Israel’s Supreme Court (A “Gang of Leftists”) Rules With An Iron Fist, Overriding the Rule of Law. What Can Be Done? Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

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NOT unlike the U.S., where judicial activism AKA social engineering has become synonymous with “justice”, similarly, Israel’s Supreme Court comports itself.

IN the main, a democracy can’t be deemed healthy and robust without adhering to a very basic principle, that is, the separation of powers. In effect, the final interpreters of the “law(s) of the land” dare not overstep their mandate by usurping the legislative branch, be it Congress or Israel’s Knesset.

THAT being said, the following via Israel Institute for Strategic Studies is more than instructive, as to what underlies the rot, as well as what is at stake.

A letter to the Minister of Justice the Honorable Ayelet Shaked. The Rule of Law or the Rule of lawyers. By: Malcolm Dash – www.strategic-israel.org 

To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to the written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the ends to the means. – Thomas Jefferson, September 20, 1810

The brouhaha that has erupted over the Minister of Justices’ proposed reform to the, nomination and selection process for Supreme Court Justices, has once again thrust the question of the relationship between the judiciary and the political establishment into the headlines. The result has been that Israel’s entrenched civil society elites have hurriedly begun to “circle their wagons” to protect their holiest sacred cow from the allegedly grievous harm, if the current judicial selection system is in any way changed. Incredibly, elite outrage focuses on an attempt in the proposed legislation to break the veto power sitting justices have in determining who will be their successors, an arrangement unheard of in any major democratic country. So rather than defending democracy, appalled critics of the proposed legislation are perpetuating judicial tyranny.

Israel, like any vibrant functioning democracy, needs a strong, independent judiciary – to interpret the law, not to make it.

“In Israel, the negative impact of the judicialization of politics on the Supreme Court’s legitimacy is already beginning to show its mark. Over the past decade, the public image of the Supreme Court as an autonomous and impartial arbiter has been increasingly eroded… the court and its judges are increasingly viewed by a considerable portion of the Israeli public as pushing forward their own political agenda…” – Prof. Ran Hirschl, Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism, Harvard University Press, 2004.

The unelected judiciary will not be answerable to anyone for outcomes that result from imposing on the elected branches of government, measures that it was not elected to implement – or were elected not to implement. This then is the grave danger involved in the usurpation of authority by the courts.

By exceeding its authority, by its arrogance and self-important elitism, Israel’s judiciary is placing itself in jeopardy. With the mounting loss of public trust, the judicial system cannot for long remain credible and the public will resort to settling its disputes by alternative methods. Without the legitimacy of the legal system, non-democratic authoritarian and tyrannical regimes inevitably take root.

In Israel, the rule of law has been superseded by the “rule of lawyers”, who may well be perceived as undermining the very rule of law that they pledge to uphold. Drawn from the ranks of lawyers, judges are appointed at a relatively early age and typically remain in their positions up until the mandatory retirement age of 70. They therefore have many years in which to shape the court’s agenda and influence the appointment of future justices.

Judges in the mold of ex Supreme Court president Aharon Barak have left an indelible “activist” stamp on the legal establishment. Indeed Barak is a prime example of such “activism” although he professed he did not have an agenda. It became clear however that most judges who served with him and subsequently after him, adopted his activist prescriptions and Justice Bork said “it is highly unlikely that they would rule according to beliefs other than their own”. Justice Bork described activist justices “as those who enact their own beliefs” however Justice Barak is quoted as writing, that “None of us may turn our personal beliefs into the law of the land.” http://azure.org.il/download/magazine/1119AZ_27_bork_review.pdf

In effect judicial activism is an efficient way to promote a re-engineering of the social order of the day. It’s no surprise then, that NGO’s, Human Rights crusaders and the like, turn to the courts for their stamp of approval to further their social activism in order to affect government policy, rather than through the legislative process in the Knesset. Social, familial and community values of Jewish/Israeli culture are routinely being challenged before the Supreme Court as are indeed political, economic and security matters. The Justices have vested themselves with the agency to carry out broad cultural changes, on the pronouncements of (unelected) lawyers, who have been upgraded to serve as Supreme Court justices.

To be sure, the original architects of Israel’s Supreme Court never intended for the Justices to exercise this type of excessive power. The envisaged purpose was not for them to formulate laws, or create social policy—their allotted function was to make judgments on laws legislated by the democratically elected parliament. Supreme Court justices are not intrinsically more moral or less imperfect than others, they too are simply individuals, like the rest of the citizenry, with biases, prejudices and the like. Yet this “select” group of individuals is attempting to effect cultural and policy choices that have profound importance for all Israelis, in many instances in opposition to the will of the people and its democratically elected parliament. Judicial activism’s detrimental effect on the democratic process must be curtailed, whether it reflects Conservative or Progressive Liberal agendas, it is every bit as deplorable.

The elected Legislature’s majority decisions may or may not accord with the Supreme Court’s, worldview, its standards and moral codes. But judicial interdict of those majority outcomes is not at all democratic – in fact are clearly undemocratic.

According to Justice Robert Bork, an eminent American legal authority, once characterized the situation as follows; “ Supreme Court President Barak’s judicial vetoes of majority decisions’ “may or may not be proper in a given case, but one thing they are not, is a form of democracy, indeed they are a check on democracy”. (1987)

Barak’s assertion that both the people’s decisions and the frustration of those decisions are “democracy” eliminates the distinction between rule by elected representatives and rule by judges. As a result this leads to ever-increasing judicial power and the unelected judges assume the role of a supra- legislative body. The arrogated powers of the Judges to override both legislative and executive decisions is no less than a “constitutional revolution”. Ironically in stark contradiction to Barak’s pronouncement that “the court is authorized to interpret the constitution, but it is not authorized to create a constitution”.

The troubling question is, if the legal system is supposed to reflect society’s’ norms i.e. current cultural conventions, moral values, traditions and ethical principles that people cherish, why do the judges regularly issue legal edicts and laws that in too many instances do not accord with the wishes of the people?. It would seem rather, that the Judges defer to the opinions dominant within the “self-appointed” intellectual elites. These elites, comprised of the legal establishment, main stream media and voices in academia who allegedly personify the wisdom to know what justice is, what truth is, what morality is and what standards and norms should be adopted.

The courts have adroitly expanded their legal authority by intervening in political matters. In stark contradiction to his previously cited position that: “the court … is not authorized to create a constitution” Barak declared elsewhere “I reject the contention that the judge merely states the law and does not create it” (“A Judge on Judging”, The Role of a Supreme Court in a Democracy Yale Law School 1-1-2002)

Thomas Jefferson expressed his fears of judicial overreach when he wrote:

“the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary: an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little tomorrow, and advancing it’s noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” – Letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821

Israel’s Supreme Court, acts as “Supreme Law Giver,” with its relentless creep of increasing powers that erode the very fabric of society by overriding the democratically elected legislature, usurping powers that were neither granted, envisaged nor approved by the democratically elected legislative body. Where are the “checks and balances” that should exist between the judiciary, legislative and executive bodies when the final arbiters are the Judges who can nullify the other branches of government?

In this sense Judicial activism becomes a means to promote socio-political and economic objectives to rearrange the social order of the day. This clearly could well precipitate and become a devastatingly divisive development within Israeli society.

The Supreme Court is on many occasions the embodiment of judicial autocracy in our everyday lives and if left unchallenged could endanger everyone’s liberty and freedom. Accordingly the question that must be asked is, in order to restore credibility and confidence in the highest court in the land, the process of appointing Supreme Court Justices has to be reformed. The justice’s nepotism that is reflected in their veto powers over candidates to Supreme Court is an unacceptable practice and unquestionably undemocratic.

Transparency is imperative, prospective nominees for the Supreme Court should appear before a bi-partisan parliamentary committee for ratification comparable to the US congressional hearings.

Likewise, the widely respected Canadian appointment process should be considered in which the elected government is heavily involved in the appointment of the judiciary – see Peter W. Hogg, C.C., Q.C., Hall Law School of York University “II. THE POWER AND PROCESS OF APPOINTMENT, http://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/cgi/

Our democratically elected representatives are not without blame for the diminution of their legislative powers. By and large, when challenged by Lawyers turned Judges, Israeli parliamentarians have, more often than not deferred to the Courts rulings, thus surrendering much of their legislative prerogatives.

Sadly this has produced a vacuum for activist Judges to insert themselves into and replace “The Rule of Law for the “Rule of lawyers”.

Malcolm Dash Director of Operations Israel Institute for Strategic Studies www.strategic-israel.org  

MOST significantly, the fact that Israel does not have a Constitution – yes, you read that right – underlies much of its political dysfunction, aside from sundry weighty structural flaws to its system of governance. 

BUT what stands above all else is this: the left has a stranglehold on Israel’s power centers, be they within the media, academia, cultural centers, and, of course, the legal arena. Choke-holds.

SUCH is the case, regardless of which party stands at the helm of the Knesset. Much of this rot is (briefly) explained within The Paradox of Israeli Politics: Vote Right, Get Left.  

NEVERTHELESS, a “window of opportunity” has arisen to finally ! break the left’s hegemonic vise-grip on Israel’s injudicious Supreme Court. At its core, justices not only march in lock-step, akin to die-hard social activists, but have the ability to pick and choose their like-minded colleagues. Fiefdom.

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LET’s just pray that Israel’s Minister of Justice, the Honorable Ayelet Shaked, succeeds in her righteous national mission. Trust, it will be one huge leap forward toward Jewish justice in Israel, as opposed to advancing and protecting those who seek little more than eviscerating the nation’s Jewish character and raison d’etre. Demise.

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{re-blogged at The Homeland Security Network}

Presenting, PART THREE: A Strategic-Based Policy Interview With Dr. Martin Sherman & Why You Should Support Israel’s “Intellectual Warriors”…Commentary By Adina Kutnicki

Featured atop the “Home” page is a button link, the only one placed at this blog. It connects to the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – www.strategic-israel.org/and its prominence is wholly relevant to the mission at hand.

In this regard, Part One of an interview series with Dr. Martin Sherman, its distinguished founder, can be found here – adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/01/presenting-a-strategic-based-policy-interview-with-dr-martin-sherman-founder-of-the-israel-institute-for-strategic-studies-iiss-by-adina-kutnicki/…and Part Two can be gleaned within – adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/27/presenting-part-two-a-strategic-based-policy-interview-with-dr-martin-sherman-founder-of-the-israel-institute-for-strategic-studies-iiss-by-adina-kutnicki/.

Now in its 10th month of operation – with several hundred thousand viewers and climbing – this blog is pleased to present Part Three to an urgent, ongoing strategic policy discussion.

‘WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT ISRAEL’S INTELLECTUAL WARRIORS—DR. MARTIN SHERMAN EXPLAINS THE RATIONALE OF THIS STRATEGIC INTELLECTUAL ENDEAVOR’

AK: Dr. Sherman, you set up the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in early 2011. Can you give our readers a quick overview of what the IISS is about, what its aims are and what the rationale for its inception was?

MS: The Israel Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is a non-profit organization (US tax exempt 501(c)(3) entity) established to promote joint values shared by Israel and the United States.

At IISS we firmly believe in the practical value and moral validity of the founding principles and ideas of Zionism, and in the imperative of preserving their essence and renewing their vitality.

Moreover, IISS sees a significant confluence between the ideals on which the Zionist movement was established, and those articulated by America’s founding fathers and enshrined in the US Constitution.

In this regard, IISS activities are guided by the sentiments espoused by Justice Louis Brandies in 1915:

“Let no American imagine that Zionism is inconsistent with Patriotism. Multiple loyalties are objectionable only if they are inconsistent….Every American Jew who aids in advancing the Jewish settlement …, [even] though he feels that neither he nor his descendants will ever live there, will likewise be a better man and a better American for doing so. There is no inconsistency between loyalty to America and loyalty to Jewry”.

AK: I understand that since then, perhaps the major difficulty you are experiencing is in raising sufficient funding required to achieve the impact you believe the IISS can and should make on Israeli policy making. What makes IISS different, and why should it merit support from benefactors who are already supporting pro-Israel causes?

MS: Although at IISS we are keenly aware that there are numerous worthy pro-Israeli organizations, engaged in laudable efforts on behalf of the Jewish state and the Jewish people, our initiative is a distinctively ambitious strategic endeavor which is qualitatively different from other ongoing pro-Zionist activities that I know of.

While the success of many other commendable initiatives will—by their very nature of their objectives—be focused on specific issues and therefore have a limited localized impact both in terms of scope and duration, IISS adopts a comprehensive strategic approach.  In other words, it attempts to direct its energies into channels that will have the potential to “leverage” the efforts of its operation by producing “knock-on” effects that will be both wide ranging and long lasting on Israel’s overall strategic orientation.

AK: Don’t similar institutions already exist in Israel?

MS: Not really.

Perhaps the best testimony to the lack  of – and the necessity for – an entity such as IISS, are the endorsements of the IISS initiative by prominent public figures in Israel and abroad, who feel that there is a pressing need for precisely such an enterprise.

AK: So who has endorsed your initiative?

MS: The IISS initiative have been endorsed by an impressive array of prominent public figures, from Israel, the US and EU.  The list includes:

  • Lt. Gen. (res) Moshe (Bogey) Yaalon – Vice Prime Minister and  Minister For Strategic Affairs, former Chief of Staff, IDF
  • Maj.Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror – Head of the National Security Council & former Commander of the IDF’s Institute for National Security
  • Dr. Uzi Landau – Minister of National Infrastructures
  • Baroness Caroline Cox, Member of the British House of Lords
  • Prof Robert (Yisrael) Aumann – 2005 Nobel Prize Laureate
  • Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein, until recently, member of the Italian Parliament; Vice-president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs; Chair of the Committee for the Inquiry into Antisemitism
  • Dr. Daniel Pipes – President  of Middle East Forum
  • Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger 
  • Hanna-Leena Hemming former Member of Parliament, Finland

AK: Getting back to what you mentioned earlier about IISS’ aims of impacting Israel’s overall strategic approach, isn’t that a little  overly ambitious for a nascent private organization?

MS: Well, clearly it is an extremely ambitious undertaking but that does not make it any the less imperative.

Its success depends on correctly identifying, and then concentrating efforts on what I would call strategic“tipping points” and targeting strategic “epicenters” to achieve the “leverage” and “knock-on” effects that I mentioned earlier.

AK:  So what would IISS diagnose as such strategic “tipping points” and “epicenters”?   

MS: Almost without doubt, IISS sees the accelerating delegitimation of Israel and the clear failure of the nation’s public diplomacy to contend effectively with the alarming degradation of the county’s image abroad, as the issue requiring the most urgent and comprehensive attention.

Indeed, the damaging effects of the delegitimization of the country can scarcely be overstated. It is the source of devastating corrosion of Israel’s national cohesiveness and coherence – critically compromising its ability to sustain itself as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

This is something that impacts far more than “aesthetics” of Israel’s image.

In fact, as I pointed out in one of my previous interviews on this blog, some pundits have warned that Israel’s ineffective response to the threat “not only restricts Israel’s strategic options, it would be detrimental to its ability to survive in an increasingly intolerant and hostile world which thinks [little of ] sacrificing Israel’s vital interests or even the state itself”.

AK: I take it you agree with this dire assessment?

MS: Definitely.

The ongoing delegitimization and its public diplomacy failure (which are in fact two sides of the same coin) does in fact “restrict Israel’s strategic options”.  By limiting Israel’s perceived freedom for formulation of national policy, it imposes constraints – real or imagined – on its scope of choices across a wide range of fields – both military and civilian.

These extend well beyond conventional security issues and include direct and indirect influences on housing policy and population distribution, the ability to protect the environment, the  security of Israel’s transport infrastructure (particularly land and air) as well as the safety of those utilizing them – to name but a few.

Accordingly, eliminating – or considerably reducing – these constraints, by  effectively countering the delegitimization offensive (i.e by qualitatively enhancing Israel’s public diplomacy performance), will enhance the spectrum of perceived policy options available to decision makers in numerous areas of national life, where unwarranted international  anti-Israel opprobrium comprise an artificial constraint.

It is for this reason that the IISS considers combating the ravages of the delegitimization and contending with the ineffectiveness of Israel’s public diplomacy is not only a crucial and immediate diplomatic imperative in itself, but an objective that will generate significant positive effects well beyond the scope of its immediate diplomatic focus.

This is precisely what I mean by generating “leverage” and “knockon” effects by focusing on strategic “tipping points” and “epicenters

AK: Yes, I see what you mean. But what do you foresee if such enhancement of public diplomacy is not forthcoming?

MS: Well, if the current situation is allowed to continue unchecked and unchallenged, grave consequences are inevitable.

AK: Such as?

MS: Consider the following:

  • The ongoing degrading of the legitimacy of Zionism and Israel as the nation-state of the Jews will unavoidably erode the morale of the country—particularly the youth.
  •  Inevitably this will erode the motivation to defend the country against its enemies militarily, and to repulse its detractors diplomatically, as well as erode the resolve and robustness with which such defense is pursued.
  • Indeed are disturbing indications that this malaise is undermining the organizational culture of the IDF where the notion of “victory” increasingly is depicted as a cognitively invalid concept and as an operationally unrealistic – indeed even undesirable –objective.
  • The lack of conviction as to the moral validity of the Zionist cause – and hence the lack of confidence as to moral vindication of actions in its defense –is undoubtedly one of the major, arguably the major, reason for Israel’s dismal performance on the international stage and for the severe degradation of its international standing.

AK: A grim prognosis. But can an organization like yours rise to the challenge?

MS: Of course, as an NGO the IISS cannot play a direct role in formulating and implementing practical policy. Accordingly, it sees its role as that of a catalyst for sparking and invigorating the public discourse on issues of crucial importance on the national agenda.

To discharge this “catalytic” role effectively, IISS must seek the elements that have the most far-reaching and fundamental impact on this public discourse and devise approaches as to how to apply the greatest leverage to them.

AK: Can you be a little more specific?

MS: Certainly.  To be effective IISS needs to be provocative and controversial.

However, this means more than merely “blowing off steam”. Provoking productive public controversy requires inducing a response from ideological adversaries, who would otherwise prefer to disregard any opinions discordant with their own—and thus avoid any open discourse that might challenge their positions in the eyes of their followers. Indeed, it is only by compelling them to “engage” can their fallacies and hypocrisies be revealed and repudiated.  

After all, It is virtually axiomatic that one cannot be victorious over one’s adversaries unless one engages them in combat. If one’s adversaries are ideological they must be engaged on ideological combat.

So unless this is achieved, you essentially end up “singing to the choir”. Accordingly, IISS considers it vital to formulate its positions in a manner, convey them through channels, and propagate them among audiences that its ideological adversaries cannot apriori ignore, dismiss or discredit because of its mode of formulation, or physical location of its origin, or the organizational affiliation of its authors.                                 

AK:  Would the primary thrust of your effort be directed principally toward foreign sources of delegitimization?

MS: No, not at all. One of the major sources – and arguably most pernicious one –  is domestic:The post/anti-Zionist academics in the Israeli universities –a.k.a. tenured radicals.

Indeed, entrenched faculty in Israel academe have in many respects become the epicenter of the forces for the delegitimization of Israel and the demonization of anyone who dare supports it.  In the past I have expressed my concern publicly on this matter (see  By thy own handAcademic Freedom and the Shape of the Earth , Dishonest or incompetentand most recently A Giant Pall of Shame ); as have others who share my sense of foreboding ( see Academics on rampage Mount Scopus or Mount Olympus?and Academic Brainwashing: Anatomy of Israel Higher Education, 2010 (translated from the Hebrew in “Maariv”). Also see the brilliant interview with Melanie Phillips on Israeli TV.

AK: How bad is the situation?

MS: Several recent studies have shown that virulent anti-Zionist themes have become an overriding – or at least extremely common – feature of much of the teaching and research conducted in the social sciences and humanities faculties throughout Israeli academe. Indeed, in many ways it has become accepted as the sole – or at least  dominant – standard for academic wisdom.

This cadre of anti-Zionist academics have become – whether directly or indirectly – the dominant provider of intellectual input for many individuals and institutions – including those in Jewish communities across the globe. This in turn has resulted in the exacerbation of hostility towards Israel among its enemies, and an erosion of support among its friends.

Unless this phenomenon is  confronted, curtailed and counteracted, no form of Israeli advocacy can be effective for:

  • It undercuts all pro-Israel messages and amplifies all anti-Israel ones.
  • It lends credence to the venom of Israel’s foes and undermines the credibility of Israel’s friends.
  • It serves as “proof”of Israeli fiendish malfeasance and is exploited to dismiss any evidence disputing this.

After all, if Israeli professors/intellectuals are saying this, it must be true

AK: How can this problem be addressed?

It is a problem that can be only addressed in an effective and timely manner from within the existing academic frameworks – i.e. by of taking the battle to the adversary’s territory.

AK: It sounds like you are applying the principles of the“Ben Gurion Doctrine” for military warfare of “taking the Battle to the Adversary’s territory” for conducting intellectual warfare.

MS: There is a definite parallel.

It is crucially important that such facilities be set up inside, and that their intellectual output emanate from within, existing mainstream academic establishments. There are several reasons for this.

Although there are a number of noteworthy –and praiseworthy –endeavors to set up alternative independent centers outside the regular academic system, the public impact of such institutes will almost inevitably be limited. As I hinted at previously, the reason for this is that they will be vulnerable to accusations by opponents of being biased and ideologically tainted because of their geographical location, institutional affiliation (or lack thereof) and so on.

As a result their work is often intentionally ignored –or if that fails – disdainfully denigrated precisely because they lack “establishment credentials”.

Moreover, a significant time period is likely to be required for such nascent centers to acquire adequate public stature and prestige, creating a detrimental delay in bringing their influence to bear on the public discourse.

AK: So how do you deal with that?

MS: By contrast, locating a substantial policy research center with a countervailing pro-Zionist orientation within, or interfacing with, the current academic establishment will do much to circumvent – or at least greatly reduce – these difficulties, since neither its geographic location nor its organizational affiliation can be used to disqualify or disparage its work.

Accordingly, IISS seeks to amass sufficient resources to enable it to offer an existing academic institution and/or its faculty members, sufficiently attractive financial inducements to facilitate its inclusion of affiliation with such an institution . This the real challenge at the moment. We are convinced we have the right message and sufficient motivation. What we need now is the ability to acquire an appropriate “megaphone”.

AK: How would the IISS differ from say the various “Monitors” that are active today, such as the NGO Monitor, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) , MEMRI, IsraCampus and Israel Academia Monitor (IAM)?

MS: The IISS sees it role extending beyond that of  a monitor.

There are a number of organizations doing sterling work in exposing vindictive and malevolent slander being directed against Israel from both domestic and foreign sources –like the ones you have just mentioned. However – by their very mandate as a monitor – they are reactive bodies rather than proactive. They respond to the initiatives of Israel’s detractors rather than embark on initiatives of their own.

Moreover, monitors–again by their very nature– do not deal with formulation of policy proposals or strategies for the nation.  So, while IISS will indeed devote effort to rebutting unwarranted attacks on Israel and Zionism, a considerable portion of its efforts will be devoted to formulating proactive policy paradigms for the conduct of the affairs of the nation—mainly, but not necessarily exclusively, in the realm of security (broadly defined) and foreign policy.

AK: So wouldn’t you be merely just another “think-tank”?

MS: Again, as before, IISS sees it role extending beyond that of the usual “think-tank”.

It will be more orientated to policy prescription than policy analysis.  It will focus more on the efficacy of the durable impact it can generate on the public discourse rather than on the volume of works it produces or the publicity of the events it holds.

As mentioned at the outset,  IISS firmly believes in the value and the validity of the founding principles and ideas of Zionism and in the imperative of preserving their essence and renewing their vitality.

Accordingly, I suppose we could say that IISS sees its role as a policy entrepreneur promoting Zionist-compliant policy proposals over a range of strategic issues in both on domestic and foreign policy.

As such IISS operations will involve rigorous mobilization of the accepted tenets of the disciplines of political science, international relations and strategic studies to generate a Zionist- compliant conceptual envelope for the formulation of the nation’s strategic agenda. This will then be vigorously promoted—again subject to funding–as a viable alternative to current determinants of Israeli policy, which often appear misguidedly myopic and demonstrably dysfunctional, reflecting what can only be described as “intellectual surrender” by the Israeli decision-making echelons to the dictates of anti-Zionist political-correctness.

AK: As we near the end of the interview, what would you like to say in summation?

In a recent article entitled, “On the need for an avant-gardein strategic studies”, prominent scholar Professor Louis Rene Beres wrote: “Many of the principal assumptions associated with current strategic studies need to be challenged by a new intellectual vanguard, by an eager avant-garde.”

This is precisely what IISS strives for — to fill a glaring gap in Israel’s intellectual landscape which will provide a nucleus within, or interfacing with, the existing academic establishment around which countervailing pro-Zionist elites can coalesce, and raise a banner around which the hitherto hesitant can rally to mount a challenge to dominant—but dysfunctional—paradigms of today.

AK: Dr. Sherman, it is always a great honor, as well as a pleasure, to associate with such a clear thinker. A visionary of sorts. Indeed, supporting IISS embodies the ultimate support for Israel – for Zion’s sake. 

Dr. Martin Sherman acted as a ministerial adviser in the 1991-2 Shamir government. He also served for seven years in various defense related capacities and taught political science at Tel Aviv University. His works have been published in academic journals such as Journal of Strategic StudiesJournal of Theoretical Politics,International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence and Nations and Nationalism. He is the author of two books on international conflicts (Macmillan UK).