January 16, 2019

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"Apartheid?" poster – Israel’s Muslim Sharia courts


From Israel’s MFA in February, 2016:

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin (9 February 2016) addressed a ceremony at the President’s Residence marking the appointment of seven new Qadis – judges in the Muslim religious (Shariah) courts in Israel. The event was attended by Justice Minsiter Ayelet Shaked MK, as well as the President of the Shariah Court of Appeal Qadi Daoud Zini, and saw the appointment of two Shariah Court of Appeal judges, and five who will serve in the regional Shariah Courts.

The President began by congratulating all the newly appointed judges and said, “Your appointment today serves directly and tangibly the entire Muslim community of Israel. The ceremony today is especially poignant and special, as the last such appointment ceremony for Qadis held at the President’s Residence was more than six years ago. Your swearing in today is a tribute to the important work of the appointment committee, whom I wish to personally thank. The new forces joining the Shariah judiciary today refresh and bring new strength and spirit to one of the oldest and most important judicial systems in the State of Israel.”

The President stressed, “The existence of the state-supported Shariah courts in Israel, reflects the recognition of the unparalleled importance of the vitality of communities, cultures and traditions to the fabric of the life in the modern state. The authority of the Shariah courts – as assured by Israeli law – to me reflects the fundamental principle that an attachment to faith, to tradition, to a culture and community, is not solely the issue of the individual. Such affiliations are a basic right of a citizen in a democracy, and accordingly it is the obligation of the state to support and nurture them.”

Since then, Israel has appointed the first female Qadi judge:

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