Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meir Ettinger and "Administrative Orders"

Michael L.

{Also published at The Jewish Press and Jews Down Under.}

Writing in Israel National News, Shlomo Pyotrkovsky tells us:
meir 12Be'er Sheva district court judge Yisrael Pablo Axelrod on Sunday rejected the petition to release Meir Ettinger from his administrative detention for several hours on Monday so as to attend the brit milah (circumcision) of his firstborn son.

Ettinger has been held for the past eight months without trial or charges against him on administrative orders, a relic from the British Mandate which has almost exclusively been used against Arab terror suspects.
Meir Ettinger is the grandson of the much despised Meir Kahane... who many Jews confuse with the Devil. Kahane's Kach Party was, in the late 1980s, deemed a racist political party and the government barred members from running for the Knesset.

Ettinger is what is commonly referred to as a "Hilltop Youth." That is, he is among the generation of young Israelis who believe strongly for religious reasons in the connection of the Jewish people to our traditional homeland and are willing to risk the unhappiness of the government by settling non-annexed outposts in Judea and Samaria beyond that Holy of Holies, the "green line."

I am the kind of guy who is often accused of thinking that Israel can do no wrong. In fact, I have plenty of criticisms concerning Israel and the fact that they are holding people in prison without charge is one of them.

I don't care if the person is an Arab or a Muslim or a Jew or a Rosicrucion, it is a violation of the most fundamental premises of the political Enlightenment for a government to detain anyone for an extended period of time without charges being brought against the person.

{Do I really need to remind anyone of this?}

This is a little thing that we in the West like to refer to as Habeas Corpus.

There is no right derived from the European liberal tradition more basic than the right to not be thrown into the clink without charges being raised, without access to an attorney of law, and without being allowed to face one's accuser.

Perhaps I am just biased towards the Constitution of the United States and its fourth amendment within the Bill of Rights that guarantees that the "right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."

In other words, it is against the law in the United States to throw anyone in prison without due process and due process requires a trial by jury.

There are certain things that anger me about Israel, such as its policies in regard the Temple Mount, but this issue is something that I can agree upon with the most virulent demonizers of Israel.

It violates basic standards of human decency to hold people without charge for months on end. It is simply wrong and, to the extent that people are held in detention within Israel without access to a fair trial, the practice must end.

It may have been a story around Meir Ettinger that caught my eye, but the fundamental principle of a right of trial by jury needs to be extended to every citizen of the State of Israel no matter what their ideological beliefs.

Pyotrkovsky writes:
Ettinger is being imprisoned in extreme conditions of solitary confinement and is not being allowed any phone calls except to several close family members, even though there has been no evidence or indictment presented against him for any crime.
I would not care if this guy was the grandson of Yassir Arafat, this is unacceptable.


  1. There is certainly a legal question over any detainment without charge.
    I imagine they believe - with good cause - that he is extremely dangerous. And considering his views and his extremism, that is probably true.
    I am against *all* religious extremists. Regardless of what religion they belong to. I am even more against all religious extremists who *act* on their extremism. And who cause harm to others.

    1. I do not really know a whole lot about this guy, but I am starting to get curious.

      What would Yishai Fleisher say about him, I wonder.

    2. You know enough about him.
      You know what he stands for, and what he's responsible for.
      People who don't believe in the rule of law and don't believe in democracy because of extreme messianic religious beliefs are dangerous. His crew certainly are. They're appalling.

    3. Kate, what is the guy responsible for?

    4. Everything about him and his movement is provocative. It is not an acceptable thing in a democracy to believe that you can override the rule of law. Or rely on religious texts rather than the law of the land. They deliberately spread hate and have been associated with hate-crimes. Probably murder. I don't think it's difficult to oppose what he stands for. You would if he were an American in America. Democracies deserve their citizens to want to be governed by the democratic laws that people vote for. People whose religious views are so extreme that they think those laws can be disposed of are going to be a threat to peace.

      There is a huge debate in Israel and beyond about how some pockets of settlers are, effectively, creating a separate state. One governed by messianic religious beliefs not democratic values.
      That is a serious threat to the cohesion of the country. A really serious threat.

    5. He's a family member of the "enemy of the People". Is'n that enough?
      He's in jail because we don't like him. Democracy!

    6. I think that I need to read more into the "Hilltop Youth" movement.

      So, these are young, theocratically-idealistic Jews who favor a Torah-based society over liberal Democracy with a powerful attachment to the land.

      Kate says that they have a tendency to spread hatred... presumably toward Arabs and Muslims and that they are, essentially, a destabilizing force within Israeli society.

      This is making me more and more curious about these guys.

      Are they hate-filled in the way, for example, that the Westboro Baptist Church in the US is hate-filled?

      In any case, I don't see where any of this justifies holding a man in solitary for months on end without charge. Either there is evidence of a specific crime or there is not. If there is not, then he needs to be released... as I hope we can agree.

      But is the "Hilltop Youth" movement a racist political movement spreading hatred?

      And what would they say about themselves?

      Personally, I believe that we have every right to build housing for ourselves anywhere on our traditonal home of our ancestors, which obviously includes Judea and Samaria, so long as the property is purchased from the rightful owner.

      I referenced Yishai Fleisher because he is a Jew living on that land who does not strike me as unreasonable, although I do not know the entirety of his thinking on the issue.

      In any case, I see nothing the least bit unethical about Jews living where the Jewish people come from. It may be politically difficult, but this is primarily due to unreasoning, and Koranically-based, Arab-Muslim prejudice against the Jewish people and, therefore, should not be respected.

      And we need to say so.

    7. Secular countries permit - quite correctly - for freedom of worship, association, and speech. They do not permit for factions who would rather see a theocracy and who attempt to set one up in opposition to democracy. Nor does a country that wishes for the possibility of peace gain from having people who do things that, by definition, make that less likely. Some of what you advocate does just that.
      The possibility of peace is, at the moment, unless one is blind, very difficult to envisage. However, everyone who can, should do everything that is possible, to help not make it worse. Difficult, when everyone is so fraught, certainly. But absolutely necessary.

    8. Oh, and with this lot, we're back to "honour culture." When you take the law into your own hands, and believe you have the right to retaliate without relying on the law, that's where you're going.
      In a secular country the police and the army are not driven by religious motives. Some of what this lot are about is to change that. And it's very alarming. And it's not surprising that that is taken very seriously by security services. Which it is.

  2. A deceptively tricky and subtle rule. In the US habeas corpus generally refers to the right not to be arrested and held without charges for more than a brief period of time. Even Gitmo detainees in theory are entitled but in many cases the procedural element of having that arrest reviewed is denied. Outside of the US the concept is a bit more slippy - alluding to the right to have one's charge or detention or arrest reviewed by a judge. But again here, you have to fulfill the procedural allowance of review you're not guaranteed that that review will result in your release. In countries like France and Canada there isn't even a law per se about habeas corpus - only procedural allowances for a review of the circumstances of detention by a judge. And in the UK even though there is a law of habeas corpus The Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2005 (repealed and replaced by) Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011, allows for detention w/o charge up to 28 days.

    In Israel the law allows for 6 month renewable detentions - clearly in this case they are routinely renewed. Here is the Wiki page for various administrative detention rules in different countries.


    For the first few decades of Israel's existence this was used by Ben Gurion against right wing opponents - eg Bergson and Meridor.

  3. Yeah, loveable old Bernie.
    Perhaps he is so ill-informed that he genuinely doesn't know what he's taking about. Who knows? Either that or he's playing to his base. Either option is fairly dreadful. That seems to be true of everything he touches on. His interview with the Daily News was extraordinary in its incoherence. And that was on his favourite subject. It is stunning that people are so admiring of him when his views are either ludicrous or repellent. Still, it's a sign of the times that enough of America is taking Trump and Sanders seriously. Both populists who are insanely out of their depth.
    Hillary can start planning the new kitchen in the apartment in the White House.
    And after Hillary...the next charismatic celebrity to throw their hat into the ring - under the banner of the DNC.
    That's pretty alarming.

    1. "Either that or he's playing to his base."
      I'm not at all sure he is any different than his base. I think the ideological circles he travels are pretty well established, and they think in circles.
      This is the guy who gushed over Cuba, i.e., a police state where wage earners bring home about $25 a month, because it has free health care. He was an admirer of the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. I should disclose that so was I for a time. In the 1980's the Sandinista regime,, oh, excuse me, I mean the "struggle" (Kampf, in German BTW) was THE big cause. Bernie's supporters see him as the 2nd coming of FDR, but I don't think Roosevelt would have seen either Cuba or Nicaragua as the "land of enchantment." The first thing Bernie did was to go after young people, i.e., get the idealistic, not worldly, yet very energetic youth on his side - kids who have no recollection of the Cold War and the sinister side of state socialism. In doing so I personally find him not just smart but smarmy. (After all, there is a reason crackpot causes like "Palestine" appear on college campuses.) Maybe if it weren't for the Trump phenomenon (now, I think, coming to a close), the MSM might have taken a more serious and honest look at Bernie Sanders, somewhat more than "he's giving Hillary a run for the money". Up until now he's gotten the same kind of vetting as the stealthy Barack Obama did.
      I don't think that people like Bernie Sanders who spends a career consciously and publicly letting everyone know he is not a Democrat should be running for the Democratic nomination.

    2. No, I agree. I don't think he is any different from his base.
      He's really a kind of Chomskyite. Fellow traveller of the Soviet Union. Never gone back on his support for that regime. Never not supported every totalitarian hard-left regime as long as it's anti -America. Thinks the Khmer Rouge were not responsible for the genocide in Cambodia; it was, of course, America. Thinks breadlines in Communist countries are "fairer." It's the usual litany of someone who was a communist in the early part of the twentieth century and never grew out of it. Never was able to confront the crimes of the ideology they supported. Disingenuous and dishonourable. Worse than that. And it's a measure of something that he's been "Bernie" as if he's sort of harmless. He's not. His views are vile.

      You can get away with a lot in Vermont. There's not much
      you really have to know. It allows you to be able to say that the catastrophe that is Detroit is due to "bad trade deals." People whose politics is all about Marxist economic theory see *nothing* else. It's like a childlike template applied to every problem regardless of how complex. There's only ever one answer. "Power" is bad. "Exploitation," "Power," Oppression," all bad. Just keep repeating. Israel is bad because it has power. America is bad because it has power. Blah, blah. No wonder it goes down well with college students, and Hollywood liberals who can't wait for the revolution while they sit in multi-million dollar houses protected from any kind of reality.
      The interesting thing about Bernie Sanders - one of them - is his views are repellent and largely made up of slogans, and when he is actually asked to explain how anything works, he has no idea. It's the politics of an unpleasant fool. He should have been more scrutinized but, as you say, the media circus surrounding Trump has pushed everything else out.
      Still, Jeremy Corbyn likes him. And Bernie seemed to wish Corbyn well. They have a lot in common.
      People have given Sanders a free pass because he believes in "equality." But if your idea of "equality" is Cuba or the Soviet Union, you have a serious problem. If you have nothing to say about human rights in Cuba, or the fact that it is a totalitarian dictatorship, you really have a problem.
      I don't think politics has ever - in the modern era - been in such a dire state. In America and in Europe.

      When Hillary is in office, is she going to have to offer Sanders a serious job to take notice of his support?

    3. "I don't think politics has ever - in the modern era - been in such a dire state. In America and in Europe. "

      No. Not in my lifetime, anyway.

    4. Yes. And I can't see why it won't just get worse. Scary.

      Can I just confirm: Regardless of how unpopular Clinton is or how well Sanders does, super-delegates will definitely vote Clinton the nomination? They've already said they will.
      So what happens to the Democratic party after that? Does it break up like the GOP?

  4. True colours Trudy. Sanders is as bad as any of them.

  5. and keep in mind that Bernie is the 'moderate' Senator from VT when it comes to Jew hate. Pat Leahy is clinically insane and is calling for what can only be called war crimes trials against Israel.

    Look, American is a big country with the freedom to adopt any point of view. Fair enough. But any American Jews who vote D need to just strap on a suicide belt, salute the Quran and get to work. And even if it turns out that Bernie plays to form as is an isolationist and he has no particular thoughts or ideas about foreign policy at all, this sort of antisemitism is something he truly believes and he believes his minions want to hear. Is it really such a leap from his endless caterwauling "Millionaires and Billionaires, Millionaires and Billionaires, Millionaires and Billionaires" to the inevitable "Those goddamn Jews control all the banks!!!" No it is not.

    1. Sorry to be commenting a lot.

      The politics of the "hard-left" which is what Sanders' politics are, always comes back to: Jews= Finance =Capitalists =Capitalism. And Capitalism is always the enemy of all that is *good*. It's a simple equation.

      The hard-left have taken over the British Labour party, and now we are seeing a party that is out of control with its antisemitism. And they don't care. Why would they? It's a vote-winner for them.
      Really bad times.
      And America is not immune.

  6. Mike,
    This lot are worse than the Westboro lot. The Westboro people make sure to act *within* the law. They can be as hateful and offensive as they want as long as they stay within the bounds of peaceful protest. And the Westboros take full advantage of their constitutional rights. They protest "peacefully" and know exactly what their rights are. One can loathe them as much as one wants - a very great deal - but still be aware that in America they have the right to do as they do. And that is a good thing. They do not " physically" harm anyone or any place. If they did, the full force of the law would come down on them. As it should.
    This other lot act outside of the law. And are prepared to harm people and places. And they do.
    Which is why the security services are so concerned about them.

  7. "The joke is over. Done. Finished. Time to quit laughing. What a creepy character this man has turned out to be.

    After that comment accusing Israel of “killing 10,000 innocents in Gaza,” Bernie Sanders is no longer a cuddly, lovable old man. His ability to charm millions, this time with an awesome blood libel, Bernie, this Communist Senator from Vermont, is now officially the creepiest and most dangerous man in America...."