Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger would be allowed to continue serving in his post despite a report by the attorney general that harshly criticized Metzger's conduct and called on him to resign, the committee on appointing rabbinical judges ruled Monday.
Following the decision, Metzger would also be permitted to assume the post of president of the supreme rabbinical court in place of current president, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Moshe Amar, as required by law.
In April 2006, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz published a report stating that the chief rabbi would not be indicted for receiving perks from the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem, due to insufficient evidence in the case.
However, in his report Mazuz slammed Metzger's conduct during the investigation, called on him to resign his post as chief rabbi and as a rabbinical judge, and said that if he failed to do so, the committee on appointing rabbinical judges should convene to discuss his dismissal.
In response, Metzger petitioned the High Court of Justice, which eventually agreed to leave the decision in the committee's hands.
'Not an honorable moment'
Despite their endorsement of Metzger, some of the committee's members did not hesitate to criticize the chief rabbi.
"Rabbi Metzger conducted himself improperly in some affairs, but the facts brought before the committee did not present sufficient reason to dismiss him," said Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann.
Another committee member, MK Nissan Slomiansky, told Ynet that "a discussion over the dismissal of a chief rabbi is not a praiseworthy moment." Slomiansky explained that the decision not to dismiss Metzger was based on the committee's notion that the charges against him were not criminal.
Aviram Zino contributed to the report