Thursday, 19 July 2007

Jewish only Roads in Israel

The common defence or reply to bringing up the fact that Israel has "Jewish only" roads is "they're not Jewish only, they're Israeli, Arab Israeli's can use them as well".

This is wrong, at least in a legal sense.

In The Attorney-General of the Government of Israel v. Eichmann the Israeli Supreme Court at paragraph 38 held that Israel is "the sovereign state of the Jewish people". Therefore yes, the roads are for Israeli's. De jure this means that only Jews. The law is pretty plain here. You could argue de facto Arab's are permitted to use them, but I haven't been able to find any scholarly reliable evidence for either side, all I see are rants.

Alan Dershowitz seems to think this is no big deal. In a debate with Noam Chomsky, who just cited Eichmann he states:

Oh, that's like saying that British roads are roads of the sovereign Anglican people.

This is a joke. I've read quite a few cases in my time and have never come across this definition. "English men" is common, rights are for "English men". I don't have access to Westlaw anymore so can't do a proper search, but I'm sure I won't find such nonsense - perhaps only in the ancient cases.

Only fundamentalist states attribute religion to national identity in law. Israel is, sadly, such a case.

Edit: In the English constitution our Head of State is actually, legally, "defender of the faith" which is singular. At least it didn't provide a faith but the racist term needs to be changed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is flawed. if it's true, plead it out. give me a facutal pleading, not a importation of one clause into another unrelate clause and call that honest intepretation.