: BDS, Human Rights Watch, Supreme Court of Israel

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform