Israel Bar Association conference
Photo: Moti Kimhi
Daniel Friedmann
Photo: Moti Kimhi
Tibi calls for more Arab justices in Supreme Court
Ahmad Tibi laments small number of Arab justices in Supreme Court in Joint Bar Association and Ynet conference

A panel of senior state officials discussed the issue of High Court "circumventing bills" on Tuesday in an Israel Bar Association conference sponsored by Ynet.


The panel included former Justice Minister Prof. Daniel Friedmann, coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud), former Defense Minister MK Amir Peretz (Labor), MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List Ta'al) and Ynet Chief Editor Jon Feder.


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Addressing the Iran strike issue, Prof. Friedmann said, "According to Aharon Barak's theory, a petition can be filed against the possibility of a strike in Iran. There were all sorts of petitions in the past. I believe this issue should not be argued in court."


MK Elkin remarked, "I think that any normal government is elected to make a change. Many in Israel, myself included, believe that many issues in the legal system require serious reforms."

דיון בנושא "חוקים עוקפי בג"ץ". ועידת המשפט, הבוקר (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

Law Conference panel (Photo: Moti Kimhi)


MK Peretz accused the coalition of exploiting the majority rule in votes.


MK Tibi on his part expressed his support of the Supreme Court but noted that it usually fails to address "cardinal issues" relating to the Arab minority and the Palestinians. "The High Court authorized targeted killings, deportation, land confiscation, settlements, fences," he said. "Why is it then that the court has a leftist image?"


He further added, "One of the most sensitive issues for the Arab society is the issue of family reunification. The Supreme Court endorsed one of the most racist laws which bans the establishment of a family where one of the spouses is a Palestinian residing beyond the Green Line. "

מבחן בג"ץ על הפרק. חברי הכנסת אלקין ופרץ בוועידה (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

MKs Peretz (L) and Elkin (Photo: Moti Kimhi)


MK Tibi then lamented over the fact that there is only one Arab justice in the Supreme Court. "Why can't we have two Arab justices? What would happen? What are you so mad about?"


The conference, which is being held at Tel Aviv's David Intercontinental Hotel, will also address criminal and public law issues, and will host a panel on international hasbara which will be attended by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.


A survey conducted ahead of the conference showed that seven out of 10 Israelis believe the courts are lenient towards hit and run offenders.


During one of the panels which addressed the Olmert case and its outcome, two of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attorneys suddenly stormed out of the room after former Attorney General Menachem Mazuz addressed the issue.


Mazuz also left the panel shortly after the audience criticized his behavior and called him to leave the room.





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