Israeli coalition toes thin line, Zoabi says her future still undecided

Rebel Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, whose departure from the Knesset is the key to keeping the government together, said her future is undecided.

 Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi voting at the Knesset on June 6, 2022 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi voting at the Knesset on June 6, 2022
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Rebel Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, whose departure from the Knesset is the key to keeping the government together, said Friday that her future is undecided.

"I have not decided where I am heading," Rinawie Zoabi said on KAN Radio on Friday morning. 

Wavering Yamina MK Nir Orbach made the resignations of MKs Rinawie Zoabi and Mazen Ghanaim conditions for him remaining in the coalition. He told confidants ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that he would bring the government down if they did not resign.

But, in the interview, Rinawie Zoabi said no one in Meretz had personally asked her to quit. She said she only heard such a request in the press, but she expected developments on that front next week.

Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz called for "those who cannot withstand the difficulties" to resign in a tweet on Tuesday after she violated coalition discipline by not voting for the West Bank emergency bill Monday night. But she said she had not heard from Horowitz personally.

 MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman talk during a vote on the ''Flag Bill'' at the Knesset on June 1, 2022.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman talk during a vote on the ''Flag Bill'' at the Knesset on June 1, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

A spokesman for Horowitz responded: "That is a lie, a ridiculous, delusional claim. For weeks, Meretz people have been investing every effort to bring about her resignation from the Knesset, including countless conversations with her."

Horowitz told 103FM on Friday morning that "if she cannot vote according to the decisions of the coalition and the party, she should give up her post and allow us to move on."

"That is the right and fair thing to do," he said.

Rinawie Zoabi said she would vote against the bill again if it was brought to another vote in the Knesset plenum.

"I absolutely would not vote for it under any circumstances. I would definitely topple the bill."

Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi

Asked if she would quit for promises to help her constituents, she said: "what matters to me is the good of Arab society and I'll decide based on that."