Peta Jones Pellach
Teacher and activist in Jerusalem
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This is the guy to chair the Knesset panel on gender equality

After all, MK Oded Forer has a mother. And a wife. Oh, and he has met some powerful women. What more could we ask for?
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, February 5, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yisrael Beytenu MK Oded Forer at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, February 5, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“Israeli feminist groups responded with outrage on Monday after it was announced that a male lawmaker had been chosen to lead a parliamentary panel tasked with advancing gender equality in the country.” (Times of Israel).

I laughed; I cried; I sighed.

Of course! Only in Israel would it be logical to advance women by advancing a young, privileged, white man. The more I thought about it, the more I understood the logic.

Here are six reasons why Oded Forer should head the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equality.

  1. He has a mother and a wife and 2 children, proving that he is intimately familiar with the struggles of women for advancement and equality.
  2. He has worked for powerful women – Limor Livnat and Sofa Landver – so he understands the particular demands on women who want to break the glass ceiling. He is perfectly able to identify what women need in order to advance. (Of course, it is helpful to have membership in a right-wing political party).
  3. His university education at the IDC, Herzliyah, brought him into contact with privileged young women who are ambitious and competent. He sees no obstacles to their advancement but should some be drawn to his attention, he will do what is needed to remove them.
  4. His party, Yisrael Beiteinu, was founded by Russian immigrants to this country who experienced the era of Communism. The party opposes all of the principles of the Communist Party – except, of course, when it comes to women, who suffered equally with men under the regime.
  5. He is the only man on the committee; therefore, he is a minority. This gives him empathy with women who find themselves as a minority as they climb higher in positions of economic and political power.
  6. There was no suitable woman for the job. There are only 29 women in the Knesset. 8 of them are ministers. That means there were only 21 female candidates and close scrutiny shows that none are specially trained for this particular position.

So how can we object to his appointment?

About the Author
A fifth generation Australian, Peta made Aliyah in 2010. She is Senior Fellow of the Kiverstein Institute, Director of Educational Activities for the Elijah Interfaith Institute, secretary of the Jerusalem Rainbow Group for Jewish-Christian Encounter and Dialogue, a co-founder of Praying Together in Jerusalem and a teacher of Torah and Jewish History. She has visited places as exotic as Indonesia and Iceland to participate in and teach inter-religious dialogue. She also broadcasts weekly on SBS radio (Australia) with the latest news from Israel. Her other passions are Scrabble and Israeli folk-dancing.
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