Government Ministers React Sharply to Clinton's Criticism of Israeli Democracy

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday lamented Knesset attempts to restrict left-wing groups and expressed concern over the status of Israeli women.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Several Israeli government ministers on Sunday sharply responded to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over her critical comments on the status of women in Israel and Knesset bills that would restrict left-wing organizations.

Speaking to a closed forum in Washington on Saturday, Clinton criticized recent legislative attempts in Israel to restrict left-wing organizations and expressed shock over growing discrimination against Israeli women. She mentioned cases of IDF soldiers leaving during performances of female singers and the fact that females sit in the back of buses in certain places in Israel. Clinton said that some of these phenomena reminded her of Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Credit: AFP

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Clinton's comments were "completely exaggerated".

"Israeli democracy is alive, liberal and breathing," Steinitz said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday. "I dont know many better democracies in the world. It is of course necessary to fix things sometimes. The matter of excluding and segregating women is completely unacceptable and needs to be put to a stop, but there is a great distance between this and the argument that there is a threat to Israeli democracy."

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said that elected officials should concentrate on what is happening in their own countries. He added, however, that he shared the concern over the dignity of women. He said that the government should take steps to demonstrate its commitment to equality between men and women.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that the Knesset passes laws after thorough checks.

"Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East," Yishai said. "I assume that everything done here will be done within the law and I am not concerned by that."

Read this article in Hebrew: שרים עונים לקלינטון: "שנבחרי ציבור יתרכזו במדינותיהם"

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism