Judge: Conspiracy Theories on Sephardic Court Candidates ‘Ridiculous’

YERUSHALAYIM -
High Court Building. Photo by Yossi Zamir/Flash90
The High Court building in Yerushalayim. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

There is not a secret conspiracy to keep Israelis of Middle Eastern and Sephardic origins from becoming judges, High Court judge Miriam Naor said. Speaking at an event where students received scholarships for law school in memory of the late judge Edmond Levy – who was of Sephardic background – Naor said that MK Nurit Koren was wrong about the alleged conspiracy.

Last week, Koren said that the judges selection committee, which vets all candidates for judgeship, “employs a psychologist whose ostensible job is to evaluate the candidates, actually seeks to keep Sephardic candidates from advancing in the process.”

In response, Naor said that the accusation was “ridiculous. These charges have been investigated in depth in the past and were found to be baseless. Never, and I emphasize never, will a candidate be excluded because of their ethnic background.”

Naor added that what was scandalous was the fact that the letter that Koren had sent to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked making the accusations had reached the media. “Apparently this letter was sent in relation to one specific candidate, and we held meetings to evaluate the charges. We rejected them completely. If the occasion to discuss such candidates arises in the future, we will hold more meetings to clarify matters, but such complaints are baseless.

“Because of the respect I have for MKs, including MK Koren, I will not say what is really on my mind,” said Naor. “They will be said at the appropriate place and time.”