Israeli Supreme Court President Orders Probe of Judge for Comments About Women Lying

Deputy President of the Nazareth Family Court, Judge Assaf Zagury, claimed (and repeated his words several times) that '99 percent of the women who took a polygraph test in Family Courts were found to be lying'

Judge Assaf Zagury, Deputy President of the Nazareth Family Court
Court website

Supreme Court President Miriam Naor has ordered an investigation of a senior judge who said that “99 percent of the women who took a polygraph test in Family Courts were found to be lying.”

Deputy President of the Nazareth Family Court, Judge Assaf Zagury, made the assertion at a recent conference of the Israel Bar Association.

Naor has asked judicial ombudsman Eliezer Rivlin to look into the incident, in the wake of calls to oust Zagury.

The judge’s statement was publicized on the Hottest Place in Hell website. Zagury repeated his words several times. In response to publication of the comments, the court spokesman responded that “In effect, this is the personal assessment of the judge, which is not based on real statistics, but only on cases that came before him. According to his assessment it is fewer than 10 cases out of thousands of requests for restraining orders (in which the decision was made on the basis of a polygraph test, with the consent of the parties).”

In the wake of the publication, the Israel Women’s Network turned to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Supreme Court President Naor and judicial ombudsman Rivlin, demanding that Zagury be ousted. “The words of Judge Zagury, used to defame women involved in divorce proceedings, are dangerous and serious, and it is unconscionable for them to be uttered by a judge in Israel,” wrote the director of the Israel Women’s Network, Michal Gera Margaliot. “Judge Zagury’s words clearly indicate that there is a strong and unbridgeable bias in his opinion, and that he cannot give a fair hearing to the women standing before him.” Gera also mentioned that Zagury had taken back his words, and that in any case the results of a lie detector test are not acceptable in court.

Meretz MKs Tamar Zandberg, Michal Rozin and party leader Zehava Galon also turned to the Courts Administration director Judge Michael Spitzer demanding that Zagury apologize. “Apparently Judge Zagury has personal opinions that raise suspicions of misogyny and cause him to mislead the public in a manner that is dangerous for women,” they wrote.