Israel's British-born UN Human Rights Council representative

By Jennifer Lipman, March 25, 2011

A Manchester-born academic is to become the first Israeli representative on a UN Human Rights Council committee.

Professor Frances Raday, who was born in Britain, studied at the London School of Economics and made aliyah in 1968, was chosen to be part of a team of five independent experts looking at gender equality and discrimination against women.

No Israelis have served on this type of HRC working group before.

The other representatives are from Mexico, Tunisia, Indonesia and Poland.

The HRC has in the past made statements and decisions considered by some to be anti-Israel, but Israel’s UN envoy Aharon Leshno Yaar told Haaretz thatProf Raday’s selection was “an important and impressive achievement” for the country.

He said: “Her appointment is a source of pride and appreciation for Israeli academia especially in light of the delegitimisation of Israel that has carried on in the international arena."

Professor Raday, 66, is the Elias Lieberman chair in labour law at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University and has held a number of distinguished roles in Israel’s legal community.

Her work has included representing a group of observant Jewish and Israeli women in their fight to be allowed to read the Torah aloud at the Western Wall wearing tallitot.

Last updated: 10:50am, March 25 2011