The Israeli Bar Association, on Sunday, voted to reappoint Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel as the chairwoman of its Military Tribunals Committee, before being pressured to rescind the appointment 24 hours later.
The decision to remove Tsemel is believed to be the result of political pressure by rightwing organizations due to the Israel lawyer’s record of defending Palestinian activists in Israeli courts.
We can all learn from Israeli attorney Lea Tsemel, and in fact, Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, now in jail for refusing to recognize the system, is an embodiment of this sentiment. https://t.co/LIUNm8eLOb My latest pic.twitter.com/523by9xQOU
— Mairav Zonszein מרב זונשיין (@MairavZ) January 10, 2020
Tsemel has become particularly controversial in Israel following the release of the documentary film, “Advocate”, directed by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche.
Surprisingly, the film has been shortlisted for an Oscar nomination, despite its attempt at humanizing Palestinians who resist the Israeli military occupation.
— Human Rights Watch Film Festival (@hrwfilmfestival) June 14, 2019
Tsemel has been at the head of the Tribunals Committee for over eight years and her mandate was expected to be renewed for the third time.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that on Monday, “The bar association’s Jerusalem district chairman, Asher Axelrod, ordered to freeze her appointment” following objections from rightwing organizations.
(The Palestine Chronicle)