For a Better Justice System, Look to Israel


Thursday, March 1, 2018

On Tuesday, February 13th, Israeli police recommended the indictment of Prime Minister Netanyahu on two corruption charges. Reportedly, the Prime Minister offered political favors in exchange for gifts totaling one million shekels ($280,000). The second case involves supposed “bartering” with the owner of Yedioth Ahronoth, a newspaper critical of Mr. Netanyahu. While no one knows for sure how these investigations will pan out, they are certain to have serious ramifications in the Middle East and across the globe.  

Now, I am a fan of the Prime Minister, and, if I were Israeli, I would have voted for him. Yet, my personal political views hold no sway over my views on legal matters. If Netanyahu is guilty, he should resign and be punished accordingly under Israeli law. The same goes for any politician in any country, whether or not I agree with his or her politics.  

The politicization of our criminal justice system here in America needs to be addressed. It is a detriment to our country and furthers the growing partisan divide in the United States.  Whether it is the shrill cry of impeachment from the left or the juvenile shouts of  “Lock Her Up!” from Trump supporters, it is permanently damaging America and trust Americans hold for our institutions. If this trend continues, trust in the FBI and other intelligence agencies will surely decline. At a time when Russia is attempting to hijack our Republic and foreign terrorists seek to infiltrate our homeland, this is the last thing we need.  

Fortunately for Israelis (and unfortunately for the Prime Minister), their country has a far better record in dealing with political-charged crime. For instance, zero American Presidents have served jail time, while, in her comparatively short 70 years, Israel has had two heads of state convicted. In 2011, former President Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape, though he was released in 2016. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced in 2015 to six years in prison for bribery.  

In America, on the other hand, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton walked away without serving a day in prison. Equally concerning is the growing partisan divide surrounding political investigations. We should be united in our search for the truth. We should all want to get to the bottom of both the Russia investigation and Hillary’s email scandal.  

Why does America do such a terrible job at prosecuting criminals in our government? I don’t know the answer to that question, but for solutions, we ought to look to Israel.  

I believe that a strong justice system is essential in a democratic society. In order for our Constitution to be upheld and our liberties defended, we need a powerful judiciary, independent from political influence. I emphasize the latter part because lately, fellow conservatives have bemoaned so-called “judicial supremacy” following arguably partisan lower court decisions (such as the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against Executive Order 13780).

The problem we face is an increasingly partisan court system, with activist judges (particularly on the left) legislating from the bench. One key way to restore integrity to our courts is to reinstate the 60 vote requirement for all judicial nominees. Absent cases of a Senate super majority, appointments would have to be bipartisan.

Across the board, Israel trumps America’s justice system.  Israel’s judicial system is powerful and, generally speaking, politically independent. In his book The Case for Israel, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz writes at length about Israel’s justice system, and its role in protecting the liberty of both Israelis and Palestinians. He writes:

Faced with comparable dangers both internal and external, no nation in history has ever tried so hard to require its military to operate within the rule of law.  The Israeli Supreme Court, by all accounts one of the finest in the world, has played a far greater role in controlling the Israeli military than any court in history has ever played in the conduct of military affairs, including in the United States.

In order to truly “Make America Great Again,” President Trump must support our justice system.  Of course, the President will never do this, as he himself is under investigation for potential collusion with Russia.  

If I were Netanyahu right now, I would be pretty darn scared. And if I were Yair Lapid (Netanyahu’s main rival), I’d be having a blast. We cannot know for sure what will happen in the next several months, but, judging from history, Netanyahu should be running for the hills.

Jake Fradkin is an incoming freshman at Georgetown University. Jake's interests include mathematics, politics, history, tennis, and writing (and his dog Hulio). His writing tends to focus on the Constitution and foreign affairs.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.

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About Jake Fradkin

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Jake Fradkin is an incoming freshman at Georgetown University. Jake's interests include mathematics, politics, history, tennis, and writing (and his dog Hulio). His writing tends to focus on the Constitution and foreign affairs.

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