Please note: The following is a synopsis of ZEHUT’s platform on Liberty and Security. To read the full version, click here.
Eliminating Police Violence
The police is a necessary body for the safety of citizens. At the same time, Zehut condemns police violence and views it as an unacceptable phenomenon. Some of the negative behaviors that Zehut identifies among police officers: lack of basic courtesy, harassment of passersby in searches without reasonable suspicion, and unnecessary and violent confrontations with civilians, which end too often in the filing of a complaint of assaulting a police officer against the civilian.
In light of this, Zehut believes that the relationship between the police and civilians should be rehabilitated, and as a first step it will transfer the authority to appoint the police chief to the community. In such a reality, the police chief will feel that he serves the community in which he operates and the citizens will give him the trust he deserves, accordingly.
Canceling the Biometric Database
The Israeli biometric database is a computerized database of biometric data such as fingerprints and facial features. The State of Israel has adopted the database on the grounds that it can eradicate the phenomenon of forged identity cards. However, beyond the existence of alternative technological solutions to combat this phenomenon, the existence of the biometric database presents a much more serious danger to the citizens of Israel than the phenomenon of forgery.
This database seriously threatens the privacy and liberty of Israeli citizens. First, it is likely that at some point the database will be breached and the most private information of the citizens will be available to anyone who wants it (as happened recently with the biometric database in India). But even assuming that the database is not breached, Zehut views the state’s control of the biometric data of its citizens very seriously. In fact, this is another way for the state to increase its power and reduce the citizen’s freedom. If the State of Israel wants to be a state of liberty, it must respect the privacy of its citizens.
Therefore, Zehut will immediately revoke the biometric law, and in particular the biometric database, and restore the citizen’s privacy and freedom.
Cessation of the Pursuit of Cannabis Consumers
Zehut believes that there is no justification for treating hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers as criminals. Cannabis is no more addictive than other legal substances that harm no one. In addition to the many resources that the police invest in order to enforce the policy of incriminating cannabis consumers, which amounts to hundreds of millions of shekels annually to the citizens of Israel, Zehut deplores the reality in which the Israel Police has the ability to threaten to open a criminal case against such a large number of civilians who do not harm others.
Zehut seeks to create a legal infrastructure for cannabis consumption and trade (similar to restrictions on alcohol trade), which will be updated from time to time according to lessons learned from experience. The main points are:
- The use of cannabis and its components, non-commercial cultivation, maintenance or purchase shall be permitted by law.
- The youngest age for cannabis purchase will be 21 years.
- The sale of cannabis and its components in places of entertainment will be prohibited.
- A business that wishes to sell cannabis or its components will need a suitable business license.
Termination of Administrative Detentions
Zehut opposes police use of administrative detention, which is a corrupting force that enables the state to circumvent legal mechanisms and deny the citizen’s freedom, and to hold him in prison for long periods of time without evidence or trial. This is a serious violation of the detainees’ rights.
The state must recognize the state of war to which it is subjected and separate the cases accordingly. Criminals will be tried in the criminal justice system and will be brought to justice, while maintaining their right to a fair trial. On the other hand, enemies of the state will be held as criminals of war or otherwise restricted according to the circumstances. They will not be charged, judged or acquire criminal status unless they violate the laws of war.
Nonviolent Civil Disobedience
In the rest of the world’s democratic states, nonviolent civil disobedience is seen as a legitimate and important tool for preserving democracy. Israel, however, has developed a policy of aggressive resistance by the regime to any form of protest, without distinguishing between violent protest and nonviolent protest. Zehut demands a policy that distinguishes between the two kinds of protests and instructs the police not to resort to violence when it comes to nonviolent resistance.
Although the state framework requires citizens to give up their right to exercise force, there is no justification for depriving them of their right to self-defense. Zehut sees denial of the right of civilians to bear arms as an infringement of their right to self-defense, if only because from the moment of entry into danger until the arrival of the security forces, the citizen is required to defend himself and his surroundings by himself. With regard to the claim that the ease of carrying weapons will cause greater crime, criminals already have access to illegal weapons. These restrictions hamper the ordinary citizen. Moreover, it is absurd that a civilian who is discharged from the IDF cannot carry a gun after the state has placed an assault rifle in his hands during his service.
Therefore, as a first step, Zehut will authorize the carrying of arms to all military veterans without a violent past or physical or mental limitations, and will then formulate a policy of extending permits to all citizens.