Lawyers have a very dubious reputation. Since the days of old, they were considered scumbags; advocates being shysters at best; judges as despotic tyrants at worst. Half a millennium ago, Maître Rabelais said: There is no cause so bad that it does not find itself an advocate, otherwise there would be no lawsuits in the world. Judges were considered even worse; the best judge is the one who decides the case by drawing lots, added the Renaissance writer. And still, in his days the legal profession presented a threat but to a private person, not to the realm or to the order of things. Judges are extremely conservative, generalised Vladimir Lenin, himself a lawyer by education, in the beginning of the 20th century.
Well, they aren’t conservative anymore; they are full of zeal to reshape the world. The United States had been the first (and for a long time the only) country in the world to turn yesterday’s scumbags into a powerful threat to the common sense and to the order of things. The legal establishment is omnipotent in the Shining City upon the Hill. They destroyed the tobacco industry by a single decision, ordering sot-weed factors to pay billions to people who enjoyed their smooth and cooling smoke; they ruined Palestine by ordering them and Iranians to pay billions to the Jews who fought them. They may decide that abortion or same-sex marriage is a universal right, while free education and health care are not. They may forbid stopping a foreign invasion, but allow impoverishment of the native citizenry. There never was a king as powerful as the US legal establishment.
The impeachment trial of President Trump is an attempt to dislodge a legitimately elected ruler by quasi-legal methods. If his opponents would rely upon the US voters, they wouldn’t go into this farce. But they know they can’t win; that’s why they want to remove Trump by trying him for his alleged crimes.
In many countries the leaders had been tried and imprisoned, usually on the basis of unsubstantiated claims of ‘corruption’. If in the past, the rulers rarely went to jail; unless after a coup or military defeat; now they are arrested and sentenced at a drop of a hat for disobeying the Deep State orders, too. (The Wikipedia list is whimsical but useful.) In such a way, the leaders are reminded that elections are not the most important thing: they must also act in accordance with the will of establishment, national and Western. If populists are doing what the people want disregarding the establishment’s will, they may well end in prison, like the presidents of Brazil and Argentina did. “Nobody is above the Law!” the lawyers exclaim when they send another leader to jail; and they add, “This is the rule of Law!”
Sorry to say, the rule of law is not a wonderful thing. We have a stark choice whether we want democracy, or the rule of law. These two regimes are not identical, – they stand in direct opposition. In a democracy, the people rule via their elected representatives; under the rule of law, the judges rule supreme. Yes there is the Law, but the judges interpret it as they see fit. They may nullify a law, or reinterpret it in an entirely different vein.
This new tendency of using Law as a tool in politics is the gift of Jews to perplexed mankind. The Jews were traditionally ruled by sages, or judges. Theoretically, Talmudic sages interpreted the Law of Halacha, but actually the rule of Halacha was the rule by sages, and only the Enlightenment broke its iron grip. Jews were set free, but this freedom did not last long. As the world increasingly Judaises, the sages take over the decision-making all over the world.
In England, the Supreme Court had been established quite recently, in 2009, and already it has stopped PM Johnson from achieving Brexit on time. In the US with its highly advanced Judaisation, the Supreme Court blocked every initiative of President Trump. The old witch Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though unelected by the people, still is more powerful than the US President. The legal establishment supported by media can make elections meaningless.
These two non-elected and non-democratic powers of Media and Judiciary entered into conspiracy against the elected parliament and government.
In the smaller Jewish state of Israel, the judges want to govern. They think they know better what should be done than elected statesmen; and they find Bibi Netanyahu too independently minded. He is too friendly with Donald Trump and (God save us!) even with Mr Putin. Netanyahu developed his own electoral base; he does not obey the old elites. For the last few years they have tried to remove Bibi and substitute him with a more pliable politician, like they did years ago with Ehud Olmert.
Ehud Olmert did not have a snowball’s chance in hell. Every day the newspapers and the TV channels broadcast new accusations against him and informed of fresh police investigations. Often the Israeli public learned of Olmert’s alleged misdeeds before the Prime Minister himself did. Police did not just leak the details of the case – they poured it out like tropical torrent. The police went after him; the Supreme Court began deliberations, while newspapers and the TV blew it out of proportion. Thus two mighty powers of Israeli politics, the media and the legal system, united in one effort to unseat Olmert, and he caved in. This episode demonstrated who actually runs Israel. Though media amplifies, the judges judge.
Now, Netanyahu is getting the same treatment. The Police leak horror stories from an investigation room to a selected journalist, and he would spill it all over media. Every time Bibi asked to make accusations public and to allow him to defend himself openly, the Attorney General refused him saying he does not want to have a trial by media – while doing exactly that.
It is hard to sympathise with the war criminal Netanyahu; but he has an advantage of being elected, while his opponents were appointed. Olmert ended in jail, and they want to send Netanyahu to jail, too. Not for murdering thousands of Palestinians, neither for destroying thousands of homes, but for something technical, like the silly quid pro quo reason of Trump’s impeachment. The idea was that his electorate would desert him if he were charged with crimes. But they had not enough stuff for the proper charge, until they got confessions of Netanyahu’s minions.
Last week the Israeli Justice Minister shocked the public. He had revealed the methods used by the judicial establishment against Netanyahu. These methods are remarkably similar to those applied by the Deep State against President Trump. It is threats, extortion and blackmail. Israeli police assaulted Bibi’s assistants like Trump’s enemies attacked Manafort, Cohen, Stone.
When an investigative journalist wanted to publish how the confessions were squeezed out of Bibi’s confidante, the judicial authorities immediately slammed him with a gagging order.
Israelis are prompt to gag the publication of whatever the authorities do not like. Only after many years the Israeli people had learned that their authorities stole children from Yemeni Jews, treated Moroccan children skin diseases by X-raying them to death, sterilised Ethiopian women, blew up synagogues in Baghdad, kidnapped the nuclear technician Vanunu in Rome, bombed the USS Liberty and poisoned drinking water in Acre. All these crimes were protected by a gagging order from prying eyes.
There is a nuclear option, how to lift the ban. A member of the Knesset (parliament) is not required to comply with the media blackout; he can speak from the rostrum and say everything – and then the newspapers can print. That is how we had learned of the Kafr Qassem massacre. (The gagging order was broken by the Communist MK Tawfik Toubi – and then the whole world learned of the Palestinian village that was surrounded and decimated by the Jewish soldiers.)
The nuclear option had been used by the Justice Minister Ohana. He told the Knesset (and to the Israeli public) that police threw Bibi’s confidante in prison forcing him to confirm their version of events. For two weeks he was holding out, but then they brought his mistress to the prison. ‘This is the end of your peaceful family life’, they told him. ‘We’ll show your girlfriend to your wife’. Afterwards, they took him to an unknown destination where the protocols were not kept. When he came back, the assistant “confessed everything”. His ‘revelations’ were dictated to him, and then leaked into the press.
Israeli liberal left had been united in condemnation – not of the police with its forbidden methods, but of the Justice Minister who dared to blow away media blackout. This is a mistake. The left and the right should defend sovereignty and democracy, instead of allowing legal establishment to make important decisions. Let elected politicians decide, while the judges should limit themselves to non-political cases.
The true Left and true Right are more similar to each other, for these movements have their basis in the people’s will. They seek the people’s approval; they try to attract the people to their side. Even the most far out political movements, from Fascists to Communists, still turn to the people for their mandate. Deep down, they are democratic, for they believe in Majority Rule. The lawyers do not.
The British Labour Party had made a similar error of judgement. They were happy like children when the Supreme Court overruled Johnson’s decision. Next time, if and when Jeremy Corbyn will decide to take England out of NATO, the Supreme Court will surely overrule him. It is easy to lose one’s power and it’s hard to recover it.
People enjoy revenge, but I’ll tell you: statesmen should remain immune from prosecution for life. There is a normal way to end statesman’s tenure: to elect somebody else in his stead. The legal recourse is no recourse at all, but an assault on democracy. And even after the tenure is over, the statesman should remain immune. Otherwise, he will think more of fitting the lawyers’ agenda than of serving the nation. I regret the fate of Milosevic and Saddam Hussein; their trials were travesty of justice. They weren’t worse, just less lucky than Tony Blair or Bill Clinton. And that is true regarding Donald Trump and Bibi Netanyahu, as well. They are not angels, for sure; but they were elected by their nations and should remain untouched. Let them be judged by history, not by lawyers.
As for lawyers, the Americans would do well to roll their powers back. Perhaps, Denis Diderot was right and Man will never be free until the last lawyer is strangled with the entrails of the last banker.
Read also https://www.unz.com/ishamir/sages-rule/
Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]
This article was first published at The Unz Review