Anastassia Michaeli to leave the Knesset

Outspoken MK with history of outbursts decides to preempt ousting from Yisrael Beytenu

MK Anastassia Michaeli attends a Knesset session on January 10, 2012. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
MK Anastassia Michaeli attends a Knesset session on January 10, 2012. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

Apparently looking to preempt her ousting, Yisrael Beytenu MK Anastassia Michaeli announced on Monday that she would not seek reelection in the upcoming general elections.

Michaeli claimed “personal reasons” for her decision to leave politics. However, several journalists cited unnamed sources as saying that Michaeli had been placed at an unrealistic position on the Yisrael Beytenu party list for the next elections and had decided to retire rather than face the slight.

A Russian-born 37-year-old mother of 8 who worked as a journalist in Russian-language Israeli television before entering the Knesset in the February 2009 elections, Michaeli leaves behind a legacy of undiplomatic incidents in the parliament.

In 2010, Michaeli tried to physically remove National Democratic Assembly MK Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset plenum in an altercation over the naval raid of ships trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. In January of this year, she shouted at and threw a cup of water on Labor MK Raleb Majadele in a committee meeting. And in June, she said in another committee meeting that “most homosexuals “commit suicide by the age of 40”; she later added in an interview that gays were a consequence of the fact that “we fail to transmit normative family values and [lack] appropriate sexual education.”

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