Right tries to stop judges' appointment

Groups hope MKs Erdan, Rotem and Ariel will prevent election of 'leftist' judges to Supreme Court.

gilad erdan great 224 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
gilad erdan great 224 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
As Friday's scheduled meeting of the Judicial Election Committee draws near, right-wing organizations and individuals are applying pressure to prevent the appointments of Beersheba District Court Judge Yosef "Sefi" Elon and Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uzi Fogelman on the grounds that they are "leftists." These forces are pinning their hopes on the fact that the bloc of three right-wing politicians including Environment Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) and MKs David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu Party) and Uri Ariel (National Union Party) will prevent the appointment of the two candidates. By law, a candidate for the Supreme Court must be chosen by at least seven of the nine committee members. Elon is the son of former Deputy Supreme Court President Menahem Elon and the brother of Benny Elon, former head of the Moledet Party, and Mordechai Elon, both of whom are right-wing religious nationalists. But Mattot Arim, a right-wing organization, recently issued a "warning" not to mistake their brother for them, despite his lineage. "Mr. Elon is being misrepresented as a right-wing candidate because two of his brothers are both National Religious and right-wing," warned Mattot Arim. "However his brothers are not the candidates. Sefi Elon himself is the candidate and he is left-wing, both in his outlook and in his previous judicial behavior in his temporary appointment as a justice." As an example of Elon's allegedly left-wing leanings, Mattot Arim referred to a ruling in which he agreed to allow the wholesale detention of Kfar Darom protesters who were brought to court before the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Mattot Arim charged that Elon should have studied each case individually or in small groups to determine which of the protesters should be detained. "There is absolutely no reason to tolerate Sefi Elon's presence in the court [he served as a temporary Supreme Court justice for nine months - DI] any longer. This is why the right-wing candidates were elected to the Judicial Election Committee to begin with. If the three right-wing members of the committee stick together as a group, Sefi Elon simply cannot become a judge and neither can other, better known, radical judges like Uzi Fogelman." In an attempt to block Fogelman from joining the Supreme Court, right-wing activist Shabtai Azriel wrote to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, demanding that he disqualify Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch from voting in the committee on Fogelman's candidacy. Azriel charged that Fogelman and Beinisch are involved in a conflict of interests that is tantamount to bribery. As a temporary Supreme Court justice, Fogelman wrote the decision rejecting a petition filed by investigative reporter Yoav Yitzhak against Beinisch. Azriel charged that Fogelman wrote the decision knowing that he needed Beinisch's support to be elected to the Supreme Court. Azriel added that extreme right-wing MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union Party) had asked Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to disqualify Beinisch but that he refused to do so.