Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi announced on Thursday afternoon that she is resigning from the coalition due to the “unbearable police violence toward worshippers at Har HaBayis and at the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shereen Abu-Aklah.”
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government will now only have 59 seats, giving the opposition a majority of 61 and spelling the end of the government. Bennett, Lapid, and even Meretz chairman Nitzan Horowitz were reportedly taken by surprise by Zoabi’s resignation, which follows the resignation of Yamina MK Idit Silman last month.
Zoabi sent a letter to Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday stating: “Unfortunately, the heads of the coalition have prioritized strengthening its right-wing element in recent months out of narrow political considerations. The last month, the month of Ramadan, has been unbearable The sights at Har HaBayis of violent police officers against the worshippers and the funeral of reporter Shereen Abu-Aklah have led me to one personal conclusion. No more.”
“I can no longer support the existence of a coalition that is harassing the society I come from.”
Zoabi wrote that she is removing her candidacy for her future appointment as consul-general to Shangai and is leaving the coalition.
Lapid’s announcement in February that he is appointing Zoabi as Israel’s consul-general to Shanghai, the first Arab Muslim woman to fill such a senior diplomatic position, aroused much controversy, with people asking how someone who snubs Israel’s national anthem can represent Israel.
Zoabi’s letter, as cited above, certainly proves that an Arab-Muslim MK cannot support Israel in the international arena, for those delusional enough to have believed it was possible.
Shas MK Michoel Michaeli and Religious Zionist party chairman Betzalel Smotrich both responded to the news, which was announced on Lag B’Omer, by writing: “It’s kadai to rely on Rebbe Shimon b’shaas ha’dechak.”
Religious Zionism MK Ophir Sofer stated: “Bennett and Lapid tried to appoint an MK who opposes the existence of the Jewish state as a political bribe and at the end, they were kicked out together with that outrageous decision.”
Likud MK and chairman of the Likud party, Yariv Levin, said: “Bennett and Lapid’s failed government has turned into a minority government. Bennett has failed in the economy, in security, in every area. It’s now clear to everyone that this government has lost its right to exist.”
Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh views the coalition’s failure in a different light, saying: “A coalition that attacks funerals, allows Kahanists to march in east Jerusalem, deepens the occupation, and abuses Arabs in the Negev cannot survive.”
MK Silman, whose resignation began the process of bringing down Bennett’s government, responded by writing: “רווח והצלה יעמוד ליהודים ממקום אחר”
A social media user responded by tagging Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, whom many people hoped would resign from the government, and stating: רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר וְאַתְּ וּבֵית אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)