Equality Before the Law
The Israeli legal system has had some staunch and even unfair and biased critics these past few years. The authors of the Goldstone Report cast aspersions on our legal system as do all those who abuse Universal Jurisdiction by bringing bogus 'war crimes' claims against Israeli officials.
There is an international legal requirement to exhaust local remedies before a claimant can assert a claim in a foreign forum. The principle of universal jurisdiction should only be available in the event that the domestic justice system in question is unwilling or unable to address the violations under discussion.
Last Thursday, the Israeli justice system sent a clear message that no one is above the law and there is complete equality before the law regardless of title or rank. That a sitting president was the subject of a criminal investigation which resulted in a conviction speaks volumes for Israel's justice system.
Without belittling the details of the case, we as Israelis should be proud that our robust democracy has once again sent a message that the rule of law in Israel is a source of our strength. We can look at our neighbors and much further beyond to see many examples of a person's elevated position serving as a buffer to criminal investigation. Even amongst the family of democracies, many high-ranking officials have abused their offices to fend off further criminal inquiries.
Israel, like many nations around the world, survives not because we change our laws, morals and ethics to fit changing circumstances, but because we maintain a robust democratic system with many checks and balances. Our governmental and judicial system will remain an inspiration to may around the world, even if our enemies will continue to claim otherwise.
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