The Judge Selection Committee agreed Sunday on the nominations of three judges to the Supreme Court: Neal Hendel, Yitzchak Amit and Uzi Fogelman.
Judge Nili Arad was selected as Deputy President of the Labor Court.
Justice Minster Yaakov Ne'eman and Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch phoned the appointees and wished them success.
Judge Neal Hendel / Israel news photo: Courts.gov.il
MK Uri Ariel of the National Union told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service Sunday that "these were the best appointments that we could have gotten. The procedure that determined that only judges who have been on the Supreme Court for one year [as temporary appointments] has been changed. Out of the three who were chosen, two arrived directly from the District Court to the Supreme Court. In addition, this was the first time that a candidate nominated by Knesset Members was selected. Our proposal regarding Neal Hendel was accepted unanimously."
"We added a special session [next] Friday in order to continue and select the representatives of the District, Magistrates, Traffic and Family courts," Ariel added.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel hailed the appointments as "the beginning of a revolution" in the appointment of judges. The forum noted that this was the first time that a majority of the judges selected were not favored by the Supreme Court President, and that Judges Hendel and Amit are both independent thinkers, unlike the candidates usually favored by Beinisch. The forum also noted that President Beinisch wanted to adjourn the meeting Sunday without making the appointments but that Justice Minister Ne'eman insisted on a decision.
Neal Hendel, who dons a knit kippah (yarmulke), was born in 1952 in the United States. He studied at Yeshiva of Flatbush High School and New York University, and in 1973 studied Talmud with Rabbi Yoseph Dov Soloveichik at Yeshiva University. He completed his law degree at Hofstra University in Long Island, and came on Aliyah to Israel in 1983. He has been a judge since 1988.
Judge Yitzhak Amit was born in 1958 in Israel. He graduated from Zeitlin High School and served in the IDF. In 1985 he completed his law studies at Hebrew University. After working as a private sector lawyer for 11 years he was appointed to the Haifa Magistrates' Court.
Judge Uzi Fogelman was born in 1954 in Israel. He graduated from Aleph Municipal High School in Tel Aviv and served in the IDF's Nachal Regiment. He received his law degree at Tel Aviv University and became a lawyer in 1980. From 1982 to 2000 he worked in the Prosecution where he became a department head and a favorite of Beinisch's. He was appointed to the District Court in 2000 after receiving a Masters' Degree in Public Management at Harvard University.