Judge Married to Netanyahu Aide Passed Over for Promotion

Judicial Appointments Committee vote follows reports that Cabinet Secretary Zahi Braverman lobbied panel members on behalf of his wife, Judge Nava Braverman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with cabinet secretary Zahi Braverman
Emil Salman

The Judicial Appointments Committee voted Monday not to promote Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Nava Braverman to a district court, following reports that her husband, Cabinet Secretary Zahi Braverman, appealed to committee members on her behalf.

Monday’s vote, however, was not final, and the committee still has the option of promoting Braverman at a later date. The Civil Service Commission announced last week it would examine the allegations of the cabinet secretary’s intercession.

The committee announced 22 judicial appointments on Monday, including the promotion of Justice Salim Joubran to vice president of the Supreme Court. Joubran will serve in his new assignment only briefly, however, as he is scheduled to resign from the bench in August. Joubran said he would forgo the wage increase that comes with the promotion.

Herzliya Magistrate’s Court Judge Limor Zahava Bibi-Maman, whose father is former Likud Knesset member Aryeh Bibi, was promoted to the Tel Aviv District Court, and Be’er Sheva Labor Court Judge Ilan Sofer was promoted to the National Labor Court.

The committee did not discuss new appointments to the Supreme Court. In July it is slated to hold another discussion, proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, on the role of seniority in determining the president of the Supreme Court. Shaked wants to change the unwritten rule by which the most senior justice is the president, and to that end she has refused to name Justice Esther Hayut to replace Justice Miriam Naor as president when the latter retires in October.