Zulat’s Policy Promotion Coordinator Noa Pinto participated in a special session of the Knesset’s Youth Committee about the impact of the constitutional revolution on women and LGBTQ persons, where she presented Zulat’s position paper To the Back of the Bus: Regime Revolution Rolls Back Women’s Rights authored by by Attorney Reut Gelblum to the participants and to Committee Chairperson MK Naama Lazimi. Following are her remarks:
“The issue of the slots reserved for women on the Judicial Selection Committee was mentioned here. As part of ‘Emergency Call-Up Order’, one of the projects promoted by Zulat that sees former MKs come to the Knesset to sit in on committee sessions, Mossi Raz attended a meeting of the Constitution Committee where he proposed that members appointed to the Judicial Selection Committee by virtue of their position (Minister of Justice, President of the Supreme Court) would not be counted for the purpose of the number of slots reserved for women. His proposal was approved, and since then every time MK Rotman reads the law, he calls it the ‘Mossi Raz Amendment’. Commenting about it yesterday, former MK Mossi Raz said all he had done was to fix the curtain of the Titanic.
“And he is right, it is clear to all of us that he is right. With all due respect to how many women will sit on the Judicial Selection Committee, this is clearly not the point. The point is a political takeover of the committee for the selection of judges by the coalition – incidentally, a very male coalition – which to all intents and purposes will void the Supreme Court of its role as a restraint on the government and the Knesset and as a defender of human rights and women’s rights in particular.
“Rotman, Smotrich, and Levin keep saying that we are sowing panic, that we are hysterical, that there won’t be any ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ here. We are not hysterical, we simply read the coalition agreements and the law proposals and we understand what you are planning for us. If you didn’t want us to rebel, maybe your first mistake occurred when you allowed us to learn to read. Attorney Reut Gelblum read the agreements and laws, and she wrote a detailed position paper for Zulat about all the dangers looming for women from the regime coup and this government in general. The regime coup and the weakening of the judicial system will wrest away from us the Supreme Court, which has been a central and critical tool in the struggle for women’s rights in Israel. Thanks to it, women joined the Judicial Selection Committee, the boards of government companies, and IDF pilot training courses. The Supreme Court made sure to stop the exclusion of women from the Kol Barama radio station, to moderate the discrimination in the rabbinical courts, and more.
“We must be careful not to regard the weakening of the justice system separately from this government’s overall agenda, as this is merely a means to an end. This government’s agenda is clearly anti-feminist and it endangers us, our security, and our rights. We see as much in the initiatives to change gun licensing criteria, the refusal to join the Istanbul Convention, the expansion of the rabbinical courts’ powers, and the recent electronic monitoring bracelet bill.
“This government is throwing us to the dogs and endangering us, and then it also wants to prevent us from defending ourselves in court. Needless to say, these dangers are twofold for someone who is both a woman and belongs to another disadvantaged population; for LGBT women, and trans women in particular; for Mizrahi women; for women living in poverty who will lose the option of purchasing their public housing apartment; for Palestinian women who live under an occupation that is growing deeper under this government. The regime revolution is dangerous for anyone who is part of a disadvantaged population, and if you are both a woman and part of another disadvantaged population, it is doubly dangerous for you.
“I would like to end my remarks by saying that we must not content ourselves with the struggle to stop the destruction they are wreaking here, but that we may and must dream of full equality for all men and women, of a future that is even more equal, safer, and just than what we had here before this government.”
Watch (Hebrew, no subtitles):