I am passing on, in translation, an email from Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who throws light on how the current Netanyahu government is using the Knesset to chip away at democracy, and at civil liberties and human rights:
Last night (Monday), in one evening, the Israeli Knesset passed two injustices and one putrid compromise. Taken together, they intensify the damage to human rights, and they have no place in a democracy.
This evening was not unusual. Each week, the coalition of Bibi-Lieberman-Barak-Yishai passes regulations, emergency measures, and laws that pulverize Israel’s character as a democratic country.
Most of these things don’t even make it into the headlines, and only a handful of Knesset members – who could be counted on one hand – stand up against this disgrace. Most of them are generally the members of Knesset belonging to Meretz.
Here are a few references and links to this depressing night in the Chamber last night:
Meretz MK Horowitz: “This law undermines the citizen’s right to basic liberty.”
http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4002089,00.html (Hebrew only)
Compromise version of the Selection/Admissions Committee law passed by the Knesset
Meretz MK Ilan Gilon: “There is no moderate or toned-down brand of racism”. Law will allow small communities to prevent acceptance of new residents based on their “socio-cultural fit”.
A special Aliens Court to be established – and run by the Executive Branch
Association for Civil Rights in Israel: “The new court will be entirely under the authority and responsibility of the Justice Ministry and will, in effect, annul the separation of powers. It will also prevent external judicial oversight of the Interior Ministry and will undermine human rights.”
Additional links to these stories in English will be added should they become available.
As Meretz party chair Haim Oron wrote last year:
“A society … does not turn from democratic to fascistic overnight. As history shows, these processes occur in a string of small events. Some of these occur because the establishment is not standing guard over democracy, and some are at the initiative of the establishment itself. Each one of them is a small, almost imperceptible, step, and when it is allowed to pass without anyone taking notice, the boundaries are stretched a bit further. And further. And further. Until one day, the society wakes up to discover that it’s somewhere that, not long ago, we wouldn’t have believed we could be.“
Let’s make sure that people continue to notice.