Edmond Levy: 1941-2014

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Former Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, who died yesterday aged 72, was born in Basra, Iraq, to a religious Jewish family. In 1951 he moved to Israel. The family settled in Ramat Gan, where his father was active in the right-wing Herut movement. When his father was appointed branch head in Ramle, the family moved there.

Like his father, Levy served on the Ramle local council, as a representative of Gahal (a precursor to Likud). From 1975, he served as deputy local council head for three years.

In 2000, after 16 years as a District Court judge, he received a temporary appointment as a Supreme Court justice. A year later, when the time came to consider his permanent appointment, then-Justice Minister Meir Sheertrit described Levy as the perfect Mizrahi-religious representative.

Levy was involved in many headline-making decisions over the years. He headed panels of judges that convicted Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir, taxi driver Derek Roth’s murderers, and Ami Popper, who murdered seven Palestinians. He allowed gangland kingpin Ze’ev Rosenstein to be tried by an American court, and Moshe Feiglin to run for election to the Knesset. He ruled against the projected route for the Separation Fence, and against separation of Ashkenazi and Sephardi students in the West Bank settlement of Immanuel.

In 2012, after he retired from the Supreme Court, a report by a committee he headed stoked international controversy by concluding that Israel is not an “occupier” and that Jewish settlements are legal.

Former Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy, left, presenting the settlements report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom

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