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Daily Israel Report

Judge Berliner for Supreme Court? Nationalists Wary

Justice Minister Ne'eman supports religious Devorah Berliner for the Supreme Court but nationalists are skeptical.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 11/7/2011, 10:48 AM

Judge Berliner
Judge Berliner
Court website


Political circles in Israel are abuzz with speculation regarding new members that are supposed to be appointed to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks. Socially and politically conservative nationalists are wary of the proposed appointment of Judge Devorah Berliner, despite the fact that she is a considered to be religious.

Berliner is favored by Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman. In general, the nine-member Committee for Appointment of Judges (CAJ) is divided between the centrist-nationalist members, headed by Ne'eman, and the ultra-leftist members headed by outgoing Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch. However, this does not mean the nationalists are in agreement on their favored candidates.

Regarding Berliner, legal sources told Arutz Sheva Sunday that they fear she will serve as a rubber stamp for the Prosecution, or State Attorney's Office. A legal source said that Berliner had not left a mark during the time that she served in the Supreme Court as a temporary nomination.

"Berliner is not remembered as a courageous judge or one who criticized the system as one expects of a judge who is supposed to represent a different shade in the Supreme Court," the source added.

"Berliner is considered to be a pro-Prosecution judge who usually complies with the line laid down by the Prosecution and its demands," the source elaborated. "Not only did we not see any courageous opinion from her – to the contrary, she toed the line of leftist judges in the panel." Her daughter Dafna works in the Prosecution, the source noted. 

Between 85% and 90% of the Prosecution's attorneys are women, many of whom tend to identify with the militant feminist leftist line of former State Attorneys and current Supreme Court judges Dorit Beinisch and Edna Arbel. Militant feminists see the government, military, religious power structures and other establishments as part of an evil "Patriarchy" that must be weakened and conquered, and tend to identify with oppressed women the world over rather than with their own national-religious group.