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In Israel, Muslim Women Can Serve On Religious Courts, But Not Jews

Israel just appointed its first female religious judge, but Jewish women are still not allowed to serve on religious courts in the country.

Hana Mansour-Khatib, a family lawyer from Tamra in Northern Israel, was unanimously voted in by the Judicial Appointments Committee as judge, or qadi in a Sharia court on Tuesday, Haaretz reported.

Issawi Frej, a parliament member of the leftwing Meretz Party, who has been pushing for women to be appointed to religious courts, said that “history has been made” with Mansour-Katib’s appointment. “This is one of the moments when all the work you do in parliament pays off.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties have blocked attempts in parliament to change the law to allow women to serve on religious courts in Israel. Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked circumvented the parliament to allow Mansour-Khatib’s appointment.

According to Haaretz, the appointment could be precedent-setting for Jewish women to serve on religious courts.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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