Former Official Bemoans Government's Disregard of Supreme Court

Human rights activist Yehudit Karp says discrimination against Arab communities in the field of education is just one example of a failure to enforce court rulings.

State authorities are regularly failing to implement Supreme Court rulings and government commitments made to the courts, according to Yehudit Karp, a human rights activist and former deputy attorney general. The state prosecutors office itself is also not abiding by a directive from the attorney general regarding enforcement of court rulings, she says.

Karp detailed her allegations in a lengthy letter sent a week ago to the current attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, and to Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss. The most recent correspondence from Karp follows a similar letter she sent to the three about a year ago alleging that the state had failed in whole or in part to comply with nine court rulings. She also said at time that the Interior Ministry had failed to implement three administrative court rulings.

Arab and Jewish protest Safed
Yaron Kaminsky

The Justice Ministry confirmed receiving Karps letter from last week, saying it will be dealt with.

After receiving the previous letter from Karp, Attorney General Weinstein issued instructions last August ordering the state to abide by the court rulings, but in her letter last week, she said most of the court orders in her earlier letter remain unfulfilled. The details in the new letter were prepared with assistance from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Yesh Din human rights organization and the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights.

Among the High Court rulings that Karp cited in letter last year that have still not been implemented was one arising out of a 2003 petition filed by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee alleging discrimination against Arab communities in the field of education. The court granted the state several time extensions to implement its ruling requiring changes to the map of designated national priority areas. Although the cabinet acted on the matter in December, Arab communities in the north have still not be designated priority locales.

Another case cited in Karps earlier correspondence related to a 2007 High Court ruling requiring the rerouting of the security barrier in the West Bank, which the court said illegally ran through land in the village of Biliin. The ruling has not yet been carried out.

Among cases cited for the first time in Karps second letter is one filed in 2006 with the High Court of Justice in which the court ordered the removal of the West Bank Jewish outpost of Migron. The state acknowledged that the outpost was built on private Palestinian land and made a commitment to the court that it would be evacuated by August 2008, but when the deadline passed, the state told the court the settlers would only be removed when a new neighborhood being built for them in a nearby settlement was ready, but no time frame was set.

Last week Karp cited a 2005 case seeking to compel the Education Ministry to pave an access road to the school in the Negev Bedouin village of Al-Fura. Although the state committed to pave the road in 2006, the project has still not been carried out, Karp wrote.