Ultra-conservative faction: ‘Fixing’ gender-equality law a key coalition demand

Noam party chairman Avi Maoz (Noam Party)
Noam party chairman Avi Maoz (Noam Party)

The extremist Noam faction of the right-wing Religious Zionist party releases a series of coalition conditions, saying it will recommend that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu form the next government but will demand he agree to a range of conservative reforms, including rolling back gender-equality protections.

Noam is headed by Avi Maoz, who will become a lawmaker next week and whose support will likely be needed for a potential Netanyahu government. He campaigned on “strengthening the Jewish character of the State of Israel” by having stricter national observance of Shabbat, tightening the Orthodox Rabbinate’s monopoly over religious life, injecting religious law into broader society and promoting “family values.”

As part of the negotiations for the formation of the coalition, Noam will demand that government bodies act in accordance with the principles of the so-called Jewish nation-state law, which was criticized for allegedly sidelining Arabs and other non-Jews.

The party also says it will demand that the new coalition amend Government Resolution 2331 — based on a UN resolution — aimed at promoting gender equality in public institutions.

According to the 2014 law that Noam wants to “fix,” the government must work to promote gender equality in the civil service and “instill the value of gender equality through information and guidance.” The law also requires the government to work to “strengthen the safety of women in the public sphere and prevent violence against them.”

Hinting at preventing women from serving in the IDF, the party says, “Noam will work to make a government that requires the defense establishment to restore the value of victory as a central value of the IDF, in the education of commanders, in command training and in the considerations of building military and manpower.”

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