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Coalition overcomes challenge in judicial selection committee vote

CM 04/08/2021

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The opposition failed to defeat the coalition of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Wednesday’s vote for the Knesset’s representatives on the powerful judicial selection committee, which is set to choose six Supreme Court judges over the next four years and dozens of lower-level judges.

Coalition candidate Efrat Rayten of Labor won a seat on the committee. Traditionally, one MK is chosen from the coalition and one from the opposition, but the opposition hoped to elect two of its MKs, defeat Rayten and embarrass the coalition.
Ministers Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope) and Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) will also be on the committee, along with representatives of the Supreme Court and the Bar Association. But had Rayten lost, the coalition agreement would have required that Shaked be replaced on the committee by Labor leader Merav Michaeli.  
Rayten received 67 votes. Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman finished second, with 53 votes, to gain the final slot on the committee. 

Likud MK Orly Levy-Abecassis finished third with 51 votes. Joint List MK Osama Saadi dropped out of the race and accused centrist and left-wing parties for giving right-wingers a majority on the sensitive committee.     

“It is a great honor and a great responsibility to be elected a member of the judicial selection committee,” MK Rayten said, following the announcement of the vote count.
“I will work to the best of my ability to strengthen the Israeli judicial system out of belief of the importance of its independence, competence and professionalism,” Rayten added.
The Knesset also voted for its representatives on the selection committees for Jewish, Muslim and Druze religious courts.
The two slots on the Jewish court selection committee will go to women. Shirley Pinto (Yamina) of the coalition and Gila Gamliel (Likud) of the opposition were chosen, with 62 and 67 votes, respectively. Moshe Arbel (Shas) finished third with 59 votes.  
The winners will join ministers Matan Kahana (Yamina) and Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope) on the committee.
For the Muslim court, MKs Mansour Abbas (Ra’am) and Saadi (Joint List) were chosen, along with Nir Orbach (Yamina). Shas MKs Yoav Bentzur ran unsuccessfully. 
For the Druze court selection committee, the Knesset chose Mofid Mari (Blue and White) and Ali Salalha (Meretz) and defeated Likud MK Fateen Mulla.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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