Labor MK Margalit quits Knesset, in second party resignation in week
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Labor MK Margalit quits Knesset, in second party resignation in week

Entrepreneur who vied for party leadership to return to heading foundation, investment firm; Yokne’am Deputy Mayor Lea Fadida to replace him

MK Erel Margalit casts his vote at a polling station in Jerusalem on July 10, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MK Erel Margalit casts his vote at a polling station in Jerusalem on July 10, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Labor MK Erel Margalit on Tuesday announced he will quit the Knesset, two days after his fellow party member Manuel Trajtenberg resigned from Israel’s parliament.

Margalit, who was a venture capitalist before entering politics, served as a Knesset member for nearly five years. He recently mounted a party leadership bid, only to be handily defeated by incumbent Avi Gabbay in July.

In a statement, Margalit said he will go back to leading the Bakehila Foundation that he started with his wife 15 years ago.

“The foundation seeks to change the realities of tens of thousands of children through education and community, and gives them a real shot at success,” he said.

He will also return as CEO of the Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) international investment company.

Labor Party chairman Gabbay said he was sorry to see Margalit go.

Labour party leader Avi Gabbay speaks during a press conference at the Labour party offices in Tel Aviv in on October 1, 2017. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

“I spoke this evening with MK Margalit and I’m happy that despite his retirement from the Knesset, Erel intends to continue to be active in the party,” Gabbay said in a statement.

Gabbay also congratulated Margalit’s replacement in the Knesset, Yokne’am Deputy Mayor Lea Fadida.

Labor candidate Lea Fadida, who is set to enter the Knesset instead of Erel Margalit (courtesy/Zionist Union)

Shortly before Margalit’s resignation, Gabbay and Tzipi Livni, joint heads of the Zionist Union, which is an amalgamation of the Labor Party and Hatnua, appointed Hatnua’s Yoel Hasson as coalition chair.

Margalit is the second Labor MK to leave the Knesset in less than a week.

On Thursday, MK Manuel Trajtenberg announced his his intention to step down as a Knesset member and on Sunday presented Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein with his resignation, bringing an end to the economist’s two-year term as a lawmaker.

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