I've been asked in recent days if I am angry at the High Court justices because they rejected the petition I submitted on the Greek island affair. Of course I am disappointed, but not only am I not angry at them, I understand them.
After all, what do we want from the justices? As opposed to what is said about our Supreme Court, the justices live among the people, they are not closed up in an ivory tower, and so they feel very well the winds of time and place, which are evil winds, and threaten the court. They have felt the attacks on the High Court, that it is "a branch of Meretz," "doesn't represent the people," is a "disconnected, patronizing clique," "not Jewish," "accomplices of the enemies of Israel" and the rest of the wild, baseless insults thrown at them.
Many MKs declared an unholy war against the court, which is in their way and prevents them from feeding at the public trough, and they have made up their minds to move it out of their way. The justices no doubt understood the heavy hints sent their way, and it is very possible they made up their minds to "defend the home." Maybe up there in the hall of justice they reached the conclusion that if you adjudicate too much, you aren't doing justice, and if they go too far in their verdicts, they won't survive.
Those who would do evil against the Supreme Court have not gotten all they want, but they have come out of the clash with half of what they wanted - the unruly justices were self-restrained. Not everything is adjudicable as it was only the day before, and not everyone is judged like the proverbial common man Buzaglo. The justices are apparently right: If they are not careful, we will all end up without a Supreme Court worthy of the name. Thus, while their feathers have been plucked, at least they can still manage to take off on occasion.
We, the incorrigible petitioners, are also to blame. I personally feel guilty: We have loaded the court with more than it can handle. We don't go back to court easily, seeking its help, over and over again. When we encountered cases of corruption and abuse of power that turned our stomachs, where could we go, to whom could we turn out eyes in the hope that someone would come to our aid? Not to the government, nor to the Knesset in its current composition, not even to the "public's judgment," which no longer exists. There was simply nowhere else to go but the High Court.
Often I've sat in the court room, watching the justices - particularly the president, Justice Aharon Barak - and tried to read their minds. It seemed, to me at least,that the justices had their fill ofus, the obsessive petitioners; that they are angry because of all people, we, loyalists of the court, push them into corners from which they have nowhere to turn: woe to them if they decide one way and woe if they choose the other. On the same day they have to take on the unbearable responsibility to advance the date of the general elections by a year - against the wishes of the ruling part and its partners - to delay the construction of the fence because of its violent path risking once again accusations that they "help terrorists," and now we expect them to order an indictment be filed against the prime minister, and by the way force him to immediately resign.
If the justices are indeed angry, they are right. The court, even if it wanted, cannot run the country through its verdicts. It cannot correct all that is wrong and twisted, and they certainly are not to blame for the bankruptcy of the government and Knesset. They certainly have the right to say to themselves: why are you picking on us every other day? Pull yourselves together, gird your loins and try harder - but leave us alone.
There is no person in Israel I admire more than the president of the Supreme Court, Justice Barak, for the breadth of his knowledge and education, his decency and courage. There is nobody among us nowadays who is his equal in imprinting our country for generations to come with something good. But even his strength is not the strength of stone, and he, too, can tire.
Therefore, I am not angry at him - heaven forbid. My heart goes out to him, and I even allow myself to guess what he really thinks about Greek islands and the great and polluted sea around them. And more than I have compassion for this rare man, I am struck by pity for us.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now