Arab Judge Withdraws from High Court Nomination

Arab judge
Tel Aviv District Court judge Khaled Kabub. (Mor Shauli/Pool/Walla)

A prominent Arab judge who had been recommended for Israel’s High Court bowed out on Sunday, citing the low probability that he would be appointed, since the “Arab seat” is already occupied.

Tel Aviv District Court judge Khaled Kabub reportedly told relatives that he asked not to be considered for the position because he realized that he has no realistic chance of being appointed.

It has been customary in recent years to have only one Arab on the court, and George Kara, a Christian Arab, was elected in February 2017, Ynet noted.

Kabub would also have been the first Muslim to serve on the court.

He is a highly regarded jurist, who had been proposed as a candidate by Attorney Effi Naveh, chairman of the Israel Bar Association, and was also on the list of candidates of Court President Esther Hayut.

Another reason given for his poor prospect of being selected was Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, who heads the selection committee.

While Shaked has not publicly objected to Kabub’s appointment, she is thought to favor other candidates:

Those in the running: Central District Court Judge Prof. Ofer Grosskopf, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Shaul Shohat, Tel Aviv District Court Judge Ruth Ronnen, Yerushalayim District Court Judge Ram Winograd.

In addition, Shaked has spoken enthusiastically of Prof. Alex Stein. Although Stein lives in Brooklyn, where he is a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, Shaked has praised him as a legal genius and a “conservative.” His residence abroad poses no impediment, she says, as he is fully familiar with Israeli law.

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