New Labor MK Ghaleb Majadleh: Party must leave coalition

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

Former science minister Ghaleb Majadleh will return to the Knesset whenMK Yuli Tamir’s resignation takes effect at noon Tuesday, giving Laborchairman Ehud Barak a new headache to deal with.
Despiteannouncing her intention to quit the Knesset months ago, Tamir onlysubmitted her resignation Sunday from abroad, skipping the traditionalparting press conference. Tamir, who is an Oxford-educated philosophyprofessor, turned down significant offers from Sapir College nearSderot and other institutions in the periphery and instead decided tobecome head of Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Ramat Gan,close to her Tel Aviv home.
Majadleh, who was the first Arabminister, was the next name on Labor’s list. He will be sworn in onApril 26 when the Knesset returns from its spring recess.
Hemade clear that he would take Tamir’s place among the Labor rebels whoare 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 aftera 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 arenot improving things, we don’t need to be there anymore.”
Majadleblamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the rest of the governmentfor ongoing poverty and social gaps, and for the ongoing dispute withUS President Barack Obama. He said Israel was at fault for peace talksnot beginning, and not the US or the Palestinians.
“Whoeverbuilds in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem and continues construction inthe West Bank can’t blame anyone else,” Majadle said.
“There hasnever been a better time to advance peace and there never will be, dueto the Arab peace plan. Labor must make clear its red lines anddeadlines to Netanyahu. If he doesn’t accept our demands, we can findthe right crowbar to remove our ministers from their cabinet seats.”