Judge Rivkin Retires From Israel's Top Court

By Haaretz

Published May 28, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin, one of the court’s foremost champions of freedom of expression, will retire Monday, having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Rivlin’s most recent defense of freedom of expression was his decision to overturn the conviction of journalist Ilana Dayan in a libel suit filed by an IDF officer known as Captain R. In 2006, he wrote a minority opinion arguing that another journalist, Amnon Dankner, should be acquitted of libel for calling right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir a Nazi. Freedom of expression, he wrote in that ruling, is “the mother of all freedoms,” situated in “the highest stratum of basic rights,” and essential to a functioning democracy.

Two years ago, Rivlin rejected an appeal by a practitioner of alternative medicine who had been besmirched by an anonymous web surfer and sought to force the Internet service provider to reveal his name so she could sue him. In this case, the justice ruled that the anonymity of web feedback sites should be protected because it furthered freedom of expression. “Anonymity is sometimes a condition for the very possibility of and willingness to express oneself,” he wrote. “And sometimes, anonymity is also part of the message.”

But it was his verdict in the Captain R. case, in which he was joined by justices Uzi Vogelman and Isaac Amit, that is considered the ultimate expression of his views on freedom of expression. That case involved a report by Dayan in which she accused R. of having “confirmed the kill” of a 13-year-old girl in Gaza. The Jerusalem District Court found Dayan guilty of libel, but the Supreme Court overturned this decision - though R. has since asked it to reconsider the case with an expanded panel of justices, and the court may yet decide to do so.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.