Three newspapers comment on the continuing controversy over the "Boycott Law" and on the proposal by one of its sponsors to give the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee veto power of the appointment of Supreme Court judges:
Yediot Aharonot believes that "In a democratic society, it is allowed to boycott," and says that while the law’s original idea – to deny benefits to Israelis who advocate boycotts to the world – may have been proper, "something became mixed-up along the way." The author believes that the law "attests not to patriotism but the opposite – to an attempt to enforce a mood of patriotism. And law cannot enforce a mood." However, the paper says that "While the law is unjust, the opposition to it is completely exaggerated," and faults both the extreme Left and Kadima for their florid rhetoric.
Haaretz terms the Boycott Law as “a type of uncrossable red line in terms of the constitutional problems it poses.” Noting the statement by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein that he views the law’s wording as borderline, the editor states that “when it comes to issues that strike at the heart of Israeli democracy and the Basic Laws, the body of constitutional codes whose purpose is to protect it from problematic legislation, the attorney general must place himself on the correct side of the red line, without hesitation or rationalization,” but adds, however, that “If Weinstein stands behind the official statement issued in his name, and indeed believes that the law’s wording is "borderline" and poses a type of red line, then he should not represent the government in the expected legal battle over the law before the High Court.”
Ma’ariv says that current method of selecting Supreme Court judges is far from perfect and notes that in many countries the legislature has a role in selecting judges. However, the author strongly rejects the proposal to give the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee veto power of the appointment of Supreme Court judges because "Until two days ago it was possible to claim that we had a sane Knesset. Dangerous bills did not reach the legislation stage. Not anymore. Two days ago, the Knesset passed a law that calls its sagacity into question. The Boycott Law, which harms Israel and aids its enemies, won a Knesset majority. It would be dangerous to give this majority additional responsibilities. The result is absurd. On the one hand, there is the High Court of Justice, which, over the years, has lost its brakes and is trampling on the separation of powers. On the other hand, there is the Knesset, which, last week, proved that it is also losing its brakes, such that even those who support changing the judicial appointment system, and this includes academics and retired judges, would find it hard to do so now. The Boycott Law has turned the initiatives for change, as correct as they may be in and of themselves, into initiatives that any rational person will keep his distance from."
Yisrael Hayom suggests that given the new Republic of South Sudan’s less than entirely amiable rupture with Arab, Islamic [northern] Sudan, the former and Israel are natural allies. The author contends that from Israel’s perspective, "Forging an alliance with a new country, especially one which is crying out for all possible aid, is likely to somewhat blur the claims regarding ‘apartheid’ in the State of Israel," and asserts that "While investing in the building up of a new nation is correct in the humanitarian sphere, it is also an investment that will, without doubt, reap diplomatic benefits if and when this proves necessary."
The Jerusalem Post discusses the future of gas supply from Egypt in the post-Mubarak era and in light of the constant bombing of the gas pipeline in recent months, and calls on the government to speed up the resolution of all remaining financial snarls and tax wrangles that encumber the production of the huge gas deposits discovered recently in Israel’s territorial waters. The editor declares: “Expecting Israeli self-sufficiency in the energy sphere may be unrealistic, but any moves in that direction at this juncture – when we can no longer complacently depend on Cairo’s goodwill – will help shield us against more undesirable consequences accruing from Egypt’s domestic cataclysm.”
[Yedidia Meyer, Ben-Dror Yemini and Alex Bley wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]