Miriam Na’or

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Miriam Na'or (b: 1947), born into a family which changed its surname from Lerner to Na'or, is a judge of the Israeli supreme court. She was appointed in May 2003.

Her family is deeply rooted in the right-wing Revisionist Zionist tradition. Her mother, Batya Karlinsky, was a member of Etzel. Her husband, Aryeh Naor (she is his second wife), whom she first met at a Revisionist gathering in his parents house, served as Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s cabinet secretary from 1977 to 1982. Her mother-in-law, Esther Raziel-Naor, was a long-serving member of Knesset for Herut (the precursor to Likud) – from 1949 to 1973. One of her sons, Michael Naor, had as his god-father Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the spiritual mentor of the Gush Emunim settlement movement[1]; his twin brother, Naftali Naor, whose godfather was Menachem Begin[2], ran unsuccessfully in Likud primaries.

Dalia Karpel reports (17 January 2015) [3] that after she joined Mishael Cheshin on the Supreme Court:

… she asked to be appointed to every panel of which Cheshin was a member, and in the justices’ deliberations over the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, she agreed with him in averring that the Palestinians aim to realize their right of return through marriage, and therefore did not support the law’s revocation.

A Haaretz editorial commented (6 July 2014): [4]

Had the High Court rejected, as it was expected to do, the petition against a suspect's house, the IDF wouldn't have dared to prepare for dozens more demolitions. But the court chose once again to serve as the feeble echo of the defense establishment. It caved entirely.

The three judges who rejected the petition, Miriam Naor, Yoram Danziger and Uri Shoham, chose to ignore not only international law, which prohibits collective punishment. They also ignored the conclusions of a military committee set up in 2005, which ruled that the limited deterrence achieved by destroying homes is not proportionate to the hatred and hostility that this measure stokes. Following the conclusions of this panel, which was formed by then-Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon, Israel stopped demolishing terrorists' homes.

Avigdor Feldman reports (3 January 2018): [5]

But in the Abu Ghosh judgment, Justice Uri Shoham made no reference at all to the bureaucracy of torture, and effectively tore the heart out of the 1999 judgment, distorted Barak’s words and apparently did not consider the scale of evasion of responsibility that comes about by the establishment of an institutionalized organization of torture. Justice Shoham wrote, “Even on the assumption that internal Shin Bet guidelines exist that refer to the possibility that in a specific investigation circumstances will arise that are foreseen to sustain demands of contingency (necessity), and even if the petitioner’s interrogators acted according to them; nevertheless, no blemish occurred in the application of the contingency in his matter. In the particular circumstances relating to the petitioner’s interrogation, even if his interrogators consulted with superiors before implementing the exceptional interrogation methods, in accordance with the relevant internal guidelines, this does not blemish the ad hoc character of the contingency.”
We can, then, wipe clean the victory smile in the photograph. Five naive lawyers are smiling idiotically, but torture did return, along with the bureaucratic dominion of torture, and now it was buttressed by a Supreme Court ruling. The other two justices on the panel, Miriam Naor and Hanan Melcer, concurred with Justice Shoham. In short lines, they asserted that the appellant had not proved that he had been tortured, that the burden of proof lies with the torture victim and that even if he had been tortured, his interrogators could invoke the necessity defense. The moral question of the bureaucracy of torture and the human conscience of the interrogator who decides to shorten the distance between his hand and the interrogee’s face, was not considered by the justices. But also arising from the judgment are the final words of Miriam Naor as a justice and as the then-president of the Supreme Court: “In our legal system an absolute prohibition exists on the use of torture. It has no exceptions, and it has no balances.” A clear statement: Torture is outside the judicial game.

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Other entities whose entries refer to Miriam Na’or

Hanan Melcer   • Yoram Danziger   • Uri Shoham   • Esther Raziel-Naor   • Naftali Naor   • Naftaly Lerner   • Batya Karlinsky   • Michael Naor

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