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New Hareidi-Religious List Seeks Bar Association Change

The Tov list will compete in the Israel Bar Association elections, reflecting the growing entry of hareidi-religious jurists into the profession.
By Aryeh Ben Hayim
First Publish: 5/17/2011, 3:27 PM / Last Update: 5/17/2011, 3:45 PM

 

The Israel Bar Association elections will be held on June 21 and there will be a new player in the game: a joint religious-haredi list called Tov Lalishka.

The name literally means "Good for the [Israel] Bar [Association]." The fact that a new list with a religious orientation is appearing reflects both the recent politics of the Bar Association, and the demographic and occupational reality that an ever increasing number of ultra-Orthodox men and women are pursuing a career in the legal profession and can now enroll in law schools that cater to their religious lifestyle.

The current president of the Israel Bar Association, Yori Geiron, and his predecessor Shlomo Cohen are ideologically aligned with the legal philosophy of former Chief Justice Aharon Barak that basically sought to dilute the Jewish character of the State of Israel, turning it into a country of all its citizens. Therefore one of the goals of the new list is to act within the Association as "part of the struggle for the Jewish character of the State of Israel."

The Association also appoints representatives to the committees selecting justices and rabbinical judges, and the new list will try to get a member on one of these committees or one of the panels that advise the Knesset on legislation. From a purely practical point of view, the list would like to make the Association more religious-friendly, as the recent conclaves of the Israel Bar Association - for example, last year's session in Eilat - did not take account of the needs of religious jurists..

On voting day each voter casts four votes: One for the President of the Israel Bar Association, one for the national list, one for the district list (e.g., Jerusalem), and one vote for the district president.

The religious list is supporting the candidacy of Geiron's opponent Doron Barzilai  as well as his nominee in the Jerusalem District, Michael Dvorin. In Jerusalem, Tov will be part of a joint list with the Barzilai slate. The new list hopes to garner 2-3 representatives to the national council and 2 representatives to the Jerusalem District  council.