Former health minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino, who was also a lawmaker from the 6th to the 12th Knesset, passed away on Friday at age 89.
Arbeli-Almoslino was born in Iraq in 1926. She was an activist in the clandestine Hahalutz (“The Pioneer”) movement and was jailed for her activities. She came to British-Mandate Palestine in 1947 and was among the founders of Kibbutz Neve Ur.
In 1948, she joined the Labor Union Movement – Poalei Zion, a left-leaning political party which championed the proletariat in the fledgling state and morphed many years later to what was known as Alignment and today the Labor Party.
In the 1950s Arbeli-Almoslino served in the national employment service in several roles.
She was first elected to the Knesset in 1966, serving continuously as an MK until 1992. During her political career, Arbeli-Almoslino was head of the Knesset’s Labor Committee, head of the Interior and Environment Committee, head of the Economy Committee and deputy Knesset speaker. From 1984 to 1986 she served as deputy health minister and from 1986 to 1988 as health minister.
Arbeli-Almoslino served as minister when polio broke out in Israel and was a champion of inoculations against the disease.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized her: “Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino was a groundbreaking woman. She was driven by a sincere faith in Zionism and a deep commitment to the State of Israel. These values were expressed in her public achievements – from Zionist activity in Iraq to her roles as a minister in Israeli governments. May her memory be blessed.”