Facing Outrage, Israel Bar Association Puts on Hold Appointment of Terrorist-Defending Attorney
The Israel Bar Association on Monday put on hold its appointment of attorney Lea Tsemel to head its Military Courts Committee following a public outcry from terrorism victims and politicians.
On Sunday, the Bar Association voted to reappoint Tsemel, an Israeli lawyer famous for defending and supporting terrorists, to head its Military Courts Committee, sparking outrage among bereaved families.
Tsemel, who has served as head of the Bar Association’s Military Courts Committee for the past eight years, has gained notoriety for her adamant defense of terrorists with blood on their hands.
Tsemel represented a long list of terrorists, including those involved in the 2000 lynching in Ramallah of two IDF soldiers, Hamas terrorists deported to Lebanon, PLO supporters, as well as Israeli Member of Knesset Basel Ghatas who was convicted of smuggling phones to security prisoners.
Tsemel currently represents Arafat Arfaiya who murdered 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher last year.
Following the appointment, more than 100 bereaved families from the Choosing Life Forum sent a harsh letter to Avi Himmi, head of the Israel Bar Association.
In their letter, the families called the appointment “an unparalleled disgrace” and a “spit in the face of thousands of Israelis who have been murdered over the years,” and urged Himmi to cancel Tsemel’s appointment.
The Choosing Life Forum hailed the move as a “victory of common sense.”
In December, a biopic about Tsemel made the shortlist for an Oscar nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category.
The film “Advocate,” has received harsh criticism in Israel for portraying Tsemel in a positive light.