Addressing calls to appoint a Sephardic
judge to the High Court of Justice, Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman said "only the best (candidates) should be appointed," adding that he was staunchly opposed to appointing a Sephardic judge based solely on his or her descent.
Ne'eman went on to say that the Supreme Court was in a "terrible state," adding "there are (numerous) cases which cannot be heard because there are not enough panels (of judges). The public suffers from this."
Ne'eman also addressed a series of controversial bills
which, if passed, would change the face of Israel's
Supreme Court. "Are these proposals really anti-democratic? No, they are not."
One of the bills would give the Knesset's Constitution Committee the right to vet Supreme Court candidates. Another proposal, dubbed the "Grunis bill," would allow the appointment of a Supreme Court Chief Justice with only two years remaining until retirement.
Both bills have been criticized as rightist attempts to curb Israel's judicial system.
Addressing the "Grunis bill," Ne'eman said "past Supreme Court presidents, such as Moshe Landau, served for periods of less than three years.
The bill is widely seen as meant to pave the way for Justice Asher Dan Grunis to serve as the next president instead of Justice Miriam Naor.