Turkel Commission. Will a woman be added?
Photo: Gil Yohanan
The five members and two observers on the Turkel Commission are men, but women's groups are demanding that this be changed. The women's group, Itach Women Lawyers for Social Justice and the group WePower filed a petition on Tuesday with the High Court against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Turkel Commission with a demand that they appoint a woman to the commission charged with investigating the Gaza-bound flotilla raid.
The organizations also asked that an interim injunction be issued ordering the suspension of the commission's activities until the petition is fully deliberated and decided upon.
The petition claims that despite the clear and decision importance of the commission's conclusions and its effect on Israel's international standing, the cabinet authorized the makeup of the Turkel Commission in complete opposition to the law of equality and women's rights. Even after the decision was made to expand the commission, the petition claims, the government made no effort to appoint at least one woman to the panel.
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"In the absence of women and the absence of representation of women from the spectrum of other groups in society, despite the existence of women who fulfill the requirements of membership on the panel, the petitioners view this as a blatant, clear, and unreasonable violation of the law, which explicitly states that every public committee or team charged with shaping national policy will give suitable expression to women from a range of societal groups," the petition reads.
According to the women's groups, the government's attempts to appoint women to the commission are insufficient: "It is inconceivable that the commission could not find a legalist or professional from a field parallel to the commission's work that fulfills the requirements of sitting on the panel."
The petitioners are asking that the court rule unequivocally that "the commission deviates from the law, and therefore must rectify this wrongdoing and appoint women to the panel."
The women's groups emphasized in the petition that "at least one woman will bring to the commission's table the necessary gender perspective."
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