Colette Avital

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Now a Senior Adviser to J Street, Colette Avital, born in Romania in 1940, was a three-term Labor member of the Israeli Knesset. Previously, she was a career diplomat. She was a candidate for President of Israel in 2007. She is Director General of the Berl Katznelson Foundation's Ideological and EducationalCenter and is International Secretary of the Israel Labor Party.

She joined J Street in 2009, with responsibility for building Israeli support for the organization.[1] Labor is not part of Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing governing coalition, but Labor is significant in the opposition.

The Zionist Organization of America, on the right side of American Zionist politics, calls her of the far left. ZOA's position is that J Street is not pro-Israel. [2]

In March 2010, the government of France commended her, promoting her to Officer of the Legion of Honor and commenting on her perfect French. [3]

She is a member of the honorary board of OneVoice.


In 2003, she was Deputy Speaker. She chaired the Ethics Committee and the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee for the Location and Restitution of Property of Holocaust Victims. She was also an observer in the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee and a member of the Education and Culture Committee, the Committee for the Advancement of the Status of Women, the Finance Committee, and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ambassador Avital has served as the Israeli Consul General to New York, Consul and Acting Consular General in Boston, Ambassador to Portugal, Consul in Paris, and Press Attaché in Brussels. Within the Israeli Foreign Ministry, she has served as Director of the Leadership Department, Deputy Director General of the Communications and Information Division, and Acting Director of the Publicity Department.

Publications and memberships

Her articles have appeared in Le Monde, the New York Times, and the New York Post, and she contributes to the Ameinu website.


  • BA in Political Science and a MA in Public Administration
  • Languages: English, French, Hebrew, Romanian, German, Portuguese, and Italian.
  1. Amy Spitalnick (19 June 2009), Colette Avital Joins J Street as Senior Advisor, J Street
  2. Morton Klein (20 October 2009)
  3. Greer Fay Cashman (24 March 2010), "The French connection", Jerusalem Post