Judge's Promotion Draws Scrutiny in Israel Amid Claims Husband Leveraged Status as Netanyahu Aide

Channel 2 News reported that Tzachi Braverman asked members of Judicial Appointments Committee to promote his wife. Civil Service Commission to investigate.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with cabinet secretary Zahi Braverman
Emil Salman

The Civil Service Commission decided Wednesday to look into the cabinet secretary’s requests from members of the Judicial Appointments Committee to promote his wife from the magistrate’s court to district court.

The committee was due to discuss the promotion of Magistrate’s Court Judge Nava Braverman, wife of cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman, next week.

Channel 2 News reported on Monday that Braverman had asked members of the Judicial Appointments Committee to promote his wife. The committee discussed Braverman’s candidacy for district court judge in March and decided not to promote her.

A spokesman for the Civil Service Commission told Haaretz, “The commission’s disciplinary department is looking into the report concerning Braverman.” The Attorney General’s Office said it had received no complaint or request to probe this matter.

Watchdog group requests records

Following the reports, the Movement For Quality Government asked Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, head of the Judicial Appointments Committee, to publish their meetings’ timetable and report meetings with people outside the committee about appointing judges.

Attorney Tomer Naor said in his letter to Shaked that if the reports are true, “These are improper attempts to influence and intervene in the procedures for appointing judges, which should remain professional and without ulterior motives and influences.”

Nava Braverman completed studying law in 2000 and clerked in the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court with Judge Edna Beckenstein. Later she served as Beckenstein’s legal assistant for nine years. In 2010 she was appointed judge in Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.

Tzachi Braverman, a Likud activist close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, was appointed cabinet secretary last November. Before that he served for a few years as education director in the Ness Ziona municipality, after a term as the municipality’s spokesman.

Braverman told Haaretz earlier this week, “It’s regrettable that even today, in 2017, a woman who has succeeded in being appointed a judge isn’t respected for herself and people try to attribute her promotion to her husband. My wife Nava is qualified and tested by eight years of working as a judge. She needs no help, not even from me. The committee members will evaluate her and judge her according to her abilities and professionalism.”