Arab NIF Grantee Poised to Head Knesset Committee

Aida Touma-Sliman, who has enjoyed NIF funding for years, will likely head the Committee for Women's Advancement

Gil Ronen ,

MK Aida Touma-Sliman
MK Aida Touma-Sliman
Nati Shohat, Flash 90

A member of the Arab Joint List will chair the Knesset's Committee for Advancement of Women, reported Israel Hayom Tuesday. Since MK Aida Touma-Sliman is a radical feminist leader, and the only other woman on the list is the highly controversial MK Hanin Zouabi, it can safely be assumed that she is the one who will head the committee.

Touma-Sliman founded an NGO named Women Aganist Violence (WAV) in 1992 and has served as its executive director since then. Based in Nazareth, the NGO is described as the leading feminist organization in the Arab sector. The group has been heavily funded by the New Israel Fund (NIF) over the years: according to NGO Monitor, in 2006-2009, the NIF authorized grants worth $1,116,500 to WAV.

Touma-Sliman, a senior member of the mostly communist Hadash party, is also the only female member of the radical Higher Arab Monitoring Committee.

WAV does not list its funders, says NGO Monitor, but it adds that according to the EU, WAV receives a €390,821 grant (2009-2012) for “Women and Employment.”

Assuming this data is correct, it appears safe to say that a radical leftist Arab who has been enjoying NIF funding for over 20 years will now head an Israeli parliamentary committee.

The committee itself was founded in 1992 by then-MK Naomi Chazan and has served as a bastion of genderism (radical feminism) ever since. It has been closely accompanied since its founding by the Israel Women's Network, another NIF flagship grantee.

Among the projects that the committee has been advancing for years has been the drive to place women in combat units. This drive has been ongoing, despite studies that clearly show that integrating women in combat units is highly detrimental to the women's health, and forces the units to lower their standards of acceptance. The IDF recently decided not to integrate women into tank crews.

Another project that Touma-Sliman will probably advance in the committee, assuming she heads it, is the drive to integrate women “of various backgrounds” into key leadership positions, based on a law passed in 2005. The project will make it possible to force the appointment of Arab women to “decisionmaking hubs” throughout the public and private sectors, with a special emphasis on committees and teams dealing with “peace negotiations.”

Israel Hayom reported that the third largest party in the Knesset is always granted the chairmanship of one of the permanent statutory committees. Since the Joint List is the third largest, it was allowed to choose the committee it wanted, after chairmanships of most of the statutory committees were already divided up among coalition members.

The Joint List has reportedly agreed to waive its right to a representative on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in exchange for an extra seat on the Finance Committee.

MK Touma-Sliman declined to comment. The NIF's Naomi Paiss said: "Grantees receiving NIF funds do so because the organization is working competently in an area of focus for us, and women's empowerment, including in the Arab sector, has been an NIF goal since our founding. WAV has important accomplishments in the areas of employment, education and domestic violence for Arab women."