Labor Court President Judge Nili Arad 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Appointment ceremonies at Beit Hanassi are usually crowded and formal affairs,
especially those for judges, where as many as 20 are appointed at one time to
serve in different courts around the country.
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The family of each new
appointee, plus retired and serving judges and representatives of the Justice
Ministry also attend, and on occasion this has caused a lot of crowding in Beit
Hanassi’s main reception hall.
The appointment on Monday of Judge Nili
Arad as president of the National Labor Court was a much more intimate affair,
attended mainly by four generations her family and her black-robed National
Labor Court colleagues.
Contrary to usual practice, the ceremony was held
in the small reception hall that leads to the office of President Shimon
Participants, including Arad’s five-and-a-half year old grandson
Or, arrived well ahead of time. He proudly announced to all and sundry: “This is
MY grandma!” Having seen everything there was to see he became a little
impatient and asked: “Where’s the president?” Or’s curiosity was satisfied a few
minutes later when Peres appeared, flanked by Supreme Court President Dorit
Beinisch, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister
Arad stood as Courts Administration director-general
Moshe Gal read her curriculum vitae that attested to her wide ranging experience
in the legal system, after which she signed a pledge that elsewhere would be
interpreted as an oath of allegiance.
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Peres noted that she had been the
first woman to serve as director-general of the Justice Ministry and now she was
the first woman to serve as president of the National Labor Court.
said that in today’s global environment it was not enough to be well versed in
the labor laws of one’s own country. One has to know those of other countries as
well. Moreover a national labor court judge, particularly in the role of
president, must be able to tread the fine line between fairness to the worker
and fairness to the employer to ensure that capital keeps rolling so that more
jobs can be created, he said.
Peres expressed appreciation to the court’s
outgoing President Steve Adler, who he said has served the state with loyalty
and wisdom and has made an enormous contribution to the development of the labor
Beinisch, who is both a personal friend and longtime colleague of
Arad’s, said that she had been in a position to observe Arad at work and to take
note of the extent to which Arad concerned herself not only with the rules and
regulations, but with the humans beings affected by the law and by her
Adler had made a phenomenal contribution to labor relations in
Israel, Beinisch said.
Neeman recalled that when he had previously been
justice minister and had appointed Arad as director-general of the ministry,
people had asked him how he could take such a risk, given that Arad had no
Before he had been minister, he had appeared
in a sensitive case involving the right of bereaved parents and siblings to have
more on the inscription on the tomb of a dead soldier than the IDF allowed. The
wanted the names of the soldier’s brother and sister on the headstone. The IDF
was adamantly opposed.
When Neeman saw the manner in which Arad had
handled the case he was impressed; and when the time came to appoint a
director-general, he decided that someone with as good a heart as Arad’s would
make a good manager.
Neeman lauded Adler’s gift for mediation and said
that he had made significant changes for the good in the Labor Court
Ben-Eliezer said he never had to worry about anything while Adler
was at the helm of the court, and he urged her to walk in Adler’s
Turning to Adler he said, “You’ve received a lot of
compliments today, but the bottom line is that you’re a good and decent man.”
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