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Daily Israel Report

Beinisch: Keep Israel's Judges Safe

Supreme Court President Beinisch remembers slain judge, calls to protect court system 'so judges can do their work without fear.'
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/1/2010, 9:45 PM / Last Update: 3/1/2010, 10:51 PM

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Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinisch called to protect Israel's judges in a speech given Monday in memory of slain judge Adi Azar. Threats against judges are a threat to Israeli democracy, she said.

Beinisch called violence against judges “criminal terrorism,” adding, “The relevant authorities should show as much determination in their war on this kind of terrorism as they do when fighting other kinds of terrorism.”

Israel must learn from Azar's murder “that every effort to protect Israel's judges is justified, so that they can do their work without fear,” she stated. Beinisch added that “Israel's judges are not deterred by threats.”

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman spoke at the memorial as well. Neeman suggested that Israel institute the death penalty for criminals who murder judges. “Those who murder judges should never be released. That's my opinion,” he said.

Adi Azar was murdered in 2004 by criminals who sought to kill a judge. He was selected randomly from a list of judges.

Beinisch herself was the target of an attack in January, when a man threw his shoes at her during a court hearing. The chief justice was slightly bruised in the incident, and her glasses were broken.

On Saturday night, an unknown perpetrator threatened Beinisch and Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Anna Schneider. Judge Schneider returned home to find her car tires slashed for the third time in six months. The words “You + Beinisch = Murder” were etched into the car's paint.