Avi Maoz resigns as deputy minister in PMO, he tells Netanyahu

He intends, according to Israeli media, to continue his membership in the coalition as an MK for the Noam Party. 

 NOAM CHAIRMAN Avi Maoz at the Knesset: Great concern.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
NOAM CHAIRMAN Avi Maoz at the Knesset: Great concern.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Noam party chairman MK Avi Maoz announced his resignation on Monday evening from the position of deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s office. He intends to continue his membership in the coalition as an MK.

“To my astonishment,” he wrote in his resignation letter, “I discovered that there is no true intention to uphold the coalition agreement regarding the National Jewish Identity Authority."

The coalition agreement required the new authority to receive a NIS 100 million budget, but, according to budget agreements that have not yet been made public, Maoz said that the agreement would not be respected.

Maoz’s move comes after a few days in which the government faced a number of crises, which began at the beginning of the week surrounding. United Torah Judaism’s Degel Hatorah announced that it was unhappy with the budget not including the full funding it was due for its private school system

What were Maoz's responsibilities?

Maoz was in charge of the newly-created National Jewish Identity Authority, as well as Nativ and the Education Ministry's "Unit for External Programs and Promoting Partnerships."

 MK Avi Maoz attends an Arrangements Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on June 21, 2021.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK Avi Maoz attends an Arrangements Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on June 21, 2021. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Nativ was once considered an espionage and intelligence organization, parallel to the Mossad, with special expertise on FSU Jews until the early 1990s.

Nativ is the only body qualified to issue aliyah visas to FSU Jews. In other countries, this is the responsibility of the Jewish Agency.

Maoz has been outspoken in his distaste of that which he views as divisive left-wing propaganda, such as LGBTQ+ issues and feminism. 

Zvika Klein and Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.