Former President Meir Shamgar passed away at the age of 94


Meir Shamgar Michal Rubinstein Benjamin Netanyahu Gifts (Photo: Gabriel Baharliya)Meir Shamgar. Passed away at the age of 94(Photo: Gabriel Baharliya)

Supreme Court President
Former Meir Shamgar,
He passed away on Friday and is 94. Shamgar previously served as Attorney General and Chief Military Advocate. In 1996 he was awarded the Israel Prize for a life project.

The judiciary said it "bowed its head and regrettably announces the passing of retired Supreme Court President Justice Meir Shamgar, who passed away today." The Supreme Court President, Justice Esther Haim, and his judges, court director, Judge Dr. Yigal Marzel, judges and court system employees participate in the heavy grief of the Shamgar family and the entire Israeli public. The funeral and funeral service will be held in the Supreme Court. Exit a separate message.

Shamgar in 2007 (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)Shamgar in 2007(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

Shamgar (Sternberg) was born in the town of Danzig, Poland, an only child of a Zionist family. In 1939 he immigrated to Israel with his family. Attended Balfour High School in Tel Aviv and then History and Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his studies, Shamgar joined the ranks of the Irgun underground.

In October 1944, with several hundred other detainees, he was deported to a British detention camp in Eritrea, where he began studying law in correspondence at the University of London. In June 1946, Shamgar participated in a daring escape. The escapees managed to escape from the camp, but were arrested after several days and taken into custody in Kenya, where Shamgar continued his law studies.

Esther Hayes Meir Shamgar (Photo: Elad Gershgorn)With Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut(Photo: Elad Gershgorn)

When the War of Independence broke out, he was released from detention, returned to Israel and took part in the war. At the end of the war, Shamgar completed his law studies, was authorized to practice law and enlisted in the IDF. He joined the Military Advocate General and advanced to the rank of colonel. In 1961, he became the Chief Military Advocate. Toward the end of his post, he also served as Attorney General of the Ministry of Defense. The military married his wife, Geula.

As part of his role as Chief Military Advocate, Shamgar established the infrastructure for a legal system in occupied territories. Among other things, he composed a booklet entitled "Military Powers in Occupied Territory" which, together with other guidelines, provided a legal framework for the work of the military administration after the Six Day War. In 1968, after being discharged from the army by a lieutenant colonel, Shamgar was appointed Attorney General (UMC). During his tenure, Shamgar expanded his responsibilities and involvement in the UMC and is remembered as one of the dominant and independent officials in this position.

Shamgar with former top president Dorit Beinisch, Asher Grunis and Aaron Barak (Photo: Jonathan Blum) (Photo: Jonathan Blum)Shamgar with former top presidents Dorit Beinisch, who Grunis and Aaron Barak(Photo: Jonathan Blum)

Shortly after taking office, he instituted a regular publication of legal and legal provisions relating to the jurisdiction of the USSR under the "Attorney General's Guidelines." During the 1974 attempt at the Sebastia settlement, Shamgar objected to bringing Gush Emunim to trial and received much criticism from left circles. Considered a close associate of the political right, Shamgar accepted proposals to integrate politics from the left, as well as the right, but rejected them all.

In 1975, after serving seven years as legal counsel, Shamgar resigned from office and became a judge in the Supreme Court. Throughout his tenure as a judge in criminal, constitutional and administrative law, he became known as a liberal worldview, who found expression in his rulings on issues of freedom of speech and the press and his opposition to imposing capital punishment (for example, in the trial of Japanese terrorist Kozo Akumoto). Among his many rulings was his support for recognizing the right of residents of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Area to petition the High Court.

With his second wife Michal Rubinstein (Photo: Gabriel Baharliya) (Photo: Gabriel Baharliya)With his second wife Michal Rubinstein(Photo: Gabriel Baharliya)

In 1983, he was appointed seventh president of the Supreme Court. During his presidency, High Court involvement in areas he previously avoided increased: Shamgar instructed Knesset factions to expose coalition agreements between them for the first time and restricted IDF actions to demolish homes in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, interfered with the president's clemency authority (Case 300), Removing the immunity of Knesset members. At the same time, Shamgar outlined a policy of refusal to intervene in clear political matters. In 1994, he headed the Commission for the Investigation of Massacre at the Patriarchs Cave.

Shamgar presided over the composition of the judges, which led to the acquittal of John Damianiuk on July 29, 1993. The judges who discussed the appeal ruled that he had cooperated with the Nazis, but had to be credited with doubting Treblinka's charge. "Them and we will not pay," Judge Meir Shamgar concluded a seven-and-a-half year legal case.

Shamgar then wrote in the appeals judgment, which is spread over 400 pages, that "after the appeal ended, various 'Wachemans' messages were filed, referring to someone else as Ivan the threat from Treblinka. We did not know how they came. But we received them. Before and before the line of law and debate. And something before us, the doubt began to gnaw at our judicial consciousness, lest the appellant is not Ivan the threat from Treblinka.

The Supreme Court refused to convict Damianiuk for serving as a guard in the Sobibor and other camps because the charge did not appear in the original indictment.

Shamgar retired from the Supreme Court in 1995 and was replaced by President Aharon Barak. Shortly after his retirement, he headed the State Inquiry Committee that investigated the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and examined the functioning of the Shin Bet in the incident. In 2000, he was appointed to head the Investigation Committee to investigate the dive case of naval commando fighters in the Kishon Stream. In April 2003), a minority opinion remained, stating that there was indeed a connection between the dives in the creek and the warrior's cancer. Saul Mofaz, the Minister of Defense at the time, decided to adopt the minority opinion, stating that the Ministry of Defense would compensate the fighters who had cancer.

Since the end of the commission's work, Shamgar has headed several public committees and associations. He served in a senior position at the Democracy Institute as Head of the Public Council for "Consensual Constitution" as well as an arbitrator.

He sent three children from his wife Geula, from whom he was widowed in 1983, and is a grandfather to grandchildren. He remarried to retired judge Michal Rubinstein, who served as deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court.

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