Hotovely comes under some not-so-friendly fire from Right

National-Zionist women’s groups complain that "anti-Zionist elements" are hijacking her committee.

June 28, 2010 04:51
2 minute read.
Tzipi Hotovely

Tzipi Hotovely 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) is more accustomed to attacks for being on the far right of the Likud, but on Sunday, the chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women was under fire for allowing “anti-Zionist elements” to testify before her committee.

A coalition of women’s organizations and activists who describe themselves as “national-Zionist” wrote a letter to Hotovely on Sunday, asking the freshman MK to meet with them “due to a concern regarding the strengthening of post-Zionist and anti-patriotic bodies in the mechanisms for advancing the status of women.”

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The letter’s signatories included members of the organizations Women in Blue and White, the Soldiers’ Parents Forum, Herut Women, the Forum of Zionist Women, and Rahel Solovitzky, the former chairwoman of Emuna, the religious Zionist women’s organization.

“We have reason to believe that even within the Committee for the Advancement of Women, organizations have infiltrated that advance an anarchistic, post-Zionist agenda under the cover of gender issues and at the expense of genuine and honest concern for the status of women,” the letter warned.

Among the organizations cited by the letter were the Israel Women’s Network, Female Lawyers for Social Justice and Adva, all of which, said the letter, are funded by the New Israel Fund.

The letter also cited a protocol note from a committee meeting in July 2009 that read “representatives of the extreme left movement New Profile are present.”

The letter expressed concern that “the feeling that a certain group has taken control of the committee and is using it to advance their own positions has been strengthened by the numerous statements in the committee against the religious establishment.”

Quotes by two MKs – Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Orit Zuaretz (Kadima) were offered as examples of the statements.

According to the letter, Zuaretz said during a March 2010 hearing that “our state is run almost exclusively by extreme and Orthodox anti-Zionist religious bodies.”

In addition to requesting a meeting with the Orthodox Likud MK, the organizations also offered a series of topics that they believe would better reflect the true purpose of Hotovely’s committee, including nationalistically motivated sex crimes, the treatment of women and girls during settlement and outpost evacuations and birth during war.

“These are urgent topics that have been pushed aside because of the anti-national stance of those groups trying to control the committee,” concluded the letter.

Hotovely’s staff said that they had not yet received the letter, and thus could not respond to the contents, but a veteran committee worker acknowledged Sunday evening that in many cases, the same groups that deal with other issues of societal inequality also are concerned with the advancement of women, leading to an overlap between activists on a number of topics.

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