Labor MK Raleb Majadele to Be Appointed First Arab Minister

Peretz to appoint Majadele Science and Tech. Minister; opposition calls appointment Peretz's 'dirty trick.'

Yoav Stern
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Yoav Stern

Opposition parties sharply criticized Defense Minister Amir Peretz's announcement Wednesday that Labor MK Raleb Majadele will be appointed to science and technology minister, calling it a survival tactic by Peretz.

Hadash chairman Mohammed Barakeh said that the announcement constitutes another "dirty trick" that "cannot be seen as an advancement of Arabs."

Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin said that Peretz "cannot amend his vow not to sit with Lieberman in the government through this appointment." Beilin maintains that "Majadele will find himself in an impossible situation when he will have to sit with the 'Champion of Aswan-Tehran-Umm el Fahem' [Lieberman]." He warned that the appointment will become part of the Arab tragedy in Israel.

Labor MK Nadia Hilu welcomed the appointment, calling it a historical step. "This is another step on the way to a life of partnership and coexistence," she said.

Majadele will replace Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz, who resigned roughly two months ago in the wake of the addition of right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu to the coalition.

Majadele began his Knesset tenure in mid-2004, and has served since as the chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee. He is currently also a member of the Science and Technology Committee, the Committee on Foreign Workers, and the Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee.

Majadele also served in the past as the secretary of the "Noar Haoved" movement in Baka al-Garbiyeh and the secretary of the Regional Workers' Council.

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