Schneller: Beinisch let US dictate court policy

Says Supreme Court president shouldn't rule on settlements, fence after discussing them with US ambassador.

beinisch 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
beinisch 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch should disqualify herself from deliberating issues related to settlement activity in the West Bank, MK Otneil Schneller said Wednesday morning. The comments followed a Jewish Daily Forward report that during a meeting last month with US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, Beinisch was asked to comment on rulings made by the Supreme Court regarding settlement activity in the West Bank. According to US administration sources quoted in The Forward report, Jones asked about "retroactive approval of illegal settlement neighborhoods" and about the factors that determined the positioning of sections of the security fence. An Israeli source quoted by the report confirmed that the meeting took place but said that the ambassador's questions were construed as an attempt to understand - rather than as a criticism of - previous rulings made by the court. Beinisch had compromised her position by involving herself in political issues and allowing the Americans to dictate judicial policy to her, Schneller told Israel Radio. In early September, in a decision on the route of the fence near a neighborhood of Modi'in Illit, Beinisch wrote that "the route of the separation barrier should not be planned based on the desire to include land earmarked for expanding settlements on the 'Israeli side,' especially if the plans are not to be realized soon."