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Labor MK Demands: Put a Woman in 'Proximity' Negotiation Team

MK Wilf cites law that says women must be put in diplomatic negotiation teams, wants female representation in indirect talks with PA.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/5/2010, 5:41 PM / Last Update: 5/5/2010, 6:21 PM

Flash 90

MK Dr. Einat Wilf (Labor) called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and place a woman in the Israeli negotiating team for upcoming 'proximity talks' with the Palestinian Authority.

"As the proximity talks with the Palestinian Authority approach,” Wilf wrote Netanyahu, “the Israeli government must make sure that it upholds the law and implements Resolution 1325. I ask that you ensure a feminine presence in the formal or de facto negotiating team.”   

The UNSC resolution “calls on all actors involved, when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, to adopt a gender perspective, including... measures that support local women's peace initiatives and indigenous processes for conflict resolution, and that involve women in all of the implementation mechanisms of the peace agreements."

Israel has not been without women in key diplomatic roles in recent years. The foreign minister in the previous government was Tzipi Livni and the UN Ambassador is Prof. Gabriela Shalev.

Adopting 1325 as law
Israel is the only country that has adopted a part of Resolution 1325 and passed it as a law. It did so in 2005, five years after the resolution was passed in the UN. At the time, the move was apparently intended to guarantee the pacifist Left a place in the Israeli negotiating team, as most "gender" groups in Israel are of a leftist orientation politically and, except for the Kolech organization, do not have Zionist-religious or hareidi-religious members. Religious women tend to join women's organizations that deal with the family, women's issues and rights, education and welfare -- and are decidedly not pacifist.

This assumption was borne out by the fact that after the law was passed, Israeli pacifist 'gender' groups published a booklet with the names of hundreds of Israeli women whom they nominated for participation in a negotiation team with the Palestinian Authority or with Arab countries. The booklet was handed out to all the members of the 17th Knesset. It can be assumed that they chose mostly women of like political leanings. 

The law, passed in 2005 by MKs Yuli Tamir (Labor) and Etti Livni (Shinui), amends the Women's Equality Law to prescribe representation for women in any “committee or other body established for shaping national policy on any subject including matters of foreign affairs and security.” The criteria for choosing women representatives are not known.

'A propensity to peace'
Pacifist 'gender' groups such as the Women's Coalition for Peace, which is financed by the New Israel Fund, often claim that women have a natural propensity to peace, while blaming (Israeli) men for being warlike. On the other hand, other feminist groups insist that women, who they claim are as good as male soldiers, must be allowed to serve in combat units in the military in the same roles as men.