MK Zuaretz to PM: Where are women in key positions?
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
Kadima MK writes letter after Netanyahu appoints Amidror as NSC chief and Foreign Ministry appoints three male ambassadors.
Kadima MK Orit Zuaretz called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week to
reconsider his choice of Maj.-Gen. (res.) Ya’acov Amidror to head the National
Security Council, and to consider a female nominee instead.
In a letter
to the prime minister, Zuaretz said the government must uphold a law that
requires women to be integrated into key decision-making
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Zuaretz’s message follows a series of top-level of diplomatic
appointments, all of which went to men.
“I call on you to examine the
appointments that are currently under way, including the leadership of the
National Security Council, as well as the negotiation teams for advancing the
peace process, and to integrate talented and appropriate female candidates,” she
“As the person who established the Authority for the Advancement
of the Status of Women in the Prime Minister’s Office and who appointed a deputy
minister for women’s affairs, I believe that the question of equality in
general, and the rights of women specifically, are important to you at every
juncture, and that it is important to you that their voice is heard,” she
Zuaretz reminded Netanyahu of the fourth amendment to the Law
for Equality of Women’s Rights, which requires the state to integrate women in
peace negotiation teams and in public commissions.
She complained that a
similar missive to the prime minister, sent exactly one year ago, had gone
The amendment in question mandates that “a team or public
committee established for the purpose of shaping national policy including
subjects of foreign affairs and defense, or for the purposes of preventing,
managing or solving the diplomatic conflict, will offer proper expression to
The amendment was legislated following UN Security Council
Resolution 1325, which called on countries to ensure an increase in women’s
representation in all decisionmaking processes, with an emphasis on conflict
Although there was no official response to Zuaretz’s letter
from the Prime Minister’s Office, top-level officials said that in meetings held
earlier this week before the selection of Amidror, Netanyahu had said that he
was both open to and willing to consider a female candidate. He reportedly asked
attendees to submit any names of qualified female candidates for the powerful
Deputy Minister for Women’s Affairs Gila Gamliel was
unavailable for comment on Zuaretz’s letter, although she, too, was sent a
Earlier this week, the government approved a series of top-level
Foreign Ministry appointments – from Ron Prosor’s appointment to the UN, to the
appointments of Alon Ushpiz as the Israeli envoy in India, Dan Ashbel as the
ambassador to Finland, and Haim Shaham as consulgeneral in Miami. Although at
least one – Prosor – is replacing a woman, none of the four new appointees were
The placement of women in senior positions has been a source of
some debate in the current administration.
In July, a coalition of
women’s groups launched a Supreme Court appeal against the prime minister’s
appointment of the members of the Turkel Commission to probe the events of the
Free Gaza flotilla, complaining that no women had been included in the
The organizations claimed that the commission’s selection violated
the same Law for Equality of Women’s Rights, an argument accepted by the court,
which demanded that at least five women be offered a position on the panel.