High Court Judge Gets Threatening Letter

The Israeli High Court chamber waiting for the judges to arrive for a hearing. (Yossi Zamir/POOL)

A threatening letter sent to a member of Israel’s High Court has prompted a police investigation, along with condemnations from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ and Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn.

Justice Anat Baron found the letter, whose contents have not been made public, in her mailbox on Sunday.

Referring to the incident at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that “zero tolerance must be shown to anyone who threatens to murder judges and elected officials alike.

“Just this month, I filed three police complaints of threats of murder against me and my family. I urge the police to act quickly and forcefully to eradicate the incitement disease — it has no place among us,” Netanyahu added.

Nissenkorn tweeted that “the ongoing onslaught on the judicial system is dangerous — and endangers the strength of the State of Israel. [The judges] will continue to do their jobs fearlessly.”

In a prior interview with Channel 12, Nissenkorn said, “Our job as public servants is also to fix [the system], of course, but also to ensure that government apparatuses are defended and respected.”

The judiciary itself issued a statement blaming recent incitement against the courts:

“The threatening letter sent to Supreme Court Justice Anat Baron, including its despicable content, is the direct result of continuous unbridled incitement against the justice system and its judges.”

Although the statement did name the sources of incitement, Netanyahu himself and various right-wing leaders have been strongly critical of the High Court on a range of issues, most recently concerning its intervention in striking down the Regulation Law, which would retroactively legalize disputed Jewish properties in Yehudah and Shomron.

They were also critical of the Court’s decision to hold hearings on Netanyahu’s eligibility to form a government while under indictment. The prime minister declared on the opening day of his trial on corruption allegations that the matter was nothing other than a witch hunt. However, the officials voicing criticism of the Court advocated legislative remedies, not any form of violence against them.