Sharren Haskel to become Knesset’s 30th female lawmaker

Filling Danny Danon’s seat as he heads to UN, Canadian-born Likud member brings women’s representation in parliament to all-time high

Likud member Sharren Haskel campaign poster
Likud member Sharren Haskel campaign poster

With Danny Danon’s appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations on Friday, Sharren Haskel, a Canadian-born 31-year-old Likud party member, is set to replace him in the Knesset.

Haskel’s arrival in the Knesset will mark an all-time high of 30 female lawmakers — 25 percent — in the 120-seat Israeli parliament. Her inclusion raises Israel four spots to become 62nd state in women’s representation in national government, Channel 2 reported.

“I congratulate minister Danny Danon on his appointment as Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations and am please that it will allow me to serve the citizens of Israel in the Knesset,” Haskel wrote on Facebook.

Haskel was 31st on the Likud party list going into the March elections and missed the cut by a single seat.

Haskel immigrated to Israel from Canada when she was a year old. She served as a Border Police officer and was the commander of the first Bedouin woman combat soldier, she touted in an interview with the Likudnik website in December. She’s currently studying an undergraduate degree in international relations and political science at the Open University, and works as a veterinary nurse.

Sharren Haskel (Facebook)
Sharren Haskel (Facebook)

In the same interview, Haskel shared some of her stances concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which largely reflected those of party leader Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We need to gain political quiet in order to deal with the economy, society and national interests,” she said ahead of the March elections. “Unfortunately, the Palestinians are still not ready or prepared for a peace agreement which would constitute a permanent agreement, [and] you can’t force them into an agreement like [Zionist Union leaders] Tzipi [Livni] and [Isaac Herzog] plan, because they simple won’t uphold it.”

“The threat of a terrorist state is real just like it is in Gaza,” she said, referring to the Palestinian coastal enclave ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization. Haskel reiterated Netanyahu’s refrain that there was no negotiation partner for peace in the Palestinian leadership.

She said that in any future agreement, Israel cannot cede the Jordan Valley or settlement blocs to a Palestinian state “under any circumstances,” on the grounds that “it would endanger the security of the state.”

In recent Likud party meetings, Haskel has plugged environmental causes, Maariv reported, delivering a lecture to MKs on Palestinian sewage runoff in the West Bank polluting watercourses. “I am an environmental activist,” she told the paper. “I spoke to the party on Environment Day and received assurances from all MKs to mobilize for the course that I’m running on the issue.”

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