Trajtenberg Committee 'Rothschild Team' 311 .
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
A coalition of 13 women’s groups and Arab-Israeli organizations petitioned the
High Court of Justice on Wednesday, demanding that judges order the newly-formed
government Trajtenberg Committee to appoint women and specifically Arab women
The committee was appointed on August 8 by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the wake of countrywide housing protests. Headed
by Professor Manuel Trajtenberg of the Higher Education Planning and Budget
Committee, the committee is expected to come up with solutions to socioeconomic
However, the committee, which is made up of a team of 14
permanent members and an additional team of economic experts, completely
excludes Arab-Israeli women, petitioners say.
The committee has already
come under fire from Arab-Israeli organizations for failing to appoint Arabs to
the permanent team. Only one Israeli Arab, Ayman Saif, sits on the
The High Court petition, submitted by 13 organizations including
Achoti, Itach Women Lawyers for Social Justice, Isha LeIsha and the Mossawa
Center, claims that while Arab women constitute around 10 percent of Israeli
society, they are almost entirely excluded from decision- making, including in
the Trajtenberg Committee.
The petitioners have asked the High Court to
issue an injunction suspending the committee’s activities until it appoints Arab
women and women from a variety of professions to the committee.
Avramovich of Achoti said that the decision to petition the High Court came
after Netanyahu failed to respond to a letter on the matter sent by 33 women’s
groups and social organizations last week.
Attorney Anat Tahon-Ashkenazi
of women’s group Itach said that the creation of the Trajtenberg Committee
represented an important moment in the history of the state and was an
opportunity to include voices and opinions from all of the country’s diverse
“There is a feeling that the committee could create an
opportunity for an historic turning point, there was public expectation that the
committee would represent a wide range of attitudes and opinions,” said
The petitioners said that a minimum of five women would
have been a significant and welcome move, because it would at least have brought
women to the negotiating table.
The fact that Arab women are not
represented at all on the committee means that this population is once again
excluded from positions of power, they noted.
“The exclusion of such a
large population group from the Committee is unthinkable and contrary to the
conduct of a democratic society,” the petitioners said.
According to the
petitioners, the committee’s failure to appoint women constitutes a violation of
the law which states that any public committee or team established to formulate
national policy will give appropriate expression for women from a variety of