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NIF Ploy Inserts Arab into Key C'tee

Leftist fund uses gender law to force government to appoint Arab woman in Trajtenberg Committee.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/21/2011, 9:10 PM

One of the New Israel Fund's flagship NGOs has succeeded in forcing the government to appoint an Arab to a key committee. The NGO, Itach-Maaki, is an ultra-leftist group made up of female Jewish and Arab lawyers.

The NGO filed a motion to the High Court demanding that an Arab woman be appointed to the Trajtenberg Committee, which is to look for ways to make Israel's economy more socially equitable. The motion was based upon a law passed in 2005, according to which women "from a variety of groups in the populace" must be appointed to government committees and delegations.

The state responded to the motion by agreeing to appoint an Arab woman to the committee.

"The implementation of the deep rationale that is at the basis of the idea of proper representation should sometimes be carried out while taking into account various representational cross sections, which will enrich the discourse and engender a multitude of different voices," the State said in a statement some would call incomprehensible.

The Knesset passed the 2005 law following lobbying by NIF gender-feminist groups. The groups hope to use it to force the state to appoint Arab women to teams that conduct negotiations with Arab entities like the Palestinian Authority, if and when such negotiations ever take place again.

The law's phrasing does not require that an Arab be appointed to the committee, and theoretically it could have been used by nationalists to demand the inclusion of a religious woman from a community in Judea and Samaria to the Trajtenberg Committee. However, no such step was taken.

Itach Maaki noted that the court's decision was a sign of the social tent protest's success, adding that the protest itself has been led by women.

The NIF is a New Left fund that employs tactics adopted by the western hard Left after communism fell from grace in the 1950s. The New Left in Israel spends millions of dollars annually on a politicized mix of militant gender feminist women, homosexuals and Arabs that it calls "civil society," in order to gain influence it is unable to achieve at the ballot box.