Kadis for Druse courts sworn in at President’s Residence

Event marks only the second time in three decades that such a ceremony had been held.

Four kadis who were appointed to serve in the Druse personal status courts were sworn in at Beit Hanassi on Monday, in the presence of a large contingent from the Druse community, including several sheikhs who arrived in traditional attire.
It was only the second time in three decades that such a ceremony had been held, said Sheikh Muafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druse community and chairman of the Druse Supreme Religious Council.
He welcomed the appointments of Hatam Halabi, Atir Madi, Sheikh Imad Abu Reish and Sheikh Kamal Kablan, as well as that of Tamir Mula who has been appointed to serve as a lawyer in the Druse religious courts.
All four kadis made a declaration identical in wording to that made by Israeli civil court judges, with the essential difference that for the civil court it is made only in Hebrew, whereas for the Druse religious court it is made in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Tarif said that the kadis had taken a heavy responsibility upon themselves, because it was their task to decide on the fate of people who came before them. He counseled them to make their judgments with wisdom and sensitivity, without fear or prejudice, and with justice as their guide.
President Shimon Peres expressed profound appreciation for the unique covenant that exists between the Jewish and Druse communities of Israel, and made special mention of the fact that Druse soldiers serve in the IDF out of all proportion to the proportion of Druse in the population. He was also pleased to note that the number of university educated Druse is rising, which gives them another common link with the Jewish population in that they are also the people of the book and the sword.
Another commonality, said Peres, is that both the Druse and the Jews, though few in number place great emphasis on quality. For more than a thousand years, the Druse have been known for their agricultural expertise, their strategies in war, their exceptional traditions and their culture of interpersonal relations, the president said.
The swearing-in ceremony was a sign of the triumph of fraternity, mutual understanding and the preservation of Druse religious laws, he said.
Aside from the quest for justice that is the key challenge for any judge, the new kadis, said Peres, also had to wrestle with problems of modernity and had to find creative solutions for the future without compromising the traditions of the past.
He was convinced that there is no conflict between intellectual development and the preservation of tradition.
The true art was to give way to change, without changing one’s own values, Peres said.