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Letters to the Editor: Will Israel’s top judges and lawmakers act as checks for each other?

Israelis protest outside the parliament in Jerusalem in March.
Israelis protest Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plan outside the parliament in Jerusalem in March.
(Ariel Schalit / Associated Press)
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To the editor: Israel’s Supreme Court has been solidly left-wing for three decades. Sitting judges have veto power concerning new appointees and have rejected candidates whose ideologies differ from their own.

In the absence of an Israeli constitution, the court has stricken laws considered “unreasonable” by the judges. Judges have also based their rulings on their perceived “intent” of parties to a contract, rather than on the document’s actual wording.

Current supporters of judicial reform have called the extended investigation and three-year corruption trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an attempt to criminalize normal politicking, and an effort to suppress the voice of the people as expressed on election day. That it now seems the charges may be dismissed for lack of evidence certainly supports this position.

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I hope all parties will work together to create a system in which the Knesset and the court can act as checks and balances for each other.

Toby F. Block, Atlanta, Ga.

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To the editor: Letter writer Peter A. Brier ignores the fact that Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, an international treaty, which incorporates by reference the 1922 Palestine Mandate and the 1920 San Remo agreement, declares all of what is Israel to be the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people. Thus, Israel is an ethnic democracy not a liberal democracy whose Jewish aspirations are embraced by the United Nations Charter and the U.N. members who are required to obey it.

Richard Sherman, Margate, Fla.

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