Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court 390.
(photo credit: Ilan Costica / Creative Commons license)
The High Court of Justice is due to hear a petition on Monday criticizing the
lack of female representation on the commission for appointing Rabbinical Court
In its response to the petition, the state said last Wednesday
that the attorney- general believes that after the election, the new government
should “consider an appropriate level of female participation” among its factors
in deciding the “new members of the commission.”
In light of the great
importance of equality of representation, the state’s response said that the
attorney-general recommended the Knesset explore legislative possibilities to
guarantee more equal representation of women on the committee for appointing
The state added that in light of the overall circumstances,
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman would not be pursuing any new initiatives to
address the issue until the formation of the next Knesset.
state noted that in December 2011 and August 2012, the court had ordered a delay
in any new appointments until the issue was litigated. In other words, the state
said it cannot be taken to task for not adding women to its panel for appointing
judges since the case started as the court has not allowed it to
The petition was filed by Emunah, the movement for
national-religious women, and the Center for Women’s Justice.
February, the court issued a conditional order to the state demanding it explain
the lack of women on the commission for appointing judges.
practice “contradicts the state’s commitment, under international law, to
eliminating all forms of discrimination against women,” said attorney Susan
Weiss, director of CWJ. “It also contradicts the 1951 Equal Rights Law, which
mandates adequate representation of women in public bodies.”
In order to
balance the inherent inequality regarding appointing rabbinic judges, Weiss
continued, it is not enough to settle for one female
“Symbolic representation is not enough,” she
insists. “This situation is a disgrace to justice in Israel and demands