Shulamit Aloni elected to Israel’s 6th Knesset

November 2, 1965

Passionate, principled, provocative, and above all path breaking, Shulamit Aloni (shown here in 2001) has dedicated her life to transforming Israel into an open, just and liberal society based on human dignity, tolerance for diversity and equality. Since the 1950s, she has been a major player in the struggle for progressive stances on human rights, civil rights, religious pluralism, the status of women and Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Photographer: Yizhak Elhadar, "Scoop 80"

Institution: Shulamit Aloni

Shulamit Aloni served as an Israeli minister and Member of Knesset for 28 years. Born on December 28, 1927, in Poland, Aloni grew up in Tel Aviv. She fought tirelessly for individual rights, women’s rights, and religious freedom. After serving as a Member of Knesset of the Alignment party for one term, she created her own party, Ratz, dedicated to fighting discrimination and Orthodox religious monopoly, protecting civil liberties, and promoting peace and equality. In Aloni’s first term, which began on November 2, 1965, she began to attempt to create a constitution for the State of Israel that would include a bill of rights ensuring human freedoms. Between her first and second terms in the Knesset, Aloni established the Bureau for Civil Rights, which provided legal advice to citizens in need. In 1970, she began to organize contract-based civil marriages rather than religious marriages and encouraged couples to bypass the Orthodox monopoly by exploring marriage opportunities outside of Israel. Aloni quickly became a prominent spokesperson against the Orthodox monopoly in Israel.

In addition to her political career, Aloni was also an author and journalist. She wrote six books that express her views on civil rights and reflect on the state of Israel. She hosted popular radio programs and created a radio show specifically for women, called “Know the Law.” 

Aloni made a name for herself as a champion of civil liberties who challenged religious hegemony and the handling of the Palestinian territories. She received an Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award from the Association for Civil Rights in 1998 and the Israel Prize in 2000. Aloni died on January 24, 2014.

Sources:

“Shulamit Aloni, Outspoken Israeli Lawmaker, Dies at 86.” New York Times, January 24, 2014. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/25/world/middleeast/shulamit-aloni-outspoken-israeli-lawmaker-dies-at-86.html

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Shulamit Aloni elected to Israel’s 6th Knesset." (Viewed on May 18, 2024) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/nov/02/1965/shulamit-aloni-elected-israels-6th-knesset>.