The Knesset Subcommittee on the Defense Committee is no longer all-male; MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) was added to the panel Thursday.
Two weeks after MK Yifat Kariv and Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat wrote a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein complaining that the sensitive subcommittee had no women on it, a spot was found for the Meretz chairwoman.
When MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) became Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman last week and was added to the subcommittee, the Knesset Finance Committee, which is also part of the subcommittee, needed to add an MK as well – and the slot was given to the opposition.
MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), chairman of the largest opposition faction, gave that slot to Gal-On, and the appointment will be made official in the Knesset House Committee next week.
Gal-On said she plans to fight attempts to increase the defense budget as a subcommittee member.
“I think that the highly public battle over increasing the defense budget directly endangers our security,” she told Army Radio. “We see here a method of blackmail that is used year after year.”
Membership of the joint panel was reshuffled at the beginning of the month, ending up with 11 men and no women, even though the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Finance Committee have female members.
Edelstein asked Elkin and Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) to add women to the joint subcommittee.
“It is not acceptable in my eyes that something like this happens in our country,” Edelstein said. “It cannot be that we pass laws to encourage integrating women into the workforce and then don’t do so here, in the Knesset.”