Former Supreme Court Judge Eyes Israeli Presidency

Dalia Dorner apparently seeking support of lawmakers; she joins other politicians and Nobel laureate in race.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner has joined the race to become Israel's next president.

Dorner needs the support of at least 10 members of Knesset in order to run and, according to reports, her family members have begun collecting signatures from lawmakers.

The 80-year-old former judge was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1994 and sat on the bench until 2004, when she retired. Since 2006 she has served as the president of the Israel Press Council.

Dorner was born in Turkey in 1934 and immigrated to pre-state Israel when she was 10. She studied law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, graduating in 1958. After that, she enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, where she served in various judicial capacities including as a judge on the Military Court of Appeals.

She has published extensively on the subjects of pretrial detention, affirmative action and women's equality, constitutional protections and medical ethics, among other topics.

Israeli women's groups have in recent months urged women to run for the presidency, but thus far only one woman – former Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik – has thrown her hat into the ring.

Israel's current president, Shimon Peres, announced late last year that he will step down in June, after seven years in the post.

Several contenders have set their sights on replacing him, including former Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, former Defense Minister and Labor Party leader Benjamin Ben-Eliezer and Nobel laureate Dan Schectman.

Former supreme court justice Dalia Dorner at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Feb. 13, 2014.Credit: Rami Shlush

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