The dispute in the Knesset over the exclusion of women on Monday turned into verbal confrontations and back-and-forth barbs between the female MKs championing the issue. Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who heads the Ministerial Committee on the Status of Women, went after opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, saying the head of Kadima "apparently only remembered she's a women because of the primaries."
Livnat was responding to a no-confidence motion proposed by Kadima over "the Netanyahu government's impotence in the face of the exclusion of women and increasing violence and extremism in Israel."
Turning to members of the opposition, Livnat said: "Kadima doesn't really care about the exclusion of women. [Livni] has never considered the issue of women's status important. She apparently only remembered she's a women because of the primaries. The exclusion of women crosses party lines. It's a mistake to attack the government over it."
"It's unfortunate that the culture minister, with an absence of culture, takes such an important issue and turns it into a political weapon," MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima ) said after the incident.
Shortly before the vote in the Knesset plenum, Livnat and Livni met at a conference against the exclusion of women organized by female MKs. Livnat was a focus of criticism there, after telling an interviewer that she had no problem with the exclusion of women as long as it was in the Haredi world. MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz ) accused Livnat, and the rest of the cabinet, of being responsible for creating the "snowball."
"The transportation minister uses the High Court of Justice to protect the Mehadrin bus lines, the defense minister lets soldiers walk out of ceremonies at which women sing, the deputy health minister doesn't award a prize to a female scientist, and the culture minister legitimizes the nonenforcement of laws in Haredi society," Gal-On said.
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