Did one of Grunis’s ‘ticking bomb’ judges explode?

Tel Aviv District Court Judge Nissim Yeshaya was caught either explicitly or implicitly telling a rape victim that some women enjoy being raped.

By
June 6, 2013 00:34
2 minute read.
Supreme Court President Asher Grunis

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

In February, previously unpublished protocols disclosed that Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis had told other members of the judicial appointments committee that certain judges were like a “ticking bomb” waiting to go off and that the “public was paying a price for it.”

One of those bombs may have exploded on Wednesday.

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On Wednesday, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Nissim Yeshaya was caught either explicitly or implicitly telling a rape victim that some women enjoy being raped.

While Yeshaya correctly pointed out in the initial hours after he started to be attacked that the context of his statement was an appeal on an insurance issue of whether the victim would get paid extra state money by being recognized as a terror victim, not comments on the rape case itself, his decision late on Wednesday to resign showed that he had more fully internalized the damage of his comment.

But the idea that a judge could make such a comment in this day and age and that the initial court response would be to contain the damage, appears to indicate that there truly may be ticking time-bombs on the bench.

Other recent judge-related scandals have included a judge who told a police prosecutor that she could “find a zayin quickly,” a reference to the first letter of the defendant’s name, but also slang for a penis (he resigned), one accused of beating his children (despite his partial admissions, the case against him was closed) and the extradition of a judge to Israel from South America who had fled prosecution for fraud (currently awaiting trial).

When the protocols of Grunis’s comment were published, the director-general of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Nahi Eyal, wrote to Grunis that the public should not need to suffer from judges who were unfit, but were not forced to retire because of considerations regarding their pensions.

According to the forum and the protocols of the Judicial Appointments Committee, some “unfit” judges have not been dismissed because of concerns that their pensions would be harmed by forced early retirement or dismissal.

At the time, the courts spokeswoman responded to the allegations, saying that the “issue of pension rights of judges requires investigation” and that the Knesset Finance Committee must address the pension issue.

If the courts want to avoid further similar embarrassments, it might consider the forum’s critique and speed up investigation of the issue. •


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