Meir Sheetrit (Hebrew: מאיר שטרית, born 10 October 1948) is an Israeli politician. He served as a member of the Knesset in two spells for Likud between 1981 and 1988, and again from 1992 until 2005, when he joined Kadima. He remained a Knesset member for Kadima until joining Hatnuah in 2012, for whom he served until 2015. He also held several ministerial posts, including being Minister of the Interior, Minister of Housing & Construction, Minister of Finance, Minister of Justice, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Education, Culture & Sport. He was also a candidate for President of Israel in 2014.

Meir Sheetrit
Sheetrit in 2009
Ministerial roles
1998–1999Minister of Finance
2001–2003Minister of Justice
2004–2006Minister of Transportation
2006Minister of Justice
2006Minister of Education, Culture & Sport
2006–2007Minister of Housing & Construction
2007–2009Minister of the Interior
Faction represented in the Knesset
Personal details
Born (1948-10-10) 10 October 1948 (age 75)
Ksar es Souk, Morocco

Early life edit

Sheetrit was born in Ksar es Souk (now Errachidia), Morocco. His family immigrated to Israel in 1957. He earned a BA and an MA in Public Policy from Bar-Ilan University.

Political career edit

Likud edit

Sheetrit began his political career in 1974 as mayor of the city of Yavne, a position he held until 1987.

He was first elected to the Knesset in 1981 on the Likud list. He was re-elected in 1984, but lost his seat in 1988. That year he was elected treasurer of the Jewish Agency and served in this position until 1992, when he returned to the Knesset. In 1998 he was appointed Minister of Finance, serving until the fall of Benjamin Netanyahu's first government in 1999.

Sheetrit unsuccessfully ran in the September 1999 Likud leadership election.[1]

He returned to the cabinet in 2001 as Minister of Justice. After being re-elected in 2003, he was appointed Minister in the Ministry of Finance, where he worked closely with then Minister of Finance Netanyahu who was spearheading a sweeping privatization reform. He was appointed Minister of Transportation in 2004, and later served as Minister of Education, Culture and Sport until 2006.

Kadima edit

Sheetrit speaking at Wikimania conference in Haifa, 2011

In 2005, Sheetrit left Likud and joined Ariel Sharon's new Kadima party. He was re-elected in 2006 and appointed Minister of Housing and Construction, a post he held until July 2007, when he was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs. Between 23 August and 29 November 2006, he also served as Acting Justice Minister following Haim Ramon's resignation on 18 August over an indecent assault indictment. Sheetrit was replaced in the Justice portfolio by Tzipi Livni, who also continued to serve as Foreign Minister.

In February 2008, whilst Israeli airstrikes in Gaza were ongoing, Sheetrit told Army Radio that: "If it were up to me, I would hit everything that moves with weapons and ammunition", adding: "I don't think we have to show pity for anyone who wants to kill us."[2][3][4][5][6]

Following Ehud Olmert's resignation as party leader, Sheetrit ran for the party chairmanship. However, he came third out of the four candidates in the election, receiving only 8.5% of the vote.[7] Placed seventh on the party's list, he retained his seat in the 2009 elections

In early 2011, he and another MK sprayed air freshener in the Knesset, complaining about the "stench of bad politics". Both MKs were escorted out and speaker Reuven Rivlin condemned the actions.[8]

As head of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, he spoke at the international Wikimania conference held in Haifa in 2011.[9]

Hatnuah edit

On 1 December 2012, Sheetrit joined Tzipi Livni's new party, Hatnuah.[10] He disagreed with Livni's decision to run as part of the joint Zionist Union list with the Labor Party in the 2015 elections, and he opted not to contest the elections.[11]

Sheetrit contested in the 2014 Israeli presidential election, coming second with 31 votes in the first round, and losing in the second round with 53 votes. Reuven Rivlin won with 63 votes.

Post-Knesset Career edit

Sheetrit ran for Mayor of Yavne in 2018 under a local electoral list, but was defeated by Zvi Gov-Ari, winning 20.4% of the vote to Gov-Ari's 58.4%.[12] In November 2021, Sheetrit was appointed to a committee formed to choose a new Attorney General,[13] but decided to forego membership of the committee following public backlash.[14]

References edit

  1. ^ Lavie, Mark (3 September 1999). "Ariel Sharon wins control of Likud party in Israel". The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Associated Press. Retrieved 5 November 2022 – via
  2. ^ Ravid, Barak (27 February 2008). "Israeli airstrikes kill 10 in Gaza". Haaretz. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ Boudreaux, Richard (28 February 2008). "Israeli airstrikes answered with rockets". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Israeli airstrikes kill 10 in Gaza". 27 February 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  5. ^ Abunimah, Ali (3 March 2008). "Israeli minister threatens 'holocaust' as public demands ceasefire talks". The Jordan Times. Retrieved 1 November 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Israel bombs Gaza interior ministry". Al Jazeera. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  7. ^ Livni's major rival Mofaz accepts Kadima primary's result Xinhua, 18 September 2008
  8. ^ Miskin, Maayana (19 January 2011). "Kadima Perfumes Knesset to Ward off 'Stinking Politics'". Israel National News. Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  9. ^ Levin, Verony (5 August 2011). "Wikimania Conference at Its Peak; Founder Jimmy Wales to Speak Tomorrow". TheMarker (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  10. ^ Livni secures 7 MKs to split Kadima, Ynetnews, 2 December 2012
  11. ^ "Veteran MK Meir Sheetrit: I will not be in the next Knesset". 25 December 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  12. ^ "בחירות 2018 לראשות העיר ולמועצה" [2018 elections for Mayor and City Council]. (in Hebrew). Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  13. ^ "הממשלה אישרה את מינוי מאיר שטרית לוועדת איתור היועמ"ש; חמישה שרים התנגדו" [The Government approved Meir Sheetrit's nomination to the Attorney General appointment committee; Five Ministers were Opposed]. Ha'aretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  14. ^ צימוקי, טובה (15 November 2021). "עיכוב בבחירת היועמ"ש הבא: מאיר שטרית מוותר על מקומו כחבר בוועדת האיתור". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 8 June 2022.

External links edit