Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor responded Wednesday to a petition filed by Regavim by saying that High Court justices are prohibited by the Judicial Code of Ethics from attending any state ceremony linked to publicly disputed issues, and which are clearly politically one-sided.
The state ceremony celebrating the half-century mark after the liberation of Judea, Samaria, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley, is set for late Wednesday.
The Regavim Movement had slammed the Chief Justice for her decision to prohibit the entire panel of judges of the High Court from attending the ceremony, and on Tuesday filed a petition to show cause, thus either forcing the cancellation of the entire event, or the attendance of a Court representative as usual at state functions.
In addition to Regavim, the Movement for Quality of Government in Israel also pointed out to Naor in a statement that she should reconsider her stance, since by her very decision she is being perceived as taking the side of Israel’s political left wing. Naor did attend the 2016 ceremony marking the reunification of Jerusalem, as both Regavim and the Movement for Quality of Government noted.
“Chief Justice Miriam Naor’s response . . . is another example of Israel’s Judicial Branch overstepping its boundaries,” said the Regavim Movement in a statement to media on Wednesday.
“The only body empowered with the authority to decide whether or not a ceremony is an official state event is the Government of Israel, the Executive Branch. Chief Justice Naor’s response raises even greater questions in light of her participation in a December 2016 conference at The Jerusalem Ethics Center, an organization headed by Ruth Heshin, board member of Yesh Din, a radical-left NGO. At that event, which was undeniably politicized, both the organizers and the speakers were clearly identified with the radical left wing of Israel’s political spectrum – but this did not seem to perturb Chief Justice Naor or to cause her any of the discomfort she is currently experiencing as a result of “the aroma of politicization.
“We call upon the Chief Justice to reconsider her position, and to send a message of impartiality, reconciliation, and unity. It is not too late to correct this misstep.”