Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Decides: Hearings of Inquiry Commission on Submarine Affair To Be Open to the Public

A victory for Zulat in its battle for the people’s right to know: The hearings of the state commission of inquiry on the submarine affair will be open to the public. The decision came in a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held on 15 March chaired by MK Ram Ben Barak and  with the participation of MKs, defense establishment officials, and representatives of civil society organizations. Among them was Zulat’s Executive Director Einat Ovadia, who presented the institute’s position that the hearings should be conducted with maximum transparency.

A vote held at the end of the meeting unanimously  rejected the government’s decision that the commission should hold its proceedings behind closed doors. The hearings will thus be open to the public and a blackout will be imposed only on specific topics at the discretion of the commission’s chairman, former Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis, thus upholding the people’s right to know and reaffirming the public’s trust in the inquiry.

Einat Ovadia stated at the meeting: “A judge, former Supreme Court Justice Asher Grunis, has been assigned to chair this commission. Were a blackout to be imposed on the proceedings, this would void the judge’s discretion and hinder his ability to make decisions. I call on committee members: Do not approve any clause that imposes a blackout of any kind.”

Watch Einat Ovadia’s full remarks:



Read more:

>> Position paper: Cancel the blackout on the sessions of State Commission of Inquiry into the Submarine Affair
>> Policy paper: Ensuring Transparency – Opening the Proceedings of Inquiry and Inspection Commissions to the Public


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.