Israel appoints its first woman Muslim diplomat

Rasha Atamny, a Palestinian Arab, will serve as the Israel embassy’s first secretary in Ankara, Turkey.

world Updated: Apr 06, 2017 20:05 IST
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Kartikeya Ramanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Israel,Palestinian Arab,Tel Aviv
Atamny (second from left) said she honed her diplomatic skills in her collegiate Model UN club.(via Twitter)

Israel has appointed its first female Muslim diplomat, who will soon represent Tel Aviv in Turkey.

Rasha Atamny, 31, a Palestinian Arab born in Baqa al-Gharbiya town in central Israel, will serve as the embassy’s first secretary in Ankara, the Times of Israel reported.

She studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before she was accepted into the three-year foreign ministry cadet course, one of only 21 candidates to make the cut.

In a blog written while she was in university, Atamny said she honed her diplomatic skills in her collegiate Model UN club. A year after joining the club, Atamny was accepted to represent Israel at the UN in New York as a youth ambassador for three months.

She described as a turning point her participation in the Human Rights Assembly Committee during a discussion on the violation of women’s rights.

“This time I listened to the speeches from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt condemning Israel’s systematic violations of women’s rights while I, an Arab-Muslim woman of Palestinian origin, represent Israel at the UN General Assembly,” she wrote.

Atamny is not Israel’s first female Arab diplomat, but she is the first to be sent abroad — Christian-Arab Rania Jubran worked for the foreign ministry from 2006 to 2009, but left shortly before she was due to be sent to Cairo.

Israel has several male Muslim and Christian diplomats.

First Published: Apr 06, 2017 19:59 IST