After almost nine years in the Knesset, and another two years in the political wilderness, MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) returned to the parliament Monday, taking the third spot in Meretz following the retirement of Meretz Chairman Haim Oron.
Gal-On, an outspoken opponent of Israel's presence in the West Bank and an equally outspoken proponent of gender equality, served in the Knesset from 1999-2008.
Gal-On led the drive against growing rates of sex trafficking in Israel, first chairing a parliamentary investigative committee on the subject, and then establishing a permanent subcommittee to confront the phenomenon.
In advance of the 2008 elections, she was ranked fourth on the Meretz-New Movement list, behind political newcomer MK Nitzan Horowitz, and failed to enter the 18th Knesset when her party only won three seats in the elections.
In the two year period between the elections and her return to the Knesset, Gal-On was a co-presenter with right-wing journalist Haggai Segal on the Knesset Channel's “Head to Head” program, and began a PhD in Gender Studies at Bar-Ilan University. Gal-On, a mother of two, lives together with her husband in Petach Tikvah.