Zulat’s Policy Promotion Coordinator Noa Pinto at Special Knesset Debate on Women’s Rights: ‘This Is a Government With an Anti-Feminist Agenda’

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):



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.