Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Commission Chair and former Chief Justice Miriam Naor at a session of the Meron Disaster Inquiry Committee, November 29, 2021.

Former Supreme Court President Miriam Naor passed away on Monday at age 74. She became a Supreme Court justice in 2003 and served as president from 2015 to 2017. She was succeeded by Esther Hayut, may she live long and prosper.

Religious Zionism Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich veered from the long-established custom known as “Acharei Mot-Kedoshim,” citing the names of two back-to-back Torah parashot that create a statement suggesting that once a person dies he or she are treated as righteous people.

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Speaking on Galay Israel radio, Smotrich said: “I will share with you my team’s dilemma: on the one hand we should show statesmanship and eulogize her, but on the other hand, what can we do, I, at least, will remember Miriam Naor as the one who insisted on demolishing the homes in Ofra, Amona, and Netiv Ha’Avot.”

“I will remember her canceling the participation of a Supreme Court Justice as the representative of his peers in a state ceremony organized by the government to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the homeland in Judea and Samaria. And as the one who rejected the Enlistment Law and pushed us into a craziness that continues to this day,” Smotrich said, concluding: “In short, she was one more president in a chain of presidents since Aharon Barak who destroyed a glorious institution. At least regarding her final years, she will be remembered as having toppled one more brick in the important wall of the justice system. It’s hard for me to be a hypocrite, I saw that Shaked wrote about her: ‘Beloved friend,’ it’s hard for me to be a hypocrite.”

That’s hitting one dead and one live lady in one fell swoop.

Smotrich is not wrong on the facts, and then some. In addition to destroying entire Jewish communities over partial property ownership issues that would not have seen the light of day in an Israeli civil court, the late justice in 2016 tried to intimidate then-Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked by saying that her attempt to move Supreme Court appointments in a more conservative direction was tantamount to “placing a pistol on the table.”

Naor also killed a government initiative to fly illegal African infiltrators to their home continent, sticking the country with more than 50,000 illegals. And she started the downhill slope of the Haredi and right-wing coalition when she killed the compromise IDF draft law.

Having noted all of the above, Smotrich probably should have waited the prescribed 30 days from the burial out of respect for Naor’s office. Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) reacted angrily to Smotrich’s remarks, tweeting: “Smotrich’s choice to defame the Court President Naor court moments after her death is a new record of disgrace in public life in Israel. He and his party will not stop until all remnants of statesmanship and coexistence in our country have been destroyed.”

In the war of words that ensued, at least one user noted the old custom of shaming the dead at the burial ceremony so that it would count as suffering and improve their chances in the hereafter. Naturally, it was lost on the talkback community.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.