Swearing-in ceremony for judges shadowed by Itamar slayings

Peres calls attack "despicable atrocity"; swearing in ceremony takes place in large corridors of Supreme Court.

peres judges (photo credit: PMO)
peres judges
(photo credit: PMO)
The vicious murder on Friday night of Itamar settlers Ruth and Ehud Fogel and three of their six children clouded what would otherwise have been a joyful swearing- in ceremony for 14 new judges at the Supreme Court on Sunday.
Swearing-in ceremonies are traditionally held at Beit Hanassi, but because the official residence of the president is undergoing renovations and repairs, the ceremony on this occasion was held in one of the large corridors of the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch underscored that this particular ceremony was exceptional – but not so much because of its venue or the fact that the Supreme Court had the privilege of hosting the president, who officially appoints new judges, but because it was being held in the shadow of the painful Fogel family funerals and the horrific event that preceded them, “which cast a pall on all of us.”
Beinisch, who characterized the murder of the members of the Fogel family as “cruel and baseless,” was confident that the killers will be found and brought to justice. Both she and President Shimon Peres found it especially difficult to digest the fact that tender-aged children had been among the victims.
It was the fate of the people of this country, in the region in which it lives and works to be under the constant threat of war and terror, said Beinisch. Whenever the nation lifts its head because there is a little quiet, it confronts another tragedy.
Israel has become accustomed to coping, she said, and with all the pain and suffering, has continued a regular day-to-day routine, while simultaneously trying to bring an end to violence.
Turning to the matter at hand, Beinisch underscored that judges have an important mission to fulfill as they confront the different sectors of Israeli society with all its flaws and weaknesses. There was no doubt that the system is urgently in need of more judges, she said, referring to the tremendous backlog of cases.
The 14 new judges were appointed primarily to magistrates’ courts in different parts of the country, but also to the district, labor, traffic, family and juvenile courts.
Peres, like Beinisch, referred to the murder in his opening remarks, calling it “a despicable atrocity” and declaring that “terror will never triumph. It will be vanquished.”
Any political differences with Itamar were forgotten as Peres stated: “Our hearts are with the orphans, with the bereaved families and with the whole settlement at this terrible time.”
Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, after expressing his condolences to the Fogel family, said that no words could describe the enormity of the crime or the type of monsters who can murder sleeping children and their parents.
Noting that the festival of Purim – which commemorates the delivery of the Jewish people from Haman, the evil viceroy of ancient Persia who sought to eradicate all the Jews, but whose plans were foiled by Esther and Mordehai – is only a week away, Neeman drew an analogy between the ancient antagonist and the modern killers, implying what their fate might be.
He also warned of the regional unrest’s impact on Israel, stating that the Jewish state is an island of democracy in a sea of instability.