Israel appoints first-ever Muslim Supreme Court justice

Khaled Kabuv (63) respected long serving Judge leaves position at head of District Court; chosen by committee among four new Justices after contentious selection; Justice Minister says balance of conservative and liberal justices achieved
Tova Zimuky|Updated:
Israel’s Judicial Selection Committee announced Monday the appointment of four new justices to the Supreme Court, including the first-ever Muslim judge to sit in the country’s highest court .
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  • The four are Judge Ruth Ronen, Judge Gila Kanfei-Steinitz, private sector lawyer Yechiel Kasher and Judge Khaled Kabuv - Israel’s first Muslim Supreme Court Justice.
    2 View gallery
    חאלד כבוב, יחיאל כשר, גילה כנפי שטייניץ, רות רונן
    חאלד כבוב, יחיאל כשר, גילה כנפי שטייניץ, רות רונן
    L to R, Judge Khaled Kabuv, Judge Gila Kanfei-Steinitz, Judge Ruth Ronen, and private sector lawyer Yechiel Kasher
    (Photo: Shutterstock, Tomer Jacobson, Orel Cohen )
    The four’s appointment comes amid efforts to reorganize the 15 justice body presiding over Israel’s top court.
    While Kasher and Kanfei-Steinitz - wife of MK Yuval Steinitz - are both viewed as moderate right-wingers, Ronen is considered a moderate-activist while Kabuv holds constitutional views.
    "The Judicial Selection Committee bears heavy responsibility in selecting Israeli judges in general and in shaping the image of the Supreme Court in particular,” said justice Minister Gideon Saar, who heads the selection committee and who brought forth the four as candidates.
    2 View gallery
    כינוס הוועדה למינוי שופטים
    כינוס הוועדה למינוי שופטים
    The Judicial Selection Committee
    "My proposal reflects the right choice according to the three metrics I have set: excellence, balance and diversity."
    “This composition is diverse as it is balanced in terms of legal perceptions and reflects our diverse social mosaic,” added Saar.
    Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, said: “I will admit and won’t deny - if I had served as chairman of the committee today, the result would have been different.”
    "It's no secret that I wanted to appoint other judges during today’s meeting,” added Shaked, who opposed the appointment of Ronen and abstained from voting on Kabuv’s appointment.
    “The head of the committee, the justice minister, chose to lead a different line. He did however insisted on the important principle of balance and that there should be two candidates for each side [of the political spectrum],” she added.
    First published: 17:31, 02.21.22
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