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Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi First Israeli Arab Woman Consul General in History

On her appointment Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi said that it is a “great privilege to be the first Arab woman to serve in such a senior diplomatic role

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi (Twitter)

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi was appointed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to be the nation’s new Consul general in the Chinese city of Shanghai. This makes Zoabi the first Arab woman in history to hold such a high Israeli diplomatic post.

She currently serves in the Knesset with the Meretz Party, which is one of the many small parties that make up Israel’s current coalition government. Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi is 49 years old,

Yair Lapid said of the appointment, “MK Rinawie Zoabi comes with rich managerial experience and a diverse and impressive economic and public service background.” And on China he said, “Our economic relations with China are an important growth engine for the Israeli economy and must be further promoted.”

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On her appointment Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi said that it is a “great privilege to be the first Arab woman to serve in such a senior diplomatic role. I am pleased to be able to contribute to the important task of strengthening our economic, commercial, and cultural cooperation with one of Israel’s most significant economic partners from the Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai, an important nerve center of the global economy.”

But Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, while a member of a self-proclaimed Zionist party, Meretz, albeit a left-wing one, as opposed to a non-Zionist party that opposes the existence of a Jewish state, such as the Arb Israeli parties in the Knesset, has never been shy about criticizing her own country and opposing efforts to enhance its defense. For example, on the matter of increasing the pension compensation for IDF veterans, the other day she tweeted, “When an Ashkenazi Jewish defense minister demands the addition [pensions] of a chief of staff, the demand will always be presented as a matter that is “promoting” or “leading,” while when an Arab MK tries to stop the citizenship law, she is “pressing” or “squeezing.” It should be noted that Zoabi made sure to refer to the IDF Chief of Staff as both “Jewish” and “Ashkenazic.”

Such comments, as well as her political record, are the reason why some Israeli political pundits are saying that Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi’s appointment is just a way to get her out of the Knesset, where Israel current coalition government has a razor thin majority of only one seat. That government has been having trouble lately mustering the needed votes on the floor of the Knesset to pass legislation and a number of its people have been disgruntled lately, including Defense Minister Benny Gantz who says his faction will not vote for any new legislation until the government resolves certain matters involving Israel’s Defense budget. And this threat came just before the Zoabi appointment, who, as noted, opposes Gantz’s demands.



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