The women's organizations were mistaken when they approached Meretz chairman Haim Oron to secure a
high place for MK Zahava Gal-On on his party's slate. They should have requested all three top slots for women. Because although
Gal-On is a brave, committed, honest, smart and hardworking MK, she won't bring about much-needed change. The Israeli left
needs many more women for that to happen.
failure of Meretz is resounding, and perhaps it's high time to acknowledge that the ousting of women from its ranks is a major
contributing factor; a telling fact is the large migration of Meretz voters to Tzipi Livni's Kadima. Women constitute a strong
majority in the Israeli peace movement, human rights organizations and NGOs for social change, but the left-wing parties appear
to believe they can do without women at the top of their lists. The left's failure should mark the end of its male-dominated
era in which men pushed the women down to unelectable spots on party lists. Parties that call themselves leftist but fail
to put a woman in the top three slots on the list don't deserve the name.
it's not only Meretz and Labor, who chose women for fifth, 9th and 13th places. Even Hadash, a party that incorporates equality
in its name, is represented in the new Knesset by four men. Its leadership would be wise to evacuate two of the seats for
the impressive women in fifth and sixth place on their party's slate, Aida Touma-Suleiman and Nurit Hajaj.
working on their own in a tough, male system find it very difficult to promote their concepts of justice and new social agendas.
In Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands, the women's struggle for representation won the day and changed the political map
completely. Israel reached a new record of 21 woman MKs last month, but the male-to-female ratio is still more than five to
This is why the women's organizations should not
be aiming to promote one woman, wonderful though she may be, but