News 2023

 

 

3.2.2023

Occupation

Israel’s West Bank settler population now makes up more than half a million people, a pro-settler group said, crossing a major threshold. Settler leaders predicted even faster population growth under Israel’s new ultranationalist government. The report, by WestBankJewishPopulationStats.com and based on official figures, showed the settler population grew to 502,991, rising more than 2.5% in 12 months and nearly 16% over the last five years. “We’ve reached a huge hallmark,” said Baruch Gordon, the director of the group and a resident of the Beit El settlement. “We’re here to stay.” The milestone comes as Israel’s new government, made up of ultranationalist parties who oppose Palestinian statehood, has placed expanding settlements at the top of its priority list. Already the government has pledged to legalize wildcat outposts that have long enjoyed tacit government support and to ramp up approval and construction of settler homes around the West Bank.

 Source: Associated Press

  

Israel-Sudan

Sudan’s Foreign Ministry announced it will move forward to normalize full diplomatic ties with Israel following a visit by the Israeli foreign minister to the Sudanese capital. During his one-day visit to Khartoum, Eli Cohen met with various Sudanese political figures, including Sudan’s ruling general, Abdel-Fattah Burhan, according to Sudan’s state media outlet, SUNA. This was the first public visit by an Israeli cabinet member ever. In a statement published after Cohen’s departure, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said: “It was agreed to move forward toward the normalization of relations between the two countries.’’ Upon returning to Israel, Cohen said the two countries would seek to sign a full-fledged peace accord by the year’s end, noting that this would be in the form of “peace for peace.” “The agreement will help the economy, as well as bolster security and tourism in both countries,” Cohen said. “I hope that this year will bring good news; the Sudanese want it, and as soon as they complete their internal process, the accord will be signed. It will be quick,” Cohen added.

Source: Israel HaYom

 

2.2.2023

Legal Advisor Letter to Yariv Levin Feb 2023

 

US Law Professors’ Statement About the Proposed Law Reforms in Israel

 

Initial Posting Date: January 29, 2023

 

List of Signatories Updated: January 30, 2023

 

We, law professors in the United States who care deeply about Israel, strongly oppose the effort by the current Israeli government to radically overhaul the country’s legal system. This effort includes proposed reforms that would grant the ruling coalition absolute power to appoint Justices and judges, make it almost impossible for the Supreme Court to invalidate legislation, severely limit judicial review of executive-branch decisions, and curtail the independence of the Attorney General and legal advisers assigned to different government agencies.

Some of us believe that the Israeli Supreme Court has over-reached in important respects and would support a scaling back of its power to review legislation and executive decisions. Others believe that the legal status quo need not be changed. Regardless of the disagreement amongst us, we are all deeply worried that the speed and scale of the reforms will seriously weaken the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the rule of law. These safeguards have contributed to Israel’s flourishing over the last 75 years, helping it weather severe security, political and social challenges. Weakening them would pose a dire risk to freedom of expression, to human and civil rights, and to efforts to reduce corruption, making it harder for Israel to survive such challenges going forward. We hope for Israel’s sake that it chooses a wiser path.

Signatories

[university name added for identification only and not as a sign of institutional support]

Organizers / Initial Signatories

Oren Bar-Gill (Harvard University)

Jesse Fried (Harvard University)

Amos Guiora (University of Utah)

Additional Signatories

David Abraham (University of Miami)

Matthew Adler (Duke University)

Bill Alford (Harvard University)

Anat Alon-Beck (Case Western Reserve University)

Reuven Avi-Yonah (University of Michigan)

Tom Baker (University of Pennsylvania)

Kenneth A. Bamberger (University of California, Berkeley)

Michal Barzuza (University of Virginia)

Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard University)

Yochai Benkler (Harvard University)

Omri Ben-Shahar (University of Chicago)

Lisa Bernstein (University of Chicago)

Gabriella Blum (Harvard University)

Erwin Chemerinsky (University of California, Berkeley)

Harlan Grant Cohen (University of Georgia)

Alan Dershowitz (Harvard University)

Melvin Eisenberg (University of California, Berkeley)

Eleanor Fox (New York University)

Barry Friedman (New York University)

Clayton P. Gillette (NYU School of Law)

Talia Gillis (Columbia University)

Ronald J. Gilson (Stanford University and Columbia University)

Rebecca Goldstein (University of California, Berkeley)

Ellen Goodman (Rutgers University)

Jeffrey Gordon (Columbia University)

Jonathan Gould (University of California, Berkeley)

Bruce Green (Fordham University)

Ariela J. Gross (University of Southern California)

Daniel Hemel (New York University)

David Hoffman (University of Pennsylvania)

Samuel Issacharoff (New York University)

Debbie Kaminer (City University of New York)

Amalia Kessler (Stanford University)

Christopher Kutz (University of California, Berkeley)

Alexandra D. Lahav (Cornell University)

Pnina Lahav (Boston University)

Yair Listokin (Yale University)

Omri Marian (University of California, Irvine)

Andrei Marmor (Cornell University)

Florencia Marotta-Wurgler (New York University)

Peter S. Menell (University of California, Berkeley)

Martha Minow (Harvard University)

Robert Mnookin (Harvard University)

Noga Morag-Levine (Michigan State University)

Dotan Oliar (University of Virginia)

Barak Orbach (University of Arizona)

Nizan Geslevich Packin (City University of New York)

Robert Post (Yale University)

Richard Primus (University of Michigan)

Barak Richman (Duke University)

Edward Rock (New York University)

Guy A. Rub (Ohio State University)

Daniel Rubinfeld (New York University)

Samuel Scheffler (New York University)

Richard Schragger (University of Virginia)

Avital Schurr (University of Louisville)

Alan Schwartz (Yale University)

Dan Simon (University of Southern California)

  1. Daniel Sokol (University of Southern California)

Michael Stein (Harvard University)

Nomi Stolzenberg (University of Southern California)

Jennifer Taub (Western New England University)

Joseph William Singer (Harvard University)

Matthew Stephenson (Harvard University)

Lior Strahilevitz (University of Chicago)

David Webber (Boston University)

Laura Weinrib (Harvard University)

Mark G. Yudof (University of California, Berkeley)

Jonathan Zasloff (University of California, Los Angeles)

If you want your name added to the list of signatories, please send an email to:

jesse.fried@gmail.com or bargilloren@gmail.com