NIF-Funded MK Touma-Sliman Heads Knesset Women’s Committee

June 3, 2015  

MK Aida Touma-Sliman of the Arab Joint List was appointed chair of the Knesset’s Committee for Advancement of Women Wednesday, as predicted by Arutz Sheva last month.

Touma-Sliman founded an NGO named Women Aganist Violence (WAV) in 1992 and has served as its executive director since then. Based in Nazareth, the NGO is described as the leading feminist organization in the Arab sector. Thegroup has been heavily funded by the New Israel Fund (NIF) over the years: according to NGO Monitor, in 2006-2009, the NIF authorized grants worth $1,116,500 to WAV.

Touma-Sliman, a senior member of the mostly communist Hadash party, is also the only female member of the radical Higher Arab Monitoring Committee.

WAV does not list its funders, says NGO Monitor, but it adds that according to the EU, WAV receives a €390,821 grant (2009-2012) for “Women and Employment.”

Assuming this data is correct, it appears safe to say that a radical leftist Arab who has been enjoying NIF funding for over 20 years will now head an Israeli parliamentary committee.

The committee itself was founded in 1992 by then-MK Naomi Chazan and has served as a bastion of genderism (radical feminism) ever since. It has been closely accompanied since its founding by the Israel Women’s Network, another NIF flagship grantee.

Women in combat units

Among the projects that the committee has been advancing for years has been the drive to place women in combat units. This drive has been ongoing, despite studies that clearly show that integrating women in combat units is highly detrimental to the women’s health, and forces the units to lower their standards of acceptance. The IDF recently decided not to integrate women into tank crews.

Discussions of this topic will place MK Touma-Sliman in a position of influence on matters pertaining to Israel’s security.

Another project that Touma-Sliman will probably advance in the committee, assuming she heads it, is the drive to integrate women “of various backgrounds” into key leadership positions, based on a law passed in 2005. The project will make it possible to force the appointment of Arab women to “decisionmaking hubs” throughout the public and private sectors, with a special emphasis on committees and teams dealing with “peace negotiations.”

The third largest party in the Knesset is always granted the chairmanship of one of the permanent statutory committees. Since the Joint List is the third largest, it was allowed to choose the committee it wanted, after chairmanships of most of the statutory committees were already divided up among coalition members.

The Joint List reportedly agreed to waive its right to a representative on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in exchange for an extra seat on the Finance Committee.

MK Touma-Sliman declined to comment. The NIF’s Naomi Paiss said: “Grantees receiving NIF funds do so because the organization is working competently in an area of focus for us, and women’s empowerment, including in the Arab sector, has been an NIF goal since our founding. WAV has important accomplishments in the areas of employment, education and domestic violence for Arab women.”

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