Haaretz writer Uri Misgav launched a hyperbolic tirade in the paper’s Friday edition, blasting Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg for a ruling issued earlier this week barring alternative kashrut certifications from operating without license by the Israeli Rabbinate.
But Misgav’s op-ed piece went far beyond criticism of the specific ruling in question. Entitled “The Israeli Justice Who Violates International Law Everytime He Comes Home”, the piece centers around ad hominem attacks, which hit the justice primarily for his religious background and residence in Judea.
Excoriating Justice Elyakim Rubinstein as well for the ruling, Misgav blasted the authority to issue kashrut licenses to restaurants as “messianic”, and lambasted the two judges for their religious background, suggesting they be restricted from ruling on matters pertaining to religion.
“The two who kept the messianic power in the rabbinate’s hands were Elyakim Rubinstein and Noam Sohlberg, both of them observant Orthodox Jews who grew up in the religious Zionist movement,” wrote Misgav. “The court let the cats guard the cream, a highly odd choice of justices.”
“There’s a clear conflict of interest in this case that involves tensions between religion and state. The secular justice on the panel, by the way, was the one who dissented.”
Beyond the justice’s religious background, Misgav attacked Sohlberg as an “offender”, arguing that Israeli Jews – any Israeli Jews – who live beyond the Green Line are “taking an active part in a national transgression” and there for become partners “to the offense”.
“The problem with Sohlberg… is that he’s a resident of a West Bank settlement. He lives in Alon Shvut, a settlement in the heart of Gush Etzion”. Misgav ignored the fact that Gush Etzion, lived in by Jews before Israel was declared a state, is one of the settlement blocs on which there is national consensus.
“By definition, he’s an offender.”
In the wake of Misgav’s op-ed piece, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked condemned what she described as “the wild incitement of ‘Haaretz’ against Supreme Court Justices.”
“The Haaretz newspaper reveals itself not as a leftist paper for people who feel they’re important… [but as] a mouthpiece for incitement.”