(JNS.org) Israel’s Foreign Ministry this week appointed its first female Muslim diplomat, 31-year-old Rasha Atamny, to serve in Turkey as the Israeli embassy’s first secretary.
Atamny, who hails from the town of Baq al-Gharbiya in central Israel, was a psychology major at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and refined her diplomatic abilities in the school’s Model U.N. club. A year after joining the club, Atamny applied to represent Israel as a youth ambassador at the U.N. in New York City, and was accepted for the role.
“One day, I sat at the Israeli seat as usual in the Human Rights Assembly Committee, and I listened with great interest to the discussion that took place—the violation of women’s rights,” she wrote in her blog on the Israeli Foreign Ministry website. “By this point, I had become used to hearing the series of charges against Israel from many countries on the council, as [U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.] Nikki Haley recently described in the media.”
She added, “The discrimination against Israel is very prominent in the U.N., and disappointing…That day at the U.N., which made me desperately disappointed, pushed me to take the matter into my own hands.”
Although Atamny is the first Muslim woman to serve in a diplomatic capacity for the Jewish state, she is not the first Arab female diplomat. Christian-Arab Rania Jubran, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran, worked for the Foreign Ministry from 2006-2009. Israel has several male Muslim and Arab diplomats currently serving in the Foreign Ministry.