Nationalist Found Innocent, Becomes Lawyer
Nationalist activist and parliamentary aide Itamar Ben-Gvir of Hevron has finally become a lawyer, two years after finishing his law degree. Ben-Gvir faced opposition from the Israel Bar Association due to his history of political protest, which has included numerous run-ins with the police. He was most recently arrested just over two weeks ago, for confronting police officers over their decision to bring horses to a protest outside the Knesset.
Ben-Gvir was suspected of support for the outlawed Kach organization formed by Rabbi Meir David Kahane.
When informed of the Bar Association’s opposition, Ben-Gvir send the group a list of precedents in which people with politically extreme views were allowed to become attorneys. A terrorist who attempted to kidnap a soldier was certified as a lawyer with no opposition from the Bar Association, he noted.
Several people were certified despite support for far-left groups such as Anarchists Against the Wall.
An internal Bar Association group agreed with Ben-Gvir, but decided to condition his certification on the completion of three trials against him. The three – for participating in an unauthorized gathering, possession of defamatory posters, and insulting a public servant – ended in Ben-Gvir’s acquittal.
The long-time land of Israel activist was then allowed to take an oral exam. Examiner Judge Gilad Neuman praised Ben-Gvir for his knowledge and approved him for the bar.
Ben-Gvir finally received his diploma along with 2,091 other new attorneys in a ceremony in Jerusalem’s Binyanei Hauma building.
He expressed hope that his certification will help restore faith in the legal system. “There is an entire community that feels that many of the courts are the territory of the far left,” he said. “There is an entire community that feels discriminated against, and I hope to serve that community, to represent it faithfully and with dignity, and to prove that the courts listen to arguments made by the right and by settlers, as well.”
He plans to continue his work as a parliamentary aide to MK Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi) alongside his new legal career.