Although home to a variety of ethnicities, the Land of Israel was predominantly Jewish until the third(3rd) century when the area became increasingly dominated by Christians and then largely Muslim following the 7th century conquest and until the middle of the 20th century. Israel had previously appointed Christians and Muslims male to foreign roles as well as female Christians and Muslims to foreign ministry jobs within the country but never abroad. Rasha Atamny was however appointed this week as Israel’s First Secretary at its Turkish Embassy in Ankara, the first time the country has sent a Muslim woman to represent it abroad. Atamny, 31, of Palestinian origin, grew up in Baqa al-Gharbiya, a graduate of the department of psychology, Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
She decided to seek out a post as a diplomat after her experience in the University’s model United Nations’ club. She was admitted into the three-year foreign ministry cadet course, one of the only 21 candidates to make the cut. Atamny was accepted to represent Israel at the UN in New York as a youth ambassador for 3 months. She also participated in the Human Rights Assembly Committee during a discussion on the violation of women’s rights which she described as a turning point. “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, represented Israel at the UN General Assembly” she wrote.
Atamny will occupy a senior post at a mission responsible for nurturing one of the country’s most fragile relationships.
Written by : Ahmed