Despite a contentious decision by the High Court not to send an official representative to a ceremony celebrating 50 years since the Jewish return to Yehudah and Shomron, one justice did attend, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
Justice Noam Sohlberg, who lives in Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion, where the gathering took place, attended as a private citizen seated in the general crowd rather than among the officialdom.
Court President Miriam Naor, who decided that official court participation would be “inappropriate” at such a “controversial political” event, was informed in advance of Sohlberg’s intention to attend. Naor reportedly said that she “would not interfere with his decision,” apparently wishing to avoid further conflict after the issue had created an uproar in the media.
The government had argued that in view of the fact that it was an official state ceremony funded by the state, it could not be termed a political event unsuitable for impartial High Court judges.
In fact, Naor was criticized from the right for taking a political position by banning judges’ attendance.
Commenting on Sohlberg’s attendance, Likud MK Nurit Koren asked why he could not represent the court if he could attend the ceremony. Answering her own question, she said that Naor had “taken a political position.”