November 9, 2009 - A Depressing State of Affairs

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 19, 2009 -Israeli Supreme Court Overturns Law Privatizing Prisons

In a rare move the Israeli Supreme Court overturned a Knesset law in an 8-1 ruling saying that it violates a Basic Law. The law in question allows for the establishment of privately run prisons. The Supreme Court stated that privately owned prisons, which exist for a profit margin, violate the basic rights of prisoners. It is interesting to note that privatizing prisons has been a big but controversial business in the US. Lev Leviev's Africa Israel Corporation has invested about 250 million shekels in building the first private prison. I expect they will sell the prison to the government.

The fallout from the ridiculous announcement by Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai regarding planning approval in Gilo continued yesterday, with President Obama making a public statement disapproving the actions. As a result there has been wall to wall condemnation around the world. This was further complicated by the timing of the destruction of Arab homes in East Jerusalem yesterday that were built without permission. All this have united Palestinians around the question of the settlements. There is fear that the Palestinians might resort to violent protests against the settlements, believing that the world would support their actions.

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