In a surprise move, Tel Aviv District Court judge Khaled Kabub announced Sunday that he was withdrawing his candidacy to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
Kabub, who would have been the first Muslim on the Supreme Court, had been proposed as a candidate by Attorney Effi Naveh, chairman of the Israel Bar Association, and was also included in the list of candidates of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut.
Nevertheless, he reportedly told relatives that he asked not to be considered for the position because he realized that he has no realistic chance of being appointed.
Ynet reported that the custom in the past few years has been to have only one Arab on the Supreme Court, and George Kara, a Christian Arab, was elected to the court in February 2017.
Sources told Ynet that another reason why Kabub was unlikely to be selected for the position is that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, of the right-wing Jewish Home party, heads the committee to select the judges.
Naveh said, “Justice Kabub was, and still is, the declared candidate of the Bar Association, and there is no doubt that his proven professional qualifications are not contested and that he is worthy and fit to be appointed as a Supreme Court justice.
“It is regrettable that he missed the opportunity to be appointed as a second Arab justice on the Supreme Court, and I hope and believe that we will still be able to see the appointment of another Arab judge alongside Judge Kara,” he said.
Kabub’s withdrawal leaves five judges in the running to replace Supreme Court justice Yoram Danziger, who is set to retire in February 2018.