Irwin Cotler’s daughter running with Ya’alon, Gantz

Cotler-Wunsh, 48, is currently a PhD candidate in law at Hebrew University, researching the topic of free speech.

February 10, 2019 22:35
2 minute read.
Former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler’s daughter, attorney Michal Cotler-Wunsh

Former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler’s daughter, attorney Michal Cotler-Wunsh. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The joint list of the Israel Resilience and Telem parties, headed by former chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon, will include former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler’s daughter, attorney Michal Cotler-Wunsh, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Cotler-Wunsh’s candidacy has not been revealed yet by the parties, which prevented her from granting interviews. Her place on the joint list will only be made known right before the February 21 deadline.

She was born in Jerusalem, served in the IDF and obtained law degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and McGill University in Montreal, where she has lived much of her life, as she alternated back and forth between Israel and Canada. Three of her four children were born and went to school in Montreal.

Cotler-Wunsh, 48, is currently a PhD candidate in law at Hebrew University, researching the topic of free speech as part of the “Human Rights under Pressure – Ethics, Law and Politics” doctoral program.

She is also a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, and a board member of Tzav Pius.

At a parlor meeting for English speakers in Ra’anana last week, Ya’alon revealed that Irwin Cotler has been his unofficial adviser for many years. At an event for Ethiopian immigrants in Rehovot on Sunday night, Cotler-Wunsh quoted her father in her speech.

“The kind of leadership we strive for requires humility: so rare and underappreciated in our global reality, yet so necessary, as our own history indicates,” she wrote in the Post two weeks ago. “When looking for leadership, place value on qualities of personal and public integrity, on vast and diverse experience, and finally on unwavering and unconditional taking of responsibility and accountability to the public good.”

The only other known candidate on the list with citizenship from an English-speaking country is Chili Tropper, who received it thanks to his American parents. There will also be candidates who spent extensive time in the US, but do not have American citizenship.

Dan Rashal is a world-renowned economist and economic strategist, who was born in Tel Aviv and lived in America as a teenager. He earned an MBA in Finance from Tel Aviv University and a law degree from the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya.

Rashal, 47, achieved his success despite having spinal muscular atrophy, a rare neuromuscular genetic disease. Although he is not a US citizen, he is a die-hard New York Yankees fan.

“My disability is such a part of me that it doesn’t really interest me,” Rashal said in a recent interview with the economic newspaper Globes.

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