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December 14, 2012

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 14, 2012 By Gil Shefler which gave the Palestinians "non-member observer state" recognition--could have Israel and the Palestinians far-reaching implications have fought each other on regarding Israel's iegalstand- many battlefields and many ing in theworld. Palestinians diplomatic fronts for decades, might hope to translate their but the passing of the resolu- victory in New York into ac- tion upgrading the Palestin- tion at The Hague, the sleepy ians' status at the United Dutch city that is home to the Nations indicates the next International CriminalCourt war between the two might (ICC) and InternationalCourt take place at a very different of Justice (ICJ). venue: courtrooms. Advocate Ido Rosenzweig, The Nov. 29 resolution-- a researcher at the Israel De- mocracy Institute (IDI) and expert in international hu- manitarian law, explained to that the Palestinian Authority is likely to try gain- ing statehood recognition in the international courts after a previous attempt failed. "In such a case the court would have to address the Palestinian Authority's legal status again in order to deter- mine whether it corresponds with the definitions of state- hood," Rosenzweig wrote in an email. However, Dr. Allan Ger- son--the former legal council to U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. Jeane Kirkpatrick and Vernon Walters, and author of Israel, the West Bank and International Law--argued that Palestinian claims to statehood based on the pass- ing of the resolution were flawed for three chief reasons. "First, the resolution is not Shift on page 19A U.N. Photo/Rick Bajornas Members of the Pa lestinian delegation at the United Nations General Assembly celebrate Nov. 29 upon the vote to upgrade Palestinian status to a non-member observer state Nov. 29. By Dalia Rabie endum. However the following Council'sdecisiontoparticipate members who withdrew were side however will always be solution in order to end the The Media Line day, Egypt's top judicial body, despite the ongoing crisis," he replaced, mostly from the controversial." crisis and put forward a draft the Supreme Judicial Council, told The Media Line. Muslim Brotherhood and the In March 2011, Egyptians constitution. Egypt isscheduledtoheadto announced that it will fulfill Fayed said he is optimistic Salafi al-Nour party, voted in favor of constitutional The fate of the Constituent the polls on Dec. 15 to decide its role in supervising the vote the referendum will resolve The walkouts included secu- amendments that stipulated Assembly itself hangs in the on the fate of a contentious despitecallsforaboycott.While the conflict between Morsi and lar figures aswell as the Coptic that members of the lower and balance, as lawsuits were filed draftconstitution, as questions both decisions are not binding, the judiciary, since his recent church's representatives, who higherhousesofEgypt'sparlia- demanding the scrapping of a surroundboththelegitimacyof itisunclearwithwhichbodythe declaration is only valid until withdrew in protest of the ment, thePeople'sAssemblyand law setting out criteria for the the assembly that drafted the judges will comply, a new constitution is in effect. "deteriorating" state of the as- the Shura Council, appoint, by selectionofitsmembers, sinceit document and the referendum Raafat Fouda, a constitu- He explained that the presi- sembly and its domination by majority vote, a 100-member wasissuedbythenowdissolved to ratify it. tional law professor at Cairo dentwasunder"publicpressure Islamist forces. Constituent Assembly to draft People's Assembly. If the law is The Constituent Assembly University, said he is not sure that forced him to revert back The walkouts, coupled with a new constitution. The as- annulled, thiswouldleadtothe rushed avote on the draft con- whether judges will respond to to square one," and issue the the last-minute replacements, semblywouldhaveto complete assembly's dissolution. stitution's 234 articles during the calls for a boycott, point- controversial declaration, raise many questions around the draft within six months of However, the ruling on the a session [two weeks ago] that ing out that if a judge does not "This is not a conspiracy. If the assembly's legitimacy, its creation, and the president case, whichwas supposed to be continued through the night, supervise every polling station, the president was hungry for Fouda explains, must call for a referendum on issuedonDec.2,waspostponed afterwhichPresidentMohamed this by default renders the ref- the [legislative and executive] "No one knows where theit within 15 days of the draft's indefinitely when the Consti- Morsiannounced that it would erendum void. powers, takingthemwouldhave replacements' allegiances lie - completion, tutional Court suspended its be up for referendum. However Ammar Fayed, a been easy, but he was forced are they from the same current Fayed says that there will work after Morsi's supporters This comes amid an ongo- political researcher and Mus- into this scenario because all as their substitutes or from a never be a consensus over all held protests outside the court ing standoff between Morsi lira Brotherhood activist, said the opposition forces refused differentone?"heasked, adding the articles ofthe constitution, last Sunday. and the judiciary, after the the Judges Club's reaction was to deal with him," Fayed said. that this is enough to deem the and there will always be a sec- While the assembly's work President gave himself sweep- "expected." An illegitimate assembly? assembly void altogether, tor of society that objects. "But is done and it is effectively dis- ing powers late last month in Fayed criticized the overlap The Constituent Assembly Fayed maintains that the diversity is always welcome as solved once it submitted the a constitutional declaration betweenthejudiciaryandpoliti- that drafted the proposed con- Constituent Assembly is le- long as fateful issues, such as draft constitution, it will be that protected his decrees from cal stances, adding that a boy- stitution saw alarge number of gitimate, drawing a distinction basic freedoms, are guaranteed restored should Egyptians vote judicial oversight, cott of the referendum would walkouts over the past month, between political and legal in the constitution," he said. 'no' in the upcoming referen- TheconflictdrovetheJudges bean"unprecedentedmove"by leaving the drafting process in suspicions. He added that it becamedumto reworkthe contentious Club, a body representing Egypt'sjudges."Judgesaresup- thehandsofanIslamistmajor- "Legally speaking, therefer- cleartotheremainingassembly clauses. judges across Egypt, to issue a posed to steer clear of politics ity. The final session included endumheldinMarch2011gives members that those who with- "The Constitutional Court's decision last Sunday refusing and only fulfill judicial roles, just 85 members instead of this assembly its legitimacy," drew will not return, so they ruling is thus still important," to oversee the upcoming refer- as per the Supreme Judicial 100, and only 11 of the liberal he explained. "The political had to look for an alternative Fouda said. People waiting in line for food packages at a distribution near Tel Aviv, September 2012. Yonatan Sindel / Flash90 / JTA center for the needy in Lod, Oren Nahshon / FLASH90 / JTA A homeless man in Jerusalem taking cover in an entrance of a building to protect himself from a downpour, November 2012. By Ben Sales Economic Cooperation and a quarter of all Israelis, while safety net for the poor, sickand lems aren't limited to minori- find enough money to address Development, or OECD. approximately 10 percent of elderly. Israeli economic policy ties and that the state needs the country's other challenges. TELAVIV(JTA)--Thenum- "There'saverylargesegment thecountryisharediOrthodox, has, however, turned more to invest in education and Defense spending makes up bers tell a consistent storyline: of the Israeli population that The Israeli government conservative in recent years, transportation infrastructure, aboutone-fifthofthetotalbud- Nearly one in four Israelis lives isn't receiving tools they can defines the poverty line as Shiomo Yitzhaki, Israel's Inthesummerof2011,hun- get, andsocialservicespending in poverty, use in the modern economy," individuals with expendable government statistician, says dreds of thousands of Israelis adds up to about two-fifths. A report last week by Israel's said Dan Ben-David, executive income of about $9,500 an- the higher-than-averagebirth- took to the streets to protest "That we have such a high National Insurance Institute directorofIsrael'sTaubCenter, nually after taxes, which is rate among haredi and Arab the high cost of living and defense budget means we have showed that 1.8 million of a think tank that released its approximately 50 percent of Israelis is the principal reason growing wealth inequality in to be judicious with the rest," Israel's 8 million people live "State of the Nation" report the median Israeli expendable for their high poverty rates, the country, which were seen he told JTA. below the poverty line.last month analyzing Israeli income. Exactly 24.8 percent "If you look at income by as hurting the middle class. Nonprofit groups here have In 2011, the year for which socioeconomic policy. "It's of Israelis, or 19.9 percent of family size, as the families get Though the issue has received stepped in to alleviate poverty the report was issued, more not only bad for them, it's also families, live in poverty, bigger, from five members and much attention in Israel's cur- in Israel, including many man- than 36 percent of Israeli chil- become a huge problem for By comparison, the United up, total family income gets rent election campaign, itdoes aged by haredim. But Yoram drenwere poor, a jump of 1per- the country over time. They're States is fourth-highest on the lower," he said. notdominateheadlinestheway Sagi Zaks, founderoftheMove- centagepointfromtheprevious dragging down our productiv- OECDlistwithafamilypoverty Arabs and haredim also are itdid duringthe 2011protests. ment for the War on Povertyin year.Povertyafflictsmorethan ity and growth." rateofabout17percent, accord- exempt from Israel's compul- Last month, Israeli Prime Israel, saysthegovernmentstill 400,000Israelifamilies, includ- Israel's poverty rate stems ing to the OECD's standard, sory military service, which Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needstotakeprimaryresponsi- ing nearly 7 percent of families in large part from two sectors Twenty-three percent of U.S. makes it harder for them to announced a new commission bility for helping the poor. with two working people, of the population that are children live in poverty, find work in a culture where of government ministers to "The nonpmfits help people, Amongdevelopedcountries, especially poor: Israeli Arabs In Israel, poverty usually army service often serves as a streamline socioeconomic re- but they need to supplement Israel had the second-highest and haredi Orthodox Jews, does not mean starvation, career starting point, allowing forms. He did not specify what thestate, notreplacethestate," poverty rate, behind only who have poverty rates of 53 Unemployment in lsrael is at 6 people to network and in some the reforms would be. Zakssaid."Povertyisnotafate. Mexico, according to statistics and 54 percent, respectively, percent, and one of the coun- casesgainspecializedskiiisets. Ben-Davidsaid Israel'ssecu- This is not something we need from the Organization for Israeli Arabs constitute about t ry'ssocialistlegaciesisastrong Ben-DavidsaysIsrael'sprob- rity needs often make it hard to to get used to."