Photo: Knesset website
MK Raleb Majadele (archive photo)
Photo: Knesset website
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
'Labor party confused.' Pines-Paz
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

First Arab Israeli minister named

Defense minister appoints MK Raleb Majadele Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports Minister in historic move; Barakeh: Move part of odious ploy meant to help Peretz keep Labor party chairmanship

Defense Minister Amir Peretz appointed MK Raleb Majadele as the Labor party's seventh minister, Minister of Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports.


Majadele is the first Arab to be appointed minister in the State of Israel since its inception.


Peretz met with Majadele Wednesday and informed him of his decision. The defense minister said that his appointment was historic and would no doubt bring about an improvement in the relationships between the different sectors in Israel.


The labor party wasn't convinced that Majadele's appointment pointed at a national revolution, and mentioned the fact that Peretz had nothing to lose from the move during the primaries in May.


Majadele's appointment would buy Peretz his support and would increase his chances with other Arab MKs in the Labor party.


Peretz and Majadele’s ploy marks a new record in cynicism and disrespect for the voters’ intelligence and proves how hard the Labor party’s situation is.


Former Minister of Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports Ophir Pines-Paz said, “The party has lost its way and must go through a drastic makeover, without which it will be wiped off the political map.”


He added that "This appointment is for primary-purposes only, and is characteristic of a confused government that is only dealing with its survival.”


Meretz chairman MK Yossi Beilin said "Amir Peretz, who blatantly broke his promise to his constituents not to sit in the same government as Avigdor Lieberman, will not make amends for this by appointing the first Muslim Cabinet minister."


Hadash Chairman MK Mohammad Barakeh also harshly criticized the move, saying "Majadele's appointment will do nothing for equality; this is only part of an odious ploy meant to help Peretz keep the chairmanship of the Labor party."


MK Nadia Hilou (Labor) congratulated Peretz's decision and called it a historic move. "I see it as another step on the road to co-existence and cooperation," she said.


Lieberman reason Pines resigned

Pines-Paz resigned from the position about two months ago following Avigdor Lieberman's addition to the coalition.


"Despite the difficulty and may desire to be a part of the circle of decision makers, I can't give up my conscience," Pines-Paz said during a press conference. He decided to take a stand opposite to that of his fellow party members, who supported Lieberman's party in joining the government.


"The minute the government decided to allow Lieberman and his party to join the government, a party whose leaders make racist and anti-democratic statements, I had no other choice," he said.


Pines-Paz took advantage his position at the time to officially announce his intention to run for head of the Labor party in May. "When the person on the top of the pyramid isn't leading, that person must be replaced," Pines-Paz said regarding Peretz.


Roee Nahmias contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 01.10.07, 20:39
 new comment
This will delete your current comment