Talks at Presidential Residence: No to Cronyism in Appointment of Judges

>> Read the full position paper  

This position paper comes in response to a seemingly emerging compromise between the coalition and opposition, ahead of a meeting of the Judicial Selection Committee on 14 June 2023. Described in the media as a possible “agreement” reached by the sides at the talks in the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, it consists of acceptance of the government’s demand to appoint judges on its behalf to the Supreme Court in exchange for awarding the opposition a representative in the committee.

Zulat’s position is that the opposition’s representatives must not compromise on the issue of the Judicial Selection Committee:

  • Appointing judges chosen by the government will represent a total politicization of the Supreme Court and lead to a loss of public trust in the institution.
  • It will lead to the politicization of all courts, not just the Supreme Court.
  • Such judges might espouse extreme conservative positions and actually implement the principles of the regime revolution even if its legislation by the Knesset is still incomplete.
  •  Such appointments will increase corruption.
  • The impact of politicians controlling the Supreme Court is much more dramatic in Israel than in the United States. The Supreme Court in Israel has the final say (whereas in the United States, individual states may enact their own legislation to protect rights abolished by the federal Supreme Court).
  • The government wants to determine the identity of the judges who will hear the petitions against the regime revolution.
  • Already now, the fact that the Justice Minister refuses to convene the Judicial Selection Committee until “agreement” is reached on the appointment of judges by the government is an abuse of his power and a violation of the public interest.

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.