Majadele Boycotts Cabinet Mtg

Minister Raleb Majadele skipped Sunday's Cabinet meeting to protest the IDF military operation in Gaza despite the country's wartime footing.

Hana Levi Julian ,

Minister Raleb Majadele
Minister Raleb Majadele
Israel News Photo: (file)

Labor party minister Raleb Majadele skipped the government Cabinet meeting on Sunday to protest the IDF military operation in Gaza.

The Israeli Arab Minister of Science, Culture and Sport notified the Cabinet secretary prior to the meeting that he would not attend, and called on the government instead to halt Operation Cast Lead against Hamas. 

Majadele also called on Hamas to cease its rocket fire against Israel. He justified his action by claiming that "extending the operation might bring about a collapse of the diplomatic process with the Palestinians and the Arab world."

Former minister Uzi Landau, a member of opposition party Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is our Home) called for the immediate dismissal of Majadele from his position. "This action is unprecedented," he declared.

Shas party chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai also responded with outrage, saying it was "a pity that he did not embargo the Cabinet and Knesset meetings during the eight years when Palestinians fired rockets and mortar shells." Yishai added, "If this is what he thinks, he should not run for the next Knesset."

HaTikvah/National Union MK Aryeh Eldad also urged the prime minister to fire the Cabinet minister for refusing to participate in a government meeting when it was on a wartime footing. "Minister Majadele held a solidarity rally with Hamas – Israel's enemy in Gaza," declared Eldad. "Thus, he violated his oath of allegiance to the State of Israel. The prime minister must fire him immediately," he said.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made it clear that he has no intention of firing Minister Majadele, however, according to his spokesman, Mark Regev, who told Israel National News that the prime minister "holds Minister Majadele in the highest regard."

When asked what the prime minister's response was to the Majadele's decision not to attend the Cabinet meeting, Regev said, "I'm not sure he had a response. Often you have a situation in which ministers don't come to meetings." He declined to respond to any further questions on the matter.