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Judge draws fire over talks with U.S. envoy

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Israel’s Supreme Court president came under criticism for reportedly meeting the U.S. ambassador to discuss the settlements.

The Forward newspaper reported this week that Justice Dorit Beinish held talks with Ambassador Richard Jones in which he asked her to explain Supreme Court rulings regarding the jurisdictions of West Bank settlements.

Beinish confirmed meeting Jones but said the Forward’s account of the talks was inaccurate. Nonetheless, right-wing Israeli lawmakers, sensing a threat to the already controversial status of settlements, were quick to condemn both parties.

Zevulun Orlev of the National Religious Party accused Beinish of denigrating the Supreme Court and demanded her resignation. Aryeh Eldad of the National Union said the Olmert government should complain to the U.S. State Department about Jones.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv played down the importance of the Beinish-Jones meeting, while Israeli government officials had no immediate comment.

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