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“After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”
While they were clearly calling for the committee to have integrity and avoid outside considerations, the use of that metaphor is very revealing.
The Holy of Holies was, as its name implies, the most sacred part of the Temple in Jerusalem. It was closed off to the public. The only person who could enter was the high priest, who could only do so once a year.
The judicial branch of Israel’s government is often treated as though it is above all others, as though Israel is still a kritocracy like in the biblical Book of Judges, rather than a democracy, with three branches of government and in which the executive and legislature are equal to the judiciary.
Additionally, this so-called Holy of Holies in the judicial branch is a closed circle that only allows nine people inside – the justice minister, another minister, two MKs, three judges and two representatives of the Bar Association.
The Judicial Selection Committee does not release protocols. We do not know what considerations are behind the appointment of our judges. Some politicians on the committee have given a glimpse into their thinking via interviews, but rarely about specific candidates.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and others on the Right have long criticized the judiciary for being a self-selecting guild: judges led the way, indicating judges they want, and the rest of the members authorized whatever was put before them. Shaked made great strides in changing that situation, bringing Nave onto her side so that more varied – and more conservative – views characterized the 334 judges appointed during her tenure.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Political leaders from all French parties, including former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, joined Jews and non-Jews in Paris’s Place de la Republique to condemn antisemitic acts."
"Eighty years ago tonight, thousands of Americans gathered in New York to rally behind the Nazi Party and its ideals. An Oscar-nominated short documentary retrieves footage of the event, but leaves out the context that gives it meaning."
"The PM has persuaded the religious-Zionist Jewish Home to partner with the Kahanists of Otzma Yehudit. It makes cynical political sense for his interests, but what of Israel’s?"
"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."
"Making our choices count is, however, far from straightforward, and this is the subject of Martin Hägglund’s book This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom."
"Teens in the United States are coming of age at a time when digital technology is truly ubiquitous, where smartphones are all of our “constant companions.”"
"...the Smollett story, if the “trajectory” leads to evidence of fakery, would actually reveal something else modern America is about: victimhood chic."
"Cool in the humanities isn’t that different from cool in other areas of cultural life, like planking, hotdog-legs photography, mason jar rehabilitation, and novels whose main character is a city."
"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."
"Cape Town in South Africa is a foodie destination. Some people in its renowned restaurant industry are trying to spread the food wealth citywide."
"...for many “space expansionists,” escaping Earth is about much more than dodging the bullet of extinction: it’s about realizing astronomical amounts of value by exploiting the universe’s vast resources to create something resembling utopia. "
"After facing persecution in the former Soviet Union and a new wave of antisemitism in the United States, Marya Zilberberg decides to put her Jewishness on display."