The last time Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran made the news was when he refused to sing the Israeli National Anthem. Then he was appointed to chair the Central Elections Committee which gave him quite a bit of power…
Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran will head the body that reviews election broadcasts, decides what is or isn’t acceptable propaganda, and can fine parties that break the rules.
A Likud ad promising to end loud Muslim prayers in the early morning hours has been nixed by Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who heads the Central Elections Committee, Maariv/nrg reports.
The ad reads, “Silencing the muezzin in Yafo? Only the Likud can.” The muezzin is the prayer leader who broadcast the Muslim call to prayer over a loudspeaker five times a day.
Joubran decided to ban the ad despite an opinion from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein stating that Joubran only had the authority to ban advertisements publicized in media outlets, but not on billboards or online. Weinstein also argued, “It’s doubtful that the content [of the ad in question] justifies restricting the freedom of political expression.”
Joubran disagreed. “This campaign will almost certainly be highly offensive to the Arab-Muslim population of the state of Israel,” he determined.
Well that’s that then. Israel’s left-wing justices have a long history of seizing power Obama-style and then daring anyone to do something about it.
Joubran’s decision set a new precedent of allowing the Elections Committee head to ban ads that he or she decides are racist in any media, including online.
Sources in the Likud Beyteinu faction in Tel Aviv told Maariv that they regret Joubran’s decision, and plan to appeal.
“Instead of silencing the muezzin in Yafo, the committee has decided to silence the voice of Yafo residents. Whoever has not been woken up in the middle of the night because of the noise pollution created by the muezzin cannot ban a legitimate political campaign, which is within the boundaries of free speech, regarding a hot issue on the public agenda,” a statement from the party said.
The Muslim Brotherhood in Israel, aka the Islamic Movement in 48 Palestine had a helpful response.
The head of the Islamic Movement in Tayibe suggested, “If they cannot stand to hear the voice of the muezzin, they can get out of here.”
The ads for Likud Tel-Aviv however still appear to be up online.