Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Justice Ministry and the court system held its first ever joint conference to recruit Israeli minorities, such as Arabs, Druse and Circassians, in Haifa on Tuesday, in an event that was attended by hundreds.
The conference was headlined by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, State Attorney Shai Nitzan, Justice Ministry director- general Amy Palmor, Haifa District Court President Einas Salameh and, by video, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who told the attendees “we want to open the door for you.”
The conference focused on providing minorities in attendance concrete information and guidance for applying and preparing for ministry or court public service positions.
Those presenting gave key details about different units and career paths so that attendees could learn the full diversity of employment options.
Presenters also gave seminars on preparing competitive résumés, interview skills and skills for vetting centers often used for government positions.
Livni talked about how there is a misconception that “the door is closed” to minorities for public service positions, “but it is not.”
She said that she wanted to “break the glass ceiling” for minorities, adding that “it is impossible to talk about equality without translating the talk into action.”
Echoing Livni, Weinstein said, “slogans, without corresponding action, are meaningless.”
Weinstein said he “wanted to see Arab lawyers integrated” into every unit of the ministry, including at the top levels.
Only then can society become a truly “fair and ethical one,” he added.
Nitzan said that minorities represented a mere 5 percent to 6% of ministry employees, and that there was no reason the percentage should not in the near future reach at least 10%.
Salameh said he hoped that the conference would serve as a “foundation and toolbox” for minorities to move into public service positions on a practical level.
Iman Saif, from the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druse and Circassian Sectors at the Prime Minister’s Office, said the key was patience and persistence, and that he himself had risen from a NIS 4,000 salary 20 years ago to a senior post today.