High Court rejects petition against Naveh

Judge Arbel says Naveh not fit for the job, but court cannot find legitimate enough transgression to cancel nomination.

yair naveh 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
yair naveh 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The High Court on Thursday rejected the petition that was filed against Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh's temporary appointment to be the IDF chief of General Staff. The decision, made by a panel of three judges, stated that "we didn't find any condition which would justify canceling the general's nomination."
The petitioners – including NGOs Yesh Gvul and Gush Shalom, and left-wing former MKs Shulamit Aloni and Moshe “Mossi” Raz – maintained that while he was head of the IDF’s Central Command in 2006, Naveh committed war crimes by authorizing targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists, in violation of a court ruling. The information about Naveh's alleged crimes were leaked last year to Haaretz by Anat Kam, who had served in Naveh's office.
NGOs file petition to freeze Naveh appointment
Barak: Decision not to extend Ashkenazi's term is right Judge Edna Arbel, who wrote the official ruling, said that the High Court could not draw from the existent law a sweeping rule on targeted killings. She also noted that the attorney-general, who was requested to look over the case after the issue was raised, determined that the army did not act in opposition to the law and that therefore there is no point to open a criminal investigation on the matter.
As for whether or not the court felt that Naveh would be appropriate for the role of temporary IDF chief of staff itself, Judge Edna Arbel said she did not feel that Naveh was fit for the job. The High Court judges criticized Naveh's past off-handed remarks to the High Court when he was quoted as responding "Who cares about High Court judges?" to reporters.
Justice Salim Jourban had said that Naveh's past actions "may encourage disregard for court orders, and could harm the public's trust in the court system."
On Tuesday, Naveh had submitted a letter to the Military Advocate-General explaining the remarks he had made to Blau.
“I was quoted as saying things, which I don’t deny saying, but which were presented in the article in a way that could be understood as my disregarding the High Court in general and its ruling on the legality of targeted killings in particular,” wrote Naveh. He added “Such a reading of the words is wrong and upsetting in my eyes; it twists my meaning and takes things out of context.”
The High Court concluded that decision of whether to appoint Naveh or not was ultimately not up to them. "The choice to make a temporary appointment, which looks as though it will pass in the Knesset, is not resting on us and we are not needed for it, but we do not see any basis for distinguishing between the competence of those elected to serve as deputy chief of staff, chief of staff, or temporary chief of staff."