Ethical Dilemmas In Israel - ãéìîåú àúéåú áéùøàì
Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
Did you download this file and do you have something to share?
This is the place!
to get the chanichim to begin to get involved and interested (on their own accord) in Israeli politics
Trigger: give the group a background on how
Method: Break up into small groups of 7, 9 or 11 – make sure there are an uneven number of teens per group.
Once in the group, tell the teens that they are a group of judges now convened in order to make decisions on three vital issues in
The group should discuss each issue and take a vote on each one of them. Make it clear that they can make any decision they want – it doesn’t have to be a yes/no answer. Like the US Supreme Court, they can decide whatever they want. They also need to choose one person from the group who will present to the big group their decision and how they made it. (30 minutes).
Try to get through both cases, but if you only get through one, that’s fine. There’s a lot of information, so use your discretion about when to skip paragraphs, or when to stop and discuss. ** If you have extra time, you could talk what the role of America/American Jews can or should be with each of these dilemmas or you could go into other dilemmas such as:
Geneva accord is all about promoting peace in Israel, but it is done by people who don’t belong to the Israeli government. Should these people be allowed to do that?
- Israeli army pilots do not want to bomb certain places the army needs them to. Should they listen to their commanders or to their guts?
Conclude with the statement that
We all gather back in the Beit Kehila (last 30 minutes).
Each group representative explains what their group decision was. If there’s time, we will take a straw poll on what people think really happened. (ie. “If you think the Supreme Court said yes, raise your hand…”)
The staff then explains what really happened if the issue has been resolved.
1) The case on the security barrier
2) The case of the legality of the interrogation methods
End with the message that they should all keep themselves informed on these issues!
The Supreme Court- Background
The Supreme Court is at the head of the court system in the State. It is the highest judicial instance. The Supreme Court sits in
Judges: The number of Supreme Court justices is determined by a resolution of the Knesset. Usually, twelve justices serve in the Supreme Court. At the head of the Supreme Court and at the head of the judicial system as a whole stands the President of the Supreme Court, and at his side, the Deputy President.
Justices are selected by the Committee to Select Judges and are formally appointed by the President of the State. The President of the Supreme Court is the Justice who has served on the Court for the longest period of time. Cases are usually heard by a panel of three Justices; however, the President of the Supreme Court has the authority to appoint a larger panel when deemed necessary. The panel is always composed of an uneven number of Justices.
CASE 1: Another Brick in the Wall: The case of
The path of the barrier generally travels along
According to government studies, in areas where the fence has been completed, the rate of terrorist and criminal incursions into
On the other hand, the wall has caused great hardship for thousands of Palestinians, who are prevented by the security barrier from accessing their farms, as well as from traveling to schools and markets. These hardships have led to about twenty cases challenging the barrier's route to be brought before the Israeli Supreme Court.
You are the judges of the Supreme Court. You must reach a decision about this case – is the construction of the “security barrier” legal?
Information to consider: WHY THE WALL IS NECESSARY
Second, the fence is not a permanent political border but a temporary security barrier. A fence can always be removed. Recently,
That is precisely what
Third, despite what some have argued, fences have proved highly effective against terrorism. Of the hundreds of suicide bombings that have taken place in
The obstacle to peace is not the fence but Palestinian leaders who unlike past leaders like Anwar Sadat of
In the last four years, Palestinian terrorists have attacked
Benjamin Netanyahu is
WHY THE WALL IS A BAD IDEA
According to B’Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the
The construction of the barrier has brought new restrictions on movement for Palestinians living near the barrier's route, in addition to the widespread restrictions that have been in place since the outbreak of the current Intifada. Thousands of Palestinians have difficulty going to their fields and marketing their produce in other areas of the
The erection of the barrier will also significantly reduce access of the rural population to the hospitals in nearby cities. The educational system will also be harmed because many teachers come from outside the communities in which they teach. Social and family ties will also be hampered by this new reality.
In deciding to build a barrier to prevent attacks within
According to the State Comptroller's report from 2002, most of the Palestinians who perpetrated attacks in
Even if we accept
CASE 2: When is Torture ok?
Background: It has been known since the beginning of the State of Israel, that some of the most effective ways to get information about a terror attack is by interrogation. Through intense interrogation, many attacks have been prevented, and lives have been saved. However, it is also known that one of the most effective ways of retrieving information is by using a certain amount of “physical pressure”, for example, shaking a suspect, holding him in a particular painful position for a lengthy period of time and sleep deprivation. Human rights activists are concerned that “moderate physical pressure” may amount to torture.
You are the judges of the Supreme Court. You must reach a decision about this case – should it be made legal to use physical force when it comes to security matters?
Some information to consider:
1) GENEVA Convention against Torture (CAT)
This convention bans torture under all circumstances and establishes the UN Committee against Torture. In particular, it defines torture, requires states to take effective legal and other measures to prevent torture, declares that no state of emergency, other external threats, nor orders from a superior officer or authority may be invoked to justify torture. It forbids countries to return a refugee to his country if there is reason to believe he/she will be tortured, and requires host countries to consider the human rights record of the person's native country in making this decision.
The CAT requires states to make torture illegal and provide appropriate punishment for those who commit torture. It requires states to assert jurisdiction when torture is committed within their jurisdiction, either investigate and prosecute themselves, or upon proper request extradite suspects to face trial before another competent court. It also requires states to cooperate with any civil proceedings against accused torturers
2) Case Study
The petitioner in one case, HCJ 7563/97 (Abd al Rahman Ismail Ganimat) was arrested on
His interrogation revealed that he was involved in numerous terrorist activities, which resulted in the deaths of many Israeli citizens. He was instrumental in the kidnapping and murder of Sharon Edry, an IDF soldier. Additionally, he was involved in the bombing of Cafe “Appropo” in Tel Aviv, in which three women were murdered and thirty people were injured. He was charged with all these crimes and convicted at trial. He was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus an additional twenty years in prison.
What the Court Really Decided
The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in June 2004 that a (2 mile long) contentious section of the barrier built by
A 34-page ruling issued by a three-judge panel of the court found that a partially completed portion of the route "…which separates the local inhabitants from their agricultural lands -- injures the local inhabitants in a severe and acute way, while violating their rights under humanitarian international law."
Building the barrier along a route that would separate thousands of farmers from their olive groves and other lands "severely violates their right of property and their freedom of movement," said the justices, who concluded, "The difficult reality of life from which they have suffered will only become more severe."
The Israeli military, which chose the barrier's route and is overseeing its construction, said in a statement that it would shift the path of an 18-mile section to meet the court's demands.
The Court held that the GSS was not authorized to employ investigation methods that involve the use of physical pressure against a suspect if it means violating human rights, because it is currently against Israeli law, which is made by the Knesset and not the court.
BUT if an investigator is facing charges because of physical pressure, the defense may claim that it was out of necessity that these deeds were done. This is because of
The basic thought was that were this to be allowed, it would raise issues of “law and society, of ethics and policy, and of the Rule of Law and security”, knowing that
One of the Judges, Justice Kedmi, wrote that the Knesset has one year to review that law and make the decision. During that year, “the GSS could employ exceptional methods in those rare cases of “ticking time bombs”, on the condition that explicit authorization is given by the Attorney General.”