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Bill: Didn't Serve in IDF? Don't Sit on High Court

Jewish MK proposes law that would prevent most Arabs from top judge spot after Arab MK proposes anti-settler law.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/4/2011, 9:05 PM

MK Ben Ari
MK Ben Ari
Flash 90

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) has submitted a bill that would prevent a judge from being appointed to the Supreme Court if he did not serve in the IDF or volunteered to carry out a term in the National Service. A judge who is already a member of the Court will not be able to serve as the Court's president or deputy president, according to the bill.

The bill would prevent the Arab Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran from being appointed court president or deputy president, because like most Arab citizens, he did not serve in the army or National Service. It is thus dubbed the Joubran Law.

Ben Ari's bill is seen as a legislative riposte to a provocative bill proposed by MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam Taal), which would forbid the appointment of a resident of a community in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron, or Yesha) to the Supreme Court.  

Tibi's bill is dubbed the Solberg Law because it is seen as being intended against Judge Noam Solberg, a candidate for the Supreme Court who lives in the Etzion Bloc. Like MK Ben Ari's bill, it is seen as a publicity stunt that has no chance of passing.

Ben Ari explained that it is "agreed by everyone" that a judge who wishes to be appointed to the Supreme Court must complete his duties to the state. Judges often have to decide in matters of national security, he noted, and a person who did not serve the state cannot sit on the court "that shapes the face of the state of Israel."