yaakov neeman 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A key member of the Committee for Appointing Rabbinical Judges is warning he
will prevent new rabbinic judges joining the High Rabbinical Court of Appeals,
if a Zionist rabbi is not one of them.
For six months, the committee has
been unsuccessful in filling the four vacant places in that court. Last
Wednesday was supposed to be when the new judges would be appointed, but MK
Otniel Schneller (Kadima) who serves as one of the Knesset committee members,
said on Sunday he wouldn’t let the appointments take place since only haredim
were final candidates on last week’s shortlist.
“I won’t lend a hand to
new appointments so long as there is no religious Zionist
representative. The boycott of Zionists in the High Rabbinical Court must
come to an end,” said Schneller. “I won’t convene the committee until there is
unanimous agreement among the members.”
Though he does not have the power
to veto the committee’s decisions, it is believed he has influence over Justice
Minister Yaakov Neeman, who does have that authority. Neeman and Schneller are
two of the four national-religious members of the committee. The other six
members are haredi.
The committee will most likely not meet again until
the end of the year.
“A new constellation in the 10-man committee will
come into existence this December,” when Rabbi Haggai Izrir will retire from the
High Rabbinical Court, as well as his from the committee, Schneller explained.
Izrir will apparently be replaced by Sephardi rabbi Zion
Sources close to the committee said it was the initiative of
Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, also a member of the committee, to freeze its
work until the appointment of Elgrabli.
“As long as this constellation
does not change, I will prevent the committee from convening and appointing new
members,” Schneller said.
The Knesset member was not worried that his
recalcitrance would cause a backlog in the work of the High Rabbinical Court,
the highest appeals court in that system.
“Maybe we should consider
making the highest appeals court a secular one,” he mused. “If this causes an
accumulation of ‘chained’ women whose husbands are refusing them Jewish divorces
who cannot receive the help they need from the rabbinical courts, they can file
a petition to the High Court of Justice. I won’t be extorted on this,” he said.