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 March 16, 2024

Salim Joubran, Israel's first Arab Supreme Court justice, dead at 76

The first Arab Israeli to serve on Israel's Supreme Court has died. 

According to The Times of Israel, Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab who grew up in the northern city of Haifa, Joubran, died at 76 on Friday after a cancer battle.

In addition to being the first Arab Israeli to serve on the nation's high court, he was also the first Arab Israeli to chair the Central Elections Committee in 2015.

In June 2017, he was promoted to serving as deputy president of the high court before announcing his retirement later that year.

Historical career

Joubran's career on the Supreme Court bench involved several historical verdicts.

The outlet noted:

Joubran was involved in several important verdicts. He was one of three judges who rejected the appeal of former president Moshe Katsav, sending him to prison for seven years for rape and sexual abuse.

He was known as a liberal reformer on the court and was especially known for his stance on same-sex surrogacy laws. He made headlines on that topic in his last case in 2017.

"I find it hard to agree with a situation that prevents single people and same-sex couples fulfilling their right to become parents through surrogacy agreements," Joubran wrote at the time.

He added, "I myself cannot see any justice in giving preference to heterosexual parenting over same-sex parenting."

Social media reacts

Joubran's death brought mixed reactions from social media users. Many expressed their condolence while others, namely his critics, weren't so kind.

"Judge salim Joubran's life and trailblazing professional achievement was a living proof of the successful coexistence and cooperation between Arabs and Jews in the state of Israel, which can potentially be implemented in the entire MENA region," one X user wrote.

Arsen Ovstorsky wrote, "Very sad. Salim Joubran, the first Arab Israeli Supreme Court justice, has died at 76. Amongst his many achievements, Joubran also served as deputy chief of court and was first Arab Israeli to chair an election committee."

"He believed with all his heart in equality and coexistence and proved it time after time in his decisions. He embodied coexistence, being a patriotic Israeli and a proud Arab of his tradition," Labor chair Merav Michaeli wrote.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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