Israeli government rocked by resignation of Meretz MP

Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi (Yonatan Sindel - Flash90)

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  May 19, 2022

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi cited her dissatisfaction with the coalition’s policies against ‘Arab society’. 

An Israeli lawmaker quit the ruling coalition on Thursday, leaving it with fewer seats in parliament than the opposition in the latest blow to Naftali Bennett’s government. 

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, an MP for the left-wing Meretz party, announced her departure in a letter sent to the Israeli prime minister citing her dissatisfaction with the coalition’s policies.

“I entered politics because I saw myself as an emissary of Arab [Palestinian] society, which I represent,” the Nazareth-born politician wrote in the letter. 

“Unfortunately over the last few months for narrow political reasons, the heads of the coalition preferred to strengthen their right side. Again and again, the heads of the coalition preferred to take harsh hawkish right-wing steps on key issues related to Arab [Palestinian] society.”

Zoabi’s withdrawal will leave the ruling coalition with 59 seats in parliament, with the opposition now holding 61.

It comes over a month after Idit Silman, an MP with Bennett’s Yamina party, quit over a Supreme Court ruling lifting the prohibition of leavened bread during Passover holidays.

Since then, the government has been hanging by a thread with the same number of seats as the opposition.