2023 Israel Democracy Conference: Zulat Executive Director Einat Ovadia’s Remarks at Activism Panel

Zulat Executive Director Einat Ovadia participated in a panel on activism entitled “This Is How It’s Done Properly” at the Emergency Conference on Democracy held on 24 February 2023 by the newspaper Haaretz, in collaboration with New Israel Fund and Zulat. The following are highlights of Ovadia’s remarks:

It’s not like there is a side that wants to talk: What we have is a side that wants to destroy, faced by a side that unfortunately is at a disadvantage. However, we are witnessing a protest the likes of which we have never seen before, of groups organizing spontaneously as they realize the unprecedented danger we are facing. Zulat has organized a group of 100 former Knesset members from all factions of the House who responded to our ‘reserves call-up’ to act together. These former MKs drafted a petition, which has already been signed by over 315,000 people. It’s been successful because even though the coalition has a majority in the Knesset, it has no majority in the public. This petition gives a voice to all who are being silenced by this government, which boasts of more indictments than of women.

One of the biggest challenges sought by this government is to replace democratic supremeacy with Jewish supremacy. This is a long-standing plan of the messianic Right that has taken us all hostage, in particular the Prime Minister, who realized that it could be his ticket out of jail. De facto annexation is now being promoted under the radar. The opposition chairman’s failure to invite representatives of the Arab public to join precludes the broad protest we are seeking to produce. Unfortunately, there are some in the opposition who are trying to out-Right the government. The role of the opposition is to foment a broad protest, where there is room to demonstrate with any flag we want that connects Jewish and Arab citizens.

Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):


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Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.