Meretz MK to become Israel’s highest ranking female Arab diplomat

Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi will be the first Israeli Arab woman to hold such a senior diplomatic position.

 MK GHAIDA RINAWIE ZOABI attends a Special  Committee on Arab Society Affairs meeting, in the  Knesset in June (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
MK GHAIDA RINAWIE ZOABI attends a Special Committee on Arab Society Affairs meeting, in the Knesset in June
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has appointed Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi as Israel’s consul-general to Shanghai, the first Arab woman to hold such a senior diplomatic position.

The appointment also has a political advantage, as moving Zoabi from the Knesset to Shanghai could mean one less rebellious voter in the coalition. Zoabi broke with the coalition last month, casting the decisive vote against legislation to encourage haredim to enlist in the IDF, to protest the government’s reinstitution of the ban on Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining citizenship.

The next candidate on the Meretz list is Kati Piasecki, a member of the Bat Yam city council, who works in Human Resources for a cybersecurity company.

 New Meretz MK Kati Piasecki.  (credit: YANAI YEHIEL) New Meretz MK Kati Piasecki. (credit: YANAI YEHIEL)

Lapid praised Zoabi as “having rich managerial experience and impressive and varied economic and public experience.”

“I wish her luck and am certain she will lead the Israeli consulate in Shanghai to new and important achievements,” Lapid argued. “There is no dispute about China’s importance and that of Shanghai, in particular, to the global economy. Our economic relations with China are an important engine of growth for Israel’s economy and we should continue promoting them.”

 Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem February 13, 2022.  (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / REUTERS) Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem February 13, 2022. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / REUTERS)

Zoabi said she is privileged to be the first Israeli Arab woman in such a senior diplomatic role.

“I am glad to have the chance to contribute to the important mission of strengthening economic, trade and culture cooperation with one of Israel’s most significant economic partners in the world,” she added, calling Shanghai “an important nervous center of the global economy.”