Friday, May 4, 2012

Opening Pandora's Box - Haredi Politician And Haredi Beit Din

According to reports in the Haredi Website Kikar Hashabat, Haredi Member of Knesset (MK) Moshe Gafni is being sued in a Haredi Beit Din, by families from Gush Katif. The claim is that Moshe Gafni voted for one of the laws that allowed the Disengagment Plan to occur (Specifically the law creating the framework for compensation) - against the instructions he was given by Harav Elyashiv.

I don't have the halachic knoweldge to analyse the claim. It would seem slightly weird to single out an MK for a government decision, even more so as the law passed by over 20 votes. (Ignoring the nonsical view that any MK is responsible for the actions of the state). Furthermore, I don't really understand what Gafni misleading Harav Elyashiv has to do with anything - unless they are arguing that Gafni MUST vote according to Harav Elyashiv - something that might be true in a Social context, but is certainly false in every legal framework.

However there is a reason why this case is being fought in a Haredi Beit Din. In the civil courts (and I'm guessing Dati-Leumi Beit Din) the case would have been thrown out due to an MK's immunity. This case is a true example of why such an immunity is needed. How can an MK ever vote, if his every decision can then be a source for claims of  personal damages?

Only a Beit Din that has no concept of a "state" and elected leaders would allow such a case to be heard. Regardless of the decision - just agreeing to hear the case, has opened a Pandora's Box. No Haredi MK can ever feel comfortable to vote ever again.

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