Appointment of Two Supreme Court Judges on Government’s Behalf: Political Selection

>> Read the full position paper  

This position paper was written in response to Knesset Constitution Committee Chairman Simcha Rotman’s proposal, whereby the first two appointments of Supreme Court judges during every Knesset’s term would be approved by the six members of the coalition on the Judicial Selection Committee. Other appointments would require the same majority, but the six committee members would have to include an opposition MK and a judge.

Zulat believes the proposal should be rejected due to the following reasons:

  • The proposal actually means that the two judges would be selected according to their political or party affiliation. These judges might not be able to conduct an independent judicial review of government decisions and Knesset legislation. Even if they proved their independence during their tenure, they would a priori enjoy limited public trust on account of being political appointments, which would hurt the entire judicial system and tarnish its reputation.
  • The two selected judges might be extreme conservatives who could actually implement the principles of the regime revolution, even if their legislation is still incomplete. As the Supreme Court’s rulings and interpretation of the law is binding on all other courts, the appointment of two judges by the government could actually bring about the implementation of the regime revolution, block any judicial review of laws or intervention in corrupt appointments, and emasculate the reasonableness standard and the protection of human and civil rights.
  • The impact of politicians controlling the Supreme Court is much more dramatic in Israel than in the United States. Even after the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, the US federal system of government enables individual states to protect it. This is not possible in Israel, given that the Supreme Court here has the final say.• The proposal gives the illusion of never-ending turnover in the Supreme Court, whereas the reality is that judges are appointed to permanent positions until their retirement at age 70 and that the current government could in effect decide the character of the Supreme Court for decades to come.
  • The government wants to determine the identity of the judges who will discuss the regime revolution.

Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.