Justice minister appoints conservatives to court that rules on illegal migrants

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called up two new judges to Israel’s appeals court, both of whom have supported conservative positions in the past.

By World Israel News Staff

On Wednesday, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced the appointment of Hananya Guggenheim and Shlomo Vizen to Israel’s appeals court, both of whom were approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Among the legal issues on which the court rules are requests by illegal immigrants to remain in Israel instead of being deported. Over the past decade, Israel has been confronted with a mounting crisis related to African migrants, the majority of whom enter Israel illegally, seeking employment.

In light of this phenomenon, Israel has worked to distinguish between genuine asylum-seekers fleeing persecution, who are eligible to stay in the country, and economic migrants, who enter illegally in an effort to improve their financial prospects.

While a fence on Israel’s border has staunched the flow of illegal migrants, the nation has resisted deporting thousands of Africans who reside in Israel, with a large concentration in southern Tel Aviv neighborhoods that have been plagued by crime.

In the past, the appeals court has faced criticism for refusing to deport the illegal migrants, thus delaying what some say is the inevitable need to confront the growing problem. Conservatives anticipate that Guggenheim’s and Wizen’s presence on the court will make it more difficult for illegal migrants – referred to as “infiltrators” in Hebrew – to remain in Israel when they appeal their deportation orders.

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Shaked commented on the migrant issue and the appointments, saying, “I am sure that the new judges will examine the law and the welfare of the state in every proceeding. The residents of southern Tel Aviv deserve to see the infiltrators leave Israel.”

Guggenheim formerly served as an attorney for the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, a civil rights organization that fights government-mandated disengagement from Israeli territory under the guise of land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians.

Vizen previously worked in the Central District Prosecutor’s Office. His stance on the migrant issue aligns with Shaked’s positions, according to a source close to him cited by Maariv.

The Legal Forum lauded Vizen’s and Guggenheim’s appointments to the appeals court. “The [deportation] issues facing the court concern core matters related to the identity of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic [nation], [and] the appeals submitted to the court . . . raise serious questions about entering and staying in Israel,” the Forum stated.