Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz leaves politics after six years

Meretz MK was the only gay legislator in Knesset.

Nitzan Horowitz (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Nitzan Horowitz
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) is leaving politics after over six years in the Knesset, he announced on Wednesday, days after failing to bring allies into his party’s central committee.
Though Horowitz was an award-winning lawmaker, designated an Outstanding Parliamentarian Award by the Israel Democracy Institute last year, his party political skills proved to be lackluster and he was unable to build a camp within Meretz’s central committee, which was elected this week.
The 1,000-member Meretz central committee elects the party’s candidates list, so without allies, Horowitz’s chances of getting into the Knesset again were slim.
Horowitz, a former Haaretz reporter, is also known for being the second, and only current, openly gay member of Knesset.
(The first, Uzi Even, also represented Meretz, and served for three-and-a-half months in 2002-2003.) Horowitz ran for mayor of Tel Aviv last year, losing to incumbent Ron Huldai with 38% of the vote against 53%.
The MK announced his departure on Facebook.
“I love this land and I love you very much,” Horowitz wrote to supporters. “We did many things together. We led battles, initiated progressive legislation, we fought for basic values: democracy, human rights, social justice and peace.
“In all the commitments and projects I took upon myself, I gave the maximum. The varied topics I dealt with touched many people: Fighting racism, [for] regional cooperation, fighting religious coercion, protecting the environment, pluralism and culture, and of course rights for my beloved gay community,” he added.
Horowitz wrote that his next steps will become clear soon, but his values have not changed in his years in politics.
Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called Horowitz an important figure in the party, an excellent parliamentarian and a friend.
“I tried to prevent him from making this decision, because I thought he needs to continue contributing to Israeli society through Meretz, but, unfortunately, he was determined, for personal reasons, to complete his current term in the Knesset and not run again. I thank him for the joint work and wish him luck on his new path.”