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 .
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.
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.
"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