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Merav Michaeli

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Merav Michaeli
מרב מיכאלי
Merav Michaeli in 2022
Ministerial roles
2021–2022Minister of Transport
Faction represented in the Knesset
2013–2015Labor Party
2015–2019Zionist Union
2019–Labor Party
Other roles
2021–2024Leader of the Labor Party
Personal details
Born (1966-11-24) 24 November 1966 (age 57)
Petah Tikva, Israel
Domestic partnerLior Schleien[citation needed]
Children2[citation needed]

Merav Michaeli (Hebrew: מרב מיכאלי, romanizedMērav Mīxāʾēlī; born 24 November 1966[1]) is an Israeli politician, journalist, TV anchor, radio broadcaster, feminist, and activist currently serving as a member of the Knesset for the Israeli Labor Party. She served as the party's leader from 2021 until 2024, and as Minister of Transport in the thirty-sixth government of Israel.


Michaeli was born in Petah Tikva[1] to Ami Michaeli and Suzan Kastner, of Hungarian Jewish background. She is the granddaughter of Rudolf Kastner[2] and also of Nehemia Michaeli who was the last secretary of the Mapam party.[3]

During her youth, Michaeli served as leader in the Israeli Scouts.[4] In the IDF, Michaeli was a newscaster on the Army Radio. She helped establish Galgalatz and Radio Tel Aviv radio stations and would also lead Hebrew television programs focused on politics.[5]

She was a journalist and opinion columnist for the Haaretz newspaper. She also taught university classes and lectured extensively on the topics of feminism, media, and communications. In September 2012, she spoke at TED Jaffa on the theme of "paradigm shift", in which she argued that society should "cancel marriage".[6]

Political career[edit]

In October 2012 Michaeli announced that she was joining the Labor Party, and intended to run for inclusion on Labor's list for the 2013 Knesset elections.[7] On 29 November 2012 she won fifth place on the Labor Party's list,[8] and was elected to the Knesset when Labor won 15 seats.[9]

In preparation for the 2015 general election the Labor and Hatnuah parties formed the Zionist Union alliance. Michaeli won the ninth slot on the Zionist Union list, and was elected to the Knesset as it won 24 seats.[10][11]

Shortly before the end of the Knesset term, the Zionist Union was dissolved, with Labor and Hatnuah sitting in the Knesset as separate parties. Michaeli was placed seventh on the Labor list for the April 2019 elections, but lost her seat as Labor was reduced to six seats. However, she returned to the Knesset in August 2019 after Stav Shaffir resigned from the legislature.[12] On 22 April 2020 after the 2020 Israeli legislative election the then Labor party leader Amir Peretz announced that the Labor Party would join the unity government in the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition, but Michaeli rejected sitting in the coalition under Netanyahu.[13]

She was elected to lead the Israeli Labor Party on 24 January 2021 after her predecessor, Amir Peretz, announced he would not stand for re-election.[14] She announced, at the time, that her party would have gender equality on the party list; with a female-male rotation. [15]

In the 2021 election the party won seven seats, becoming part of the thirty-sixth government, with Michaeli as Minister of Transport and Road Safety. On 31 December 2021, she announced that the Tel Aviv central bus station would be closed within four years, reneging her promise to close it immediately.[citation needed]

Michaeli was re-elected to lead the Israeli Labor Party in July 2022.[16] In the legislative election held later that year, Labor narrowly crossed the electoral threshold, receiving the bare minimum of four seats. Some blamed Michaeli's refusal to run jointly with the left wing Meretz for the latter party falling beneath the electoral treshold and enabling the formation of a new government formed by Benjamin Netanyahu. Michaeli was accused by prominent Meretz lawmaker Issawi Frej of 'delusions of grandeur'.[17]

In 2023 she was one of the active participants in the anti-judicial reform protests. She rejected an invitation from Prime Minister Netanyahu to join the compromise talks at the president's residence.[18][19]

On 7 December 2023, Michaeli called a press conference in which she stated her intention to hold a leadership election in April 2024, in which she will not run for another term.[20] In February 2024, the party announced that the election would take place on 28 May.[21] She was replaced in that election by Yair Golan.[22]

On April 2024, Michaeli called for dismantling an army unit with a history of abuses (Netzah Yehuda Battalion), saying it is killing Palestinians “for no real reason.”[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

President Rivlin meets with Merav Michaeli of the Labor Party, May 2021 (GPOZAC 7802)

Michaeli's partner is the television producer, host and comedian Lior Schleien.[25] In August 2021, Michaeli and Schleien's son was born in the United States by surrogate pregnancy.[26] In April 2023, Michaeli announced that her second son had been born via surrogacy.[27]


  1. ^ a b "MK Michaeli in Israeli Parliament website". Knesset.
  2. ^ Harkov, Lahav (3 May 2016). "My grandfather did the inconceivable – negotiated with Nazis – to save Jews". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Gafni to Merav Michaeli". Arutz 7. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Merav Michaeli". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  5. ^ "Knesset Member, Merav Michaeli". knesset.gov.il. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Cancel Marriage: Merav Michaeli at TEDxJaffa". YouTube. TEDx Talks. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  7. ^ Lis, Jonathan. "Merav Michaeli to Vie for Spot on Labor's Election List". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  8. ^ Azulay, Moran. "Herzog wins Labor primaries; Merav Michaeli 5th on party list". Ynetnews. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Final Israel Election Results: Kadima's in Knesset, Habayit Hayehudi Gets 12 Seats". Haaretz. 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  10. ^ "Women win big as Yachimovich, Shaffir top Labor primary vote". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  11. ^ "All 120 incoming Knesset members". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Merav Michaeli returns to Knesset". Arutz Sheva. 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  13. ^ Wootliff, Raoul (22 April 2020). "After staking mustache on not joining Netanyahu, Peretz defends doing so anyway". Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  14. ^ Hoffman, Gil (24 January 2021). "Victorious Michaeli to begin merger talks with Huldai". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Israeli Labor picks gender warrior Michaeli as its new leader - Al-Monitor: Independent, trusted coverage of the Middle East". 3 February 2021.
  16. ^ "מרב מיכאלי נבחרה לראשות מפלגת העבודה בפעם השנייה ברציפות" [Merav Michaeli was elected to a second term as leader of the Labor Party]. Davar (in Hebrew). 18 July 2022. Archived from the original on 19 July 2022. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  17. ^ Sharon, Jeremy (2 December 2022). "'This is the abyss': Left reacts with horror to election results". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  18. ^ "Israeli opposition leaders to boycott final votes on judicial reform". The Jewish Chronicle. 13 March 2023. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Netanyahu Offers to Compromise on Judicial Reform". The Wall Street Journal. 27 March 2023.
  20. ^ Keller-Lynn, Carrie (7 December 2023). "Labor's Michaeli to quit politics, party to hold leadership vote in April". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 28 December 2023.
  21. ^ Sokol, Sam (25 February 2024). "Israel's Labor party sets election for May 28, months after current chair Michaeli's resignation". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 22 March 2024.
  22. ^ Sokol, Sam (28 May 2024). "Yair Golan wins landslide victory in Labor primary with promise to unite the left". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 30 May 2024.
  23. ^ "Israeli army unit accused of abuses 'kills Palestinians for no real reason,' says party leader". Anadolu Agency. 21 April 2024. Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  24. ^ "US set to impose sanctions on Israeli military unit over abuses: Report". Al Jazeera English. 21 April 2024. Retrieved 21 April 2024.
  25. ^ Meet Merav Michaeli, the fiery feminist of Israel’s government, New York Times, 23 December 2015
  26. ^ "Israeli minister criticised for breaching Covid rules – then introduces new baby". jewishnews.timesofisrael.com. 23 August 2021. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  27. ^ "Probe into cops who shot Arab man in Jerusalem is closed, finding no crime committed". The Times of Israel.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Israeli Labor Party
Succeeded by