Friday, May 18, 2012
Chief Justice Beinisch's Ultimate Assault against Israeli Democracy and Rule of Law
until retiring recently. While already retired, she is still writing
verdicts for some cases that began while she was on the bench.
Beinisch was the worst Israeli practitioner of the anti-democratic
doctrine of "judicial activism," which holds that court judges can
just make up laws and "right" as they go along and that unelected
judges should have the right to veto and dictate laws against the will
of the elected representatives of the people. In other words,
judicial activism is judicial tyranny.
Yesterday Beinisch and two other judges issued what is without a
doubt one of the very WORST court rulings in Israeli history, and for
that matter one of the worst in the history of the democratic world.
The ruling is based on illiteracy and ignorance. But even worse,
for all intents and purposes it overrides the fundamental principle of
all democracies that one is innocent until proven guilty. Beinisch's
latest venture into judicial activism is to reverse that principle
when it comes to women claiming to be victims of discrimination.
Henceforth in Israel employers will be presumed guilty unless they can
prove that they are innocent whenever any woman can be found who drew
a salary less than any man.
This act of sabotage of Israeli democracy was triggered by a suit
in which a woman claimed she was underpaid due to the fact that she
was a woman. Under Beinisch's new "law," employers will be presumed
guilty of discrimination whenever a woman employee claims she was paid
less than a male employee. It does not matter WHY she was paid less.
And the woman does not even have to prove she suffered any damages
from the discrimination she alleges took place.
So a panel of three judges who have probably never taken an
economics course in their entire lives presume to pontificate about
what the causes and sources of pay disparities are in the labor
marketplace. Their position is clearly that each and every wage
disparity must be presumed to be a reflection of discrimination unless
it can be proven otherwise. And proving otherwise is an extremely
complicated and burdensome affair.
Consider the following: it has been established statistically
that fat people on average earn less than thin people. Under the
Beinisch rules the simple fact of such a disparity must be presumed to
be a reflection of discrimination against fat people. But there is no
reason at all to think this is the case, and at least a thousand
alternative explanations for why such a gap in wages exists, having
nothing at all to do with discrimination. Fat people may be less
healthy on average than thin people, may suffer more injuries, may be
unable to perform certain job functions (such as climbing telephone
polls). In addition fat people may be characterized more often by
certain personality characteristics than are thin people. They may
have less self-discipline, less ability to delay gratification, less
perseverance. Certainly less energy. They also may have less
interest in certain types of education or jobs compared with what
appeals to thin people. If ANY of these many reasons explains the gap
in wages, discrimination has been ruled out.
But notice the difficulty. It is not a trivial matter to prove
in a statistical or legal way which of the reasons explains the
fat-thin pay gap. Ordinarily, the burden of proof for any fat person
claiming that the reason for a lower pay is discrimination against fat
folk would be on the plaintiff, who would have to provide persuasive
evidence that the other 1000 conceivable factors and reasons are not
the actual cause.
And the exact same problem exists for pay disparities between
the tall and the short (which also exist), or male-female, or
Jewish-Arab, or Ashkenazi-Sephardi, or young-old pay disparities. The
truth is that in many cases it is not clear at all what precisely
produces a specific pay disparity. My wife is a university faculty
member like me and makes more money than I do. Under the Beinisch
rule this proves I am a victim of discrimination and I can sue the
university. (She would insist that the REAL reason is that she is
simply smarter than me, which is why it is just and proper that I have
to do all the hoovering in the house.) I have not done sued – I
prefer the legal redress solution of helping my Missus spend all the
I have never in my life met a student who believes he got the
grade he deserved, and I have never met a person who gets the salary
he thinks he deserves. Since everyone thinks they have been cheated
and shortchanged by the universe in some way, everyone has a
grievance. Courts that operate based on common sense do not make
judgments based on complaints and feelings of people. Plaintiffs have
to prove their claims with hard evidence.
But not in the post-Beinisch version of Israel's Brave New World.
Every feeling of resentment and sense of having been shortchanged will
be presumed to be objectively valid and reflecting discrimination.
Equality patrols and a Soviet-like wage boards of bureaucrats will
intervene and dictate to every single employer in the country what
wage should be paid to which employee. Employers will have to spend
the bulk of their resources fighting off the Equality Patrols and
producing proof that they have NOT discriminated, leaving them with
little time to do things like produce goods and services.
Israel's feminists are beside themselves with glee at all this.
Part of the irony here is that the immediate defense tactic of many
employers will be to desist from hiring women altogether, to avoid
comparisons of male and female pay, in order to save themselves from
being harassed by the Equality Terrorists.
But the more serious and long-lasting damage is that in her last
gasps as a judge, Madame Beinisch is underlying the basic principles
of judicial democracy in Israel. Here is a dangerous precedent that
regards you and me as guilty unless we can provide overwhelming
econometric evidence and scientific analysis showing that we are
2. Stop Funding Tel Aviv University
by Michael Freund
The Jewish Press
May 16, 2012
Be the first of your friends to like this.
One of Israel's leading universities seems to have lost its way.
In a move that is as incomprehensible as it is shameful, Tel Aviv
University (TAU) agreed to allow a student group to hold a ceremony
commemorating "Nakba Day," when Palestinians bemoan the establishment
of the state of Israel.
The event included the reading of Palestinian poetry, a moment of
silence and the recitation of an alternative version of the Yizkor
prayer Jews traditionally say in memory of their loved ones.
In case their intent was unclear, the organizers of this anti-Israel
hatefest went out of their way to elucidate the reasons behind it,
with one telling Haaretz in no uncertain terms that Israelis need to
realize that, "We're talking about a disaster that must be known on a
Another student involved in planning the event said she saw it as a
way "to remember the tragedy and great loss that befell the people who
were here before '48."
Have these people lost their minds? What on earth would prompt Jewish
students at an Israeli institution of higher education to lament the
founding of their own country?
Clearly, something is very wrong at Tel Aviv University. Though
ostensibly a Zionist institution, its administration ignored the pleas
of various public figures and permitted this outrage to go forward.
Indeed, for an institution whose website states that it has "a deep
commitment to Israeli society and the Jewish people," it is hard to
fathom what would prompt university officials to sign off on such
After all, this has nothing to do with the boundaries of free speech
or the fundamental right to criticize one's government. It is about
delegitimizing Israel and attempting to undermine its very existence.
Promoting Nakba Day is a crucial political goal of the Palestinians.
Giving it a platform not only fosters a false narrative of history,
but it also plays directly into the hands of those who wish to
dismantle the Jewish state.
At a time when Israel is facing existential threats from its
neighbors, there can be no excuse for allowing the publicly funded
grounds of an Israeli university campus to serve as a staging area for
assaults on its continued survival.
Clearly, university administrators have lost sight of one of the
essential purposes of education. As the 18th-century political
philosopher Baron de Montesquieu pointed out, the promotion of love
for one's country "ought to be the principal business of education."
This is so patently obvious that it should not even need to be stated.
Then again, given some of the radical faculty that populates various
departments at Tel Aviv University, it should hardly come as a
surprise that this basic idea has been all but overlooked.
As Dr. Steven Plaut and the IsraCampus organization have been
documenting for years, various TAU departments have become hothouses
for anti-Israel hotheads.
These range from a professor who denies that the Jews are a nation to
another who has referred to the residents of Judea and Samaria as
Yet another TAU instructor justified a Palestinian grenade attack on
Israeli soldiers as a legitimate act of resistance while others have
affirmed their support for efforts to boycott the Jewish state.
If you find this hard to believe, just go to the IsraCampus website
(www.isracampus.org.il) and see for yourself how various anti-Zionist
and Marxist loons have been indoctrinating Israel's younger generation
at TAU with toxic views. Anyone concerned for the future of Israel
should be concerned by what is happening on campuses such as Tel Aviv
A growing cadre of Israeli academics are preaching extremist far-left
views and turning the hallowed halls of higher education into profane
pillars of puerile Palestinian propaganda.
There is no reason why the Israeli taxpayer, or pro-Israel Diaspora
Jews, should continue to generously fund TAU even as it serves to
undercut the values they hold dear.
For all their talk of principle, college administrators can be swayed
if enough pressure is applied. And that is what needs to be done in
order to restore some sanity, and Zionist commitment, to Israeli
So the next time you reach for your checkbook and consider making a
donation to Tel Aviv University, do yourself and the Jewish people a
favor: stop and think whether your money is truly going to a good
cause. In the current environment, chances are it isn't.