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Arab representation vanishes from Israeli parties

The announcement of Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Freij that he will not run on the Meretz party list in the upcoming election could be a devastating blow to Arab representation in Jewish/Arab mixed parties.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Freij arrives for a photo at the president's residence during a ceremony for the new coalition government, Jerusalem, June 14, 2021.

With the Knesset dissolved and another election underway, Minister of Regional Cooperation Issawi Freij of Meretz announced July 5 that he will not be running in the next election. His statement on Facebook read, “After much thought and consultations with my family and partners, I announced wholeheartedly that I have decided to take a break from the Knesset, though not from public life.” He continued, “I have informed Prime Minister Yair Lapid — a leader, a friend and a partner — of my decision.”

Sharp-eyed observers noticed that Freij’s post was missing an important name: none other than Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz, leader of Meretz. It could have been another salvo in the attack Freij launched against Horowitz in an interview with N12 News, in which he called on Horowitz to step down as party leader and make do with being a regular member of Knesset.

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