The bid to appoint a woman to the Turkel Commission has failed. Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman said on Sunday that efforts to locate a woman to sit on the Turkel Commission, investigating Israel Navy's raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, have been unproductive.
According to the minister, "In accordance with the High Court order, we contacted five additional women to become members of the Turkel Commission. All of them declined."
Minister Ne'eman said during the cabinet meeting that since the High Court decision stipulating that a woman must be part of the Turkel Commission, a true and sincere effort has been made to find an appropriate candidate. He said that a joint effort was made between his office and the commission itself in order to identify such a person.
As part of their efforts, a list of top female legalists with proven experience and fitting capabilities was made. Among those contacted were Deputy President of the Jerusalem District Court Miriam Rubinstein, retired Judge Hadassa Ben-Itto, Prof. Nili Cohen from Tel Aviv University, Prof. Michal Pomerantz from the Hebrew University, and retired Judge Judith Zur.
The High Court issued its order after a petition was submitted by a number of women's rights groups demanding that the commission's composition uphold the law of equality and equal rights for women.
In response to the petition even prior to its court hearing, the State Prosecutor's Office claimed that it made a reasonable effort to find women to sit on the on the panel and that the three women contacted during initial efforts to put together panel all declined. Another two, the State Prosecution asserted, were disqualified.
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