Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Are all judges "honourable"?

A man from Gaza who needs surgery that is not available in Gaza has applied to enter Israel in order to be operated in a hospital in East Jerusalem. An Israeli expert has confirmed that surgery is crucial and that the man might suffer irreversible damage unless operated on. Israel denied the man’s request. Israel is worried that the man might use this as an opportunity to join his wife and four children who live in the West Bank.

A senior Israeli judge, Mrs Rachel Barkai, first took time to address the court, the world and posterity and call their attention to Israel’s medical aid effort in Haiti, pointing out that Israel was one of the few countries in the world to grant medical aid to foreign citizens.

The judge then explained "In balancing the values on both sides of the scales - on one hand, the need for medical treatment, and on the other hand, the concern that he will take advantage of his entry permit in order to relocate, the respondents' refusal to permit the petitioner's entry to the territory of the State of Israel does not justify judicial intervention."

Judges have this wonderful arrangement that demands we all refer to them as “honourable”. Has the law allowed for a situation in which a judge is not so honourable? Or is it enough to deny Mrs Rachel Barakai medical assistance should she need it some day?

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