Judge Khaled Kabub. (Flash90) (Flash90)
Judge Khaled Kabub.

Approval of four justices ends backlog on appointments.

By JNS.org

The Judicial Selection Committee in Israel appointed four new judges to the Supreme Court on Monday, including the first Muslim justice to sit on the court.

The selections have been named as judges Khaled Kabub, Ruth Ronnen, Gila Kanfi-Steinitz and Yechiel Kasher.

Kasher is an attorney from the private sector, while the other three choices are serving judges.

Kabub will be the first Muslim to sit on the Supreme Court. Previous Arab justices were Christian.

Kanfi-Steinitz, wife of Likud MK Yuval Steinitz, will be the first woman of Sephardi descent to sit on the High Court.

According to a report by Maariv, a few months ago, Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced the launching of a new list of candidates for the role, but that the four “leading candidates had already been set.”

In December, the Judicial Selection Committee canceled a last-minute meeting due to a lack of agreement, which now appears to have been resolved, said the report.

At the start of Monday’s meeting, Sa’ar stated: “After three months of intense work since the publication of the first candidates’ list, I will today bring before the committee a proposal to appoint four judges to the Supreme Court. This proposal reflects the correct decision according to the three parameters that I set as a compass: excellence, balance and diversity.”

He described the list as a “crystal of quality that will add a professional, remarkable force to our senior legal court.”

Israel’s 15-seat Supreme Court has been short two justices. Justices Hanan Melcer and Meni Mazuz were never replaced after retiring last year because of the political paralysis between Likud and the Blue and White parties. Justices Neal Hendel and George Kara are retiring this year while Chief Justice Esther Hayut and Justice Anat Baron will step down in 2023.

In December, Saar took the unusual but not unprecedented step of appointing Tel Aviv District Court Judge Shaul Shohat to a temporary six-month tenure with Chief Justice Hayut’s agreement. Judge Shohat will return to his former position.

United With Israel staff contributed to this report.

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