Trajtenberg Committee 'Rothschild Team' 311 .
(photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)
In a response on Sunday to a High Court petition filed last week by a coalition
of 11 women’s groups and Arab- Israeli organizations, the government said that
it would agree to the petitioners’ demands and appoint an Arab woman to the
The committee was appointed on August 8 by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the wake of countrywide housing protests. Headed
by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg of the Council for Higher Education, the
committee is tasked with coming up with solutions to socioeconomic
The petitioners had asked the High Court of Justice to issue an
injunction suspending the committee’s activities until Arab women and women from
a variety of professions are appointed to the committee.
In its response,
the government said that the petitioners’ claim that Arab women had special
needs was not in dispute.
“The government agrees with the petitioners
that in order to meet the deep rationale that underpins proper representation,
the diversity of various populations should always be taken into account,” the
government said. “That will enrich dialogue and give rise to a plurality of
The Trajtenberg Committee had already come under
fire from Arab-Israeli organizations for failing to appoint Arabs to the
14-member permanent team. One Arab man, Ayman Saif, director of the Economic
Development Authority in the Minority Sector in the Prime Minister’s Office, is
a member of the committee’s eight-strong team of experts.
The fact that
Arab women are not represented at all means that this population is once again
excluded from positions of power, the petitioners had said.
exclusion of such a large population group from the committee is unthinkable and
contrary to the conduct of a democratic society,” the petitioners
Attorney Anat Tahon-Ashkenazi, who had submitted the petition on
behalf of the women’s groups, said on Sunday that the government’s response was
a sign that it had “learned a lesson.”
“The government has realized that
the ‘tent revolution’ cannot ignore the diverse voices of women and that Arab
women cannot continue to be excluded from discussions about social justice,”
Tahon- Ashkenazi said. “I hope that the government’s response to the petition
will show that we will not be forced to again demand something that should be
obvious – that women from a variety of populations should be included in every
element of the government’s decision-making.”