Disqualification of lists in Israel (1948–1984): Retrospect and appraisal [Book Review]

Law and Philosophy 13 (1):43 - 95 (1994)
Abstract
The aim is to review the decisions of the Central Elections Committee and of the Supreme Court regarding disqualification of lists in Israel. Two major questions are addressed: When should tolerance have its limits?; and, What constraints on liberty should be introduced in order to safeguard democracy? The judicial analysis focuses attention on the issue of whether the justices acted in accordance with the law. Consideration is given to the written law and to existing normative considerations which allow justices an exegetic latitude. It is argued that theNeiman decision of 1984 was flawed, that the Court was erroneous in ignoring the licensing effect of its decision, and that democracy does not have to allow a violent list propounding the destruction of democracy to act in order to fulfil its aim. It is neither morally obligatory, nor morally coherent, to expect democracy to place the means for its own destruction in the hands of those who either wish to bring about the physical annihilation of the state, or to undermine democracy. These two cases are the only cases in which democracy has to introduce self-defensive measures and to deny representation in parliament to violent lists that convey such ideas, and that act to realize them.
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