A-G Mazuz: Cancel rabbinical judge appointments

All 15 dayanim found to be unqualified despite having been re-certified.

jerusalem rabbinate 248.88 (photo credit: Knesset Channel)
jerusalem rabbinate 248.88
(photo credit: Knesset Channel)
After the political storm caused in March by the appointment of 12 haredi rabbinical judges to Israel's rabbinical court, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz ordered Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann on Sunday to rescind the appointments of all 15 new appointees, Israel Radio reported. According to the report, the 15 judges were found to be unqualified to serve as judges, despite the fact that the Chief Rabbinate had met recently and recertified them. A source in the Justice Ministry reproved the judges' appointments, calling the move "definitely careless." In March, religious Zionist activists approached the Rabbinical Courts Appointments Committee and Mazuz on the judges selection, arguing that the process by which dayanim (rabbinical judges) were chosen was based on political affiliation and halachic loyalty and was illegal. Since coalition agreements affect the membership of the committee, the dominance of the rabbinical courts by haredi is a direct outcome of the influence of haredi parties in the cabinet. Attorneys Yeshayaho Avraham and Dr. Aviad Hacohen, who represent Tzohar and Emunah, respectively, wrote that: 'On March 19 [the day in which the new dayanim were selected] there was no serious discussion, and certainly no decision-making 'with an open heart and a willing soul,'' the letter continued. Rather, wrote Avraham and Hacohen, 'before the list of 53 candidates was even read, some of the committee members produced lists that were prepared ahead of time. There was a vote on these lists alone, in which at least one member didn't even know the candidates, their background, qualifications or lack of qualifications, or the strings attached to the [candidates] that could have influenced the selection process.' For this reason, the letter reads, some of the dayanim selected are not the most qualified. In fact, according to the Tzohar organization, some are unfit and were chosen for familial or political considerations alone.