New Labor MK Ghaleb Majadleh: Party must leave coalition

Former science minister returns to Knesset as MK Yuli Tamir’s resignation takes effect.

April 13, 2010 17:22
1 minute read.
New Labor MK Ghaleb Majadleh: Party must leave coalition

Ghaleb Majadle. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

Former science minister Ghaleb Majadleh will return to the Knesset when MK Yuli Tamir’s resignation takes effect at noon Tuesday, giving Labor chairman Ehud Barak a new headache to deal with.

Despite announcing her intention to quit the Knesset months ago, Tamir only submitted her resignation Sunday from abroad, skipping the traditional parting press conference. Tamir, who is an Oxford-educated philosophy professor, turned down significant offers from Sapir College near Sderot and other institutions in the periphery and instead decided to become head of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan, close to her Tel Aviv home.

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Majadleh, who was the first Arab minister, was the next name on Labor’s list. He will be sworn in on April 26 when the Knesset returns from its spring recess.

He made clear that he would take Tamir’s place among the Labor rebels who are pressing for Labor to leave the coalition, joining MKs Amir Peretz, Eitan Cabel and Daniel Ben-Simon.

“Labor joined the government out of national responsibility, but after a year has passed, we have to decide whether it is right to remain,” Majadle said. “I accept our democratic decision to join but if we are not improving things, we don’t need to be there anymore.”

Majadle blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the rest of the government for ongoing poverty and social gaps, and for the ongoing dispute with US President Barack Obama. He said Israel was at fault for peace talks not beginning, and not the US or the Palestinians.

“Whoever builds in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and continues construction in the West Bank can’t blame anyone else,” Majadle said.

“There has never been a better time to advance peace and there never will be, due to the Arab peace plan. Labor must make clear its red lines and deadlines to Netanyahu. If he doesn’t accept our demands, we can find the right crowbar to remove our ministers from their cabinet seats.”

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