Israel Bar chairman blasts Friedmann for freezing Ben-Or appointment

Israel Bar chairman Shlomo Cohen on Wednesday blasted Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann for suspending the appointment of Nava Ben-Or as a Jerusalem District Court judge and accused him of cooperating with those who had launched a "pogrom" against the law enforcement system. Meanwhile, the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel warned that it would petition the High Court of Justice if the Judges Election Committee decided to lift the suspension and implement her appointment. The Judges Election Committee elected Ben-Or on April 19. However, during the discussion leading up to the vote, committee members learned that Ben-Or had not included in her biographical details the fact that Attorney Dror Hoter-Ishai had filed a lawsuit against her. The committee therefore decided to tentatively elect her to the post. After the police closed the file on a complaint against Ben-Or for failing to inform the committee of the lawsuit, Ben-Or's appointment became final. However, on May 6, two days before she was due to be sworn in, four of the nine Judges Election Committee members voted to suspend the decision and to reconsider her appointment at a special meeting scheduled for next Tuesday. Those who voted in favor of the suspension included Friedmann, Interior Minister Roni Bar-On, MK Gilad Erdan and Attorney Pinhas Marinsky. In response, Cohen wrote, "The complaints lodged against [Ben-Or] are one more step in the ongoing pogrom against the law enforcement system in Israel. Why are you lending a hand to this shameful campaign?" Nohi Eyal, the director-general of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel charged that Ben-Or was not worthy of the job because she had not informed the committee of the lawsuit against her and because she was involved in a conflict of interests because of her close friendship with Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch.