Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Five Israeli women ministers have Moroccan or Iraqi roots

 The new Israeli cabinet under the leadership of Naftali Bennett has nine women ministers, two with Iraqi roots, two with Moroccan roots, and one with mixed Iraqi-Moroccan roots.

The four ministers with Moroccan roots (Photo: Moroccan World News): Meir Cohen, Karine Elharrar-Hartstein, Yifat Shasha-Biton, Meirav Cohen

Three with Iraqi roots: Yifat Shasha-Biton becomes Minister of Education; Ayelet Shaked, Minister of the Interior and Major-General (reserve) Orna Barbival, Economics Minister. (Photo: RT)

Morocco World News reports

Meir Cohen has taken up the post of Israel’s new Minister of Labor, Welfare, Social Affairs and Social Services. Cohen was born in the Moroccan coastal town of Essaouira in 1955, migrating to Israel with his family when he was seven years old. The minister started a career in politics by successfully running for mayor of Dimona in 2003. Since then he has worked with several parties, most notably Yesh Atid, a centrist party under which he served as Minister of Welfare & Social Services between 20134 and 2014. 

 Yifat Shasha-Biton, born to a Moroccan-Jewish mother and Iraqi father in 1973, will now be heading the Ministry of Education. Shasha-Biton received her doctorate in education in 2002, from the University of Haifa. She previously served as Minister of Construction and Housing under the Likud party between 2019 and 2020. 

 Meirav Cohen, for her part, will continue working as the Minister of Social Equality, a post she’s held since 2020. Continuing her post, she has changed the party under which she works, migrating from the Blue and White party to Yesh Atid. Cohen was born in Jerusalem to two Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Morocco.

 Karine Elharrar-Hartstein, an Israeli lawyer and a politician, has taken up the post of Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources. Elharrar was born in 1977 to Moti and Colette Elharrar, two Moroccan Jewish immigrants. She currently serves under the Yesh Atid party. 

 The new Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, is keen to further enhance the relationship between Tel Aviv and Rabat. “Israel views Morocco as an important friend and partner in the efforts to advance peace and security in the region,” Bennett said.

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