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Extreme-right leader Maoz resigns from ministerial role in Netanyahu government

Noam head Avi Maoz speaks during a function meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Nov. 28, 2022. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israeli Knesset Member Avi Maoz, leader of the far-right Noam party, resigned on Monday from his deputy ministerial role in the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Maoz had been put in charge of a Jewish National Identity office in the Netanyahu government but announced he “was shocked to find there was no serious intention of honoring the coalition deal.”

“To my astonishment, I discovered that there is no true intention to uphold the coalition agreement regarding the National Jewish Identity Authority,” Maoz wrote in his letter of resignation to Netanyahu. 

Despite Maoz quitting his ministerial role, he has decided to remain in the government’s majority coalition of 64 Knesset members. Since 61 members are sufficient for a ruling coalition in the 120-seat parliament, the government would have been able to continue operating even if Maoz had decided to leave the coalition. 

Maoz’s resignation was welcomed by the political opposition, with liberal pundits criticizing Maoz for his hostile attitude towards women in society and for making homophobic statements.

“One less homophobe in the government,” said former Israeli Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen on social media. 

Maoz also has been blasted for his intolerance towards liberal Judaism. Some critics argue that he contributed toward the growing polarization of different sectors within Israel’s diverse population. 

In late November, Maoz made headlines for demanding limits on the definition of who is a Jew. If his proposal is implemented, it could seriously limit the number of eligible Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, who would not fulfill the Orthodox religious definition of a Jew. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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