Dozens of rightist rabbis drafted a list of women candidates to be appointed to the Turkel Commission, investigating the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla raid, and are calling upon the government to include at least one of them on the investigating body.
Among those included on the list are: Shulamit Melamed, Esther Lior, Dr. Sara Druckman, Esther Levanon (the wives of Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Haim Druckman, and Rabbi Elyakim Levanon respectively), and author Emunah Elon.
The rabbis who published the list, some of whom are senior figures in the Religious Zionism movement, are part of a group of rabbis known as Derech Emunah, which is affiliated with National Union. The list was put together following the High Court's order that a woman be appointed to the Turkel Commission so as to uphold the State's equality laws.
According to the rabbis, the High Court judges, in recognizing the prevailing state of mind on the Supreme Court, merely "found a pretext" in order to ensure extreme leftist representation on the committee. Now, the rabbis are looking to thwart this supposed initiative by proposing a "nationalist" candidate whom they find acceptable.
On the rabbis' behest, members of the National Union faction, including MK Yaakov Katz, MK Uri Ariel, MK Arieh Eldad, and MK Michael Ben-Ari, contacted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, and retired Justice Jacob Turkel to suggest four women, not necessarily religious, for the position.
The four women suggested by the faction members are Prof. Talia Einhorn, Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, retired police ombudsman Attorney Hanna Keller Orenstein, and former Knesset member, Brig. Gen. (res.) Amira Dotan. In their letter, the National Union members noted, "It is clear that these candidates and those like them will work with the values of justice and law before them alongside their loyalty to the people of Israel and the State of Israel."
Melamed, Lior, Levanon, and Druckman are on an additional list that has yet to be published officially. The Derech Emunah rabbis are waiting to see whether the High Court will decide that new members of the commission must be legalists or security specialists, as were originally chosen. Other names on this list include Rabbanit Dr. Hanna Katan and journalist Sofia Ron-Moriah.
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