An Israeli parliamentarian from the Israel Labor Party, who served in the 15th, 16th, and 17th (current) Knessets. Born in Bucharest, Romania, she immigrated to Israel with her family in 1950.
While still a student, she began working in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a secretary in order to cover the cost of her tuition. Over the years, she rose through the ranks at the Ministry; she served with the Israeli delegation to Paris (1982-1985), as the ambassador to Portugal (1988-1992), and as Consul General in New York City (1992-1996). Upon returning to Israel, she was appointed Deputy Director in Charge of Western Europe, the third most important position in the Ministry.
In 1999 Avital decided to run for election to the 15th Knesset for the Labor Party. She served briefly as Chair of the Ethics Committee and headed the Investigative Commission for the Identification and Return of the Property of Holocaust Victims, which submitted its conclusions to the government in 2005. She currently chairs the Immigration, Absorption, and Diaspora Committee. Avital also currently serves as the International Secretary of the Israeli Labor Party.
She is currently considering running for the post of President of Israel should scandal-ridden President Moshe Katsav decide to step down. However, her chances are considered very slim.