Sausan Alkassemill broke new ground as the first female Druze judge in Israel.
Israel’s Judges’ Selection Committee on Thursday announced that it has selected attorney Sawsan al-Qasem to serve as a judge in the Haifa District Labor Court.
Al-Qasem, 49, will make history by becoming the first female Druze judge in Israel.
She currently serves as senior deputy to the legal advisor of the National Insurance Institute of Israel.
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked stated after the groundbreaking announcement that “the legal system today is more diverse, stronger with greater female power. After female representation from the Ultra-Orthodox and Ethiopian sectors, we are now strengthening the system with a judge from the Druze community.”
In December 2016, two Israeli women of Ethiopian descent, Esther Tapeta Gardi and Adenko Sabhat-Haimovich, were sworn in as judges, marking a first in the country’s history.
Yael Vilner, an Orthodox Jewish woman, was chosen in February 2017 to serve on Israel High Court of Justice. Vilner will become the first religiously observant woman in history to hold a permanent seat on the Supreme Court bench.
On that same day, Judge George Kara, a Christian Arab, was also pointed to the High Court. He is seen as a replacement for Justice Salim Joubran, a Christian Arab, who has served as a Supreme Court judge for some 14 years.
The Druze are a monotheistic religious and social minority community found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. Their religion is rooted primarily in Ismailism, a branch of Shia Islam.
The Druze in Israel are known for their military courage and dedication to the state. Today, 85 percent of Israel’s male Druze population choose to join the Israeli military, and many continue their service far beyond their scheduled release dates.
Israeli Druze have attained top positions in politics and public service. The number of Druze Knesset members, representing diverse political parties, exceeds their proportion among Israel’s population.