Ayelet Shaked (/ˈɑːjɛlɛt ʃɑː.kɛd/; Hebrew: איילת שקד‎‎; born 7 May 1976) is an Israeli politician and computer engineer. She has served as a member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home since 2013, and as Minister of Justice since 2015. Although representing a religious party, Shaked identifies as a secular politician. She began her career in the Tel Aviv high-tech industry.[1][2]

Early life and career

Shaked was born Ayelet Ben Shaul in Tel Aviv, to a well-educated upper-middle-class Israeli family. Her mother, a Bible teacher, was Ashkenazi (whose ancestors migrated as part of the First Aliyah from the Russian Empire and Romania in the 1880s) and voted for center-left parties. Her father, born in Iran to an Iraqi Jewish family that immigrated to Israel in the 1950s, was an accountant and voted Likud.[3][4][5] She grew up in the Bavli neighbourhood of Tel Aviv. She identified her political awakening to 8 years old, after watching a television debate between Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres, where she supported Shamir.[4][6] She served in the IDF as an infantry instructor in the Golani Brigade.[4] At Tel Aviv University, she obtained a BSc in electrical engineering and computer science. She began her career in the Tel Aviv high-tech industry,[1] working as a software engineer and later becoming manager of marketing at Texas Instruments.

Ayelet Shaked with Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel in consultations after the elections, March 23, 2015

Public career

From 2006 to 2008, she was office director for the office of Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2010 she established My Israel with Naftali Bennett and led it until May 2012.

From the end of 2011, she campaigned against illegal immigration from Africa to Israel, saying that it poses a threat to the state and also involves severe economic damage.[7] She also campaigned against Galei Tzahal saying it had a "left leaning agenda".[8]

In January 2012 Shaked was elected to serve as a member of the Likud's Central Committee; however, in June 2012 she resigned and joined the Jewish Home. On 14 November 2012 she won third place in the party's primaries, and was placed in the fifth spot on the Jewish Home list for the 2013 elections. With the list winning 12 seats, Shaked became the only secular Jewish Home MK. She subsequently joined the Economic Affairs Committee, the House Committee, and the Committee on Foreign Workers, and served as an alternate member on the Finance Committee. She also chaired the Knesset committee for the Enforcement of the Security Service Law and the National-Civilian Service Law and the Special Committee for the Equal Sharing of the Burden Bill, as well as serving as the head of the Knesset Lobby for Infiltrators, the Lobby for Israeli Literature and the Encouragement of Reading in Israel and the Lobby for Jonathan Pollard. She serves as a member of the Lobby to Promote the Employment of Arab Women Academics, the Lobby for Female Knesset Members, Lobby for Equality in Employment, Lobby for Reserve Soldiers, the Lobby for alliances with Christians, the Lobby for the Hi-Tech Industry in Israel, and others.

In June 2014, Shaked posted an article by the late Israeli writer Uri Elitzur on Facebook.[9] The Facebook post was variously described in the media as calling Palestinian children "little snakes" and appearing to justify mass punishment of Palestinians.[10][11][12][13][14][15] Based upon the Facebook post, the then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Shaked's mindset was no different from Adolf Hitler's.[15][16] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned Erdoğan’s comments, stating "Erdogan's anti-Semitic comments profaned the memory of the Holocaust." The leader of Israeli leftist Meretz party, Zehava Gal-On, suggested that "because of the presidential election Erdoğan has lost control."[17] Shaked stated that her post was portrayed falsely in the media, especially in that the article was presented as her own words rather than Elitzur's. She said, "I refer specifically to 'Daily Beast' writer Gideon Resnick, who so misrepresented the facts in one of my recent Facebook posts, one has to wonder if his hatred for my country hasn’t rendered him outright useless to his website and his readers."[9]

Minister of Justice

Shaked, as Minister of Justice, with Reuven Rivlin, the President of Israel, in judges swear-in ceremony, 2015

She was placed third on the Jewish Home list for the 2015 elections,[18] and was re-elected to the Knesset. On 6 May 2015, it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to appoint Shaked as Minister of Justice as part of a plan to form a new coalition government.[19][20][21] Shaked took office as Justice Minister on 14 May 2015.[4]

In July 2015, Shaked announced that she was forming a committee to create a stable legal structure for the land plots in the West Bank.[22] The formation of the committee was agreed upon in the coalition agreement between Bayit Yehudi and Likud.[22] She has stated: "There are many areas in Judea and Samaria, whose legal status has not been organized. Its time to remove the legal ambiguity, and allow the residents of Judea and Samaria, many of whom live in settlements that were built by the Israeli government, to live without the persistent fear of challenges to their property ownership".[22] The legal status of the West Bank is disputed; the Palestinians, the UN, human rights organisations and most of the international community consider it to be occupied Palestinian territory.

In January 2016, Shaked sponsored a bill in the Knesset that would require non-governmental organizations ("NGOs") that receive a majority of their funding from "foreign government entities" to be so labeled. In an interview in the Washington Post she stated that the law would foster transparency by giving the public the right "to know which NGOs are receiving most of their support from foreign governments and therefore representing foreign government interests."[23]

In June 2016 the Israeli Knesseth passed a comprehensive law against terrorism, forbidding any kind of terrorism and support of terrorism, and setting severe punishments for terrorists. The law also regulates legal efforts against terrorism and counter-terrorism measures. The law was sponsored and promoted by Justice minister Shaked.[24]

Personal life

Video about Ayelet Shaked

Shaked is married and has two children and lives in Bavli, Tel Aviv. Her husband is a reserve fighter-pilot in the Israeli Air Force.[3]

Awards and recognition


  1. ^ a b Talks with a Tel Aviv Settler Haaretz, 22.06.2012
  2. ^ Meet the most surprising candidate of "Jewish Home" NRG 11/26/2012
  3. ^ a b Julie Wiener, Who is Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s new justice minister?, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 7, 2015
  4. ^ a b c d Rudoren, Jodi (May 15, 2015). "Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s New Justice Minister, Shrugs Off Critics in Her Path". New York (New York). Retrieved May 16, 2015. Ms. Shaked still lives in the Bavli neighborhood of Tel Aviv where she grew up. Her mother, a Bible teacher, voted for center-left parties, and her father, an accountant of Iraqi descent who was born in Iran, for the right-leaning Likud. Ms. Shaked dates her own political awakening to age 8, when she admired the hawkish Yitzhak Shamir in a televised debate. 
  5. ^ Naomi Zeveloff, Can Ayelet Shaked Sell (Secular) Israel on the Far Right?, The Forward, January 26, 2015
  6. ^ BSmart. "ראיון אישי עם איילת שקד: משהו חדש מתחיל בפוליטיקה הישראלית.". star10.co.il. 
  7. ^ בקרוב: מאה אלף מסתננים בישראל mako | פורסם 16/11/11 15:20:30
  8. ^ "An interview with Ayelet Shaked - Israel". Jewish Journal. 
  9. ^ a b Shaked, Ayelet (July 16, 2014). "Exposing militant leftist propaganda". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Abunimah, Ali (7 July 2014). "Israeli lawmaker’s call for genocide of Palestinians gets thousands of Facebook likes". Electronic Intifada. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Wiener, Julie (7 May 2014). "Who is Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s new justice minister?". Jewish Telegraph Agency. 
  12. ^ Tharoor, Ishaan (7 May 2014). "Israel’s new justice minister considers all Palestinians to be ‘the enemy’". Washington Post. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "'Mothers of all Palestinians should also be killed,' says Israeli politician". Daily Sabah. July 14, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  14. ^ Hillel, Mira Bar (July 11, 2014). "Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport". The Independent. Retrieved October 13, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b O'Grady, Siobhan (7 May 2014). "The New Face of Israel’s Hard Right". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Israeli Politician Declares 'War' on 'the Palestinian People'". Haaretz. 
  17. ^ Keinon, Herb (July 20, 2014). "Netanyahu finally calls out Erdogan for anti-Semitic statements". The Jerusalem Post. 
  18. ^ The Jewish Home CEC
  19. ^ Azulay, Moran (May 6, 2015). "Netanyahu gives Bayit Yehudi's Shaked the Justice Ministry, but with limited powers". Ynetnews (Tel Aviv, Israel). Retrieved May 6, 2015. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed Wednesday to appoint Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked as justice minister, but insisted that her powers be curtailed. 
  20. ^ "In the 11th hour, Netanyahu finalizes 61-strong coalition". The Times of Israel (Jerusalem). May 6, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015. Prime minister reaches deal with Jewish home’s Bennett, finalizing a right-wing government; two men set to deliver a statement; Ayelet Shaked will be named justice minister. 
  21. ^ Heller, Jeffery (May 6, 2015). "Netanyahu clinches deal to form new Israeli government". Reuters (London). Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c Tova Tzimoki (July 21, 2015). "Justice Minister: Remove legal ambiguity from settlements". ynet. 
  23. ^ Booth, William (January 31, 2016). "Israel doesn't trust NGOs that get money from U.S. and Europe. Here's why". Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Terror bill passes into law". Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem Post. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016. 
  25. ^ Meltzer, Yoel (August 15, 2012). "An Interview with Ayelet Shaked, Secular Candidate for HaBayit HaYehudi". The Jerusalem Post. 
  26. ^ "Victory stems from the ability to break stigmas". Globes. 5 December 2012. 
  27. ^ . 29 August 2013 http://www.kipa.co.il/now/53192.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ . 27 March 2014 http://www.kipa.co.il/now/56207.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ "מעריב סופהשבוע", 22 במאי 2015.
  30. ^ "מעריב השבוע", 19 באוגוסט 2015.
  31. ^ Globes Israel, 2015.

External links