Nitzan Horowitz

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Nitzan Horowitz
Ministerial roles
2021–2022Minister of Health
Faction represented in the Knesset
2019–2020Democratic Union
Personal details
Born (1965-02-24) 24 February 1965 (age 59)
Rishon LeZion, Israel

Nitzan Horowitz (Hebrew: נִצָּן הוֹרוֹבִיץ; Transliterated: Niṣṣān Hôrôvīṣ; born 24 February 1965) is a politician and former journalist who served as Israel's Minister of Health from 2021 to 2022. He is the former leader of Meretz. He previously was the chief U.S. correspondent and commentator for the Israeli News Company, known as Channel 2 News.

He served two full terms in the Knesset (2009–2015) on the Meretz list. Before being elected to the Knesset, he was the Foreign Affairs commentator and head of the International desk at Hadashot 10, the news division of Channel 10. In 2013, he ran for mayor of Tel Aviv. In June 2019, he won the Meretz leadership election, and served as the Minister of Health. In July 2022, he announced that he would step down as Meretz's leader.

Early life[edit]

Horowitz was born in Rishon LeZion in 1965. He graduated from Tel Aviv University Law School and began working as a journalist.[1] He supported the International Criminal Court's probe into Israel's alleged war crimes.[2]

Journalism career[edit]

In his early career, he served as a military affairs reporter during the latter phase of the 1982 Lebanon war, as well as the international news editor at Army Radio from 1983 to 1987. In 1987, he began working at the Hadashot newspaper as the foreign affairs editor. In 1989, he moved to Haaretz, working as the foreign affairs editor. He served as a Haaretz correspondent in Paris between 1993 and 1998, covering the European Union, and as a Haaretz correspondent in Washington, D. C., from 1998 until 2001. After returning to Israel, Horowitz served as the chief foreign affairs columnist for Haaretz.[citation needed]

When Hadashot 10 began broadcasting on January 2002, Horowitz established its international desk. His work there included creating documentary films following the tsunami disaster in eastern Asia and the failed search for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.[3] He made regular appearances on Hadashot 10's current affairs show, London et Kirschenbaum, for which he provided reports and analysis of global news.[4]

In 2008, Horowitz created and directed a documentary series for Channel 10, titled WORLD: The Next Generation – Nitzan Horowitz in search of tomorrow.[5] The series followed major trends that could shape the future of the world in the coming decades, including the ageing crisis, urban sustainability, immigration, construction and industrial development in China, and the high-technology revolution in India.[6]

Horowitz served as a board member of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.[7] He was also active in environmental issues; in 2007, he received the Pratt Prize for Environmental Journalism.[8]

Political career[edit]

In December 2008, he resigned from Channel 10 and became a Meretz candidate in the 2009 legislative elections.[9] In the party primaries, he gained the third slot on the joint list of the New Movement and Meretz. He said: "My goal is to continue to do what I have been talking about over the past years, from protecting the seashore to promoting more sophisticated, non-polluting public transportation."[10] Meretz won three seats in the elections,[11] making Horowitz the second openly gay Knesset member in Israeli history, and the only openly gay member of the eighteenth Knesset.[12][13] The first, Uzi Even, had also been a member of Meretz.[14] On 16 February 2009, he announced a plan to bring to the Knesset a bill that would allow marriages or civil unions between two partners, regardless of their religion, ethnic background, or gender.[15] Before being sworn into the Knesset, he was told to annul his Polish citizenship, which he had obtained due to his father's origins and had used as a journalist to enter countries that Israelis have difficulty entering.[16]

In 2009, he announced that he would boycott all of the events related to Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Israel, saying that in his opinion, the pope bore a message of "rigidness, religious extremism, and imperviousness. Of all the Pope's injustices, the worst is his objection to disseminating contraceptives in Third World countries. It's hard to assess how many miserable men and women in Africa, Asia, and South America have contracted AIDS because of this Philistine attitude, but we are talking about many".[17] He also published a two-part opinion piece on Ynetnews explaining his position.[18]

Horowitz was re-elected to the Knesset in the January 2013 elections. In October 2013, he ran for mayor of Tel Aviv against long-time incumbent Ron Huldai. He lost, receiving 38% of the vote to Huldai's 53%.[19] In 2014, he was given the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award by the Israel Democracy Institute.[12]

He did not stand in the 2015 elections.[12]

In June 2019, Horowitz successfully challenged incumbent Tamar Zandberg for the leadership of Meretz, which made Meretz the first Israeli party to elect an openly gay person as its leader. Horowitz led the party during the September 2019 Israeli legislative election.[20][21] In 2021, he became Minister of Health in Naftali Bennett's cabinet.[22] He resigned his Knesset seat to ultimately join the public sector he served in his ministerial position. Under Israel's Norwegian Law and was replaced by Michal Rozin.[23]

Horowitz used a government circular to ban conversion therapy in February 2022.[24] He supports Bernie Sanders, who calls for conditional aid to Israel, and is reluctant to display his Jewishness and is completely irreligious,[25] as noted in his speeches to the liberal Jewish movement J Street; he has been criticized for his criticism of Israel.[26][27] He also contributed to a coalition crisis in the Bennett–Lapid government by complying with an Israeli High Court decision that determined the government cannot prohibit visitors from bringing hametz into hospitals during Passover. After this action and amid secret talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, Yamina MK Idit Silman left the coalition, leaving it shy of a majority and unable to pass legislation.[28]

Following the Knesset's dissolution and new elections scheduled for November 2022, Horowitz announced that he would step down as leader of Meretz.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Horowitz was the first openly gay party leader in Israel.[20] He resides in Tel Aviv with his life partner.


  1. ^ "Nitzan Horowitz". Knesset Channel. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  2. ^ "הורוביץ: "היה מקום להחלטת ביה"ד בהאג"; בימין תקפו: "אמירה אומללה" - וואלה! חדשות". וואלה! (in Hebrew). 6 March 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  3. ^ "ניצן הורוביץ עזב את הכנסת ויצא לטיול הגדול של אחרי הצבא. ראיון". mako. 8 February 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  4. ^ "הופך עולמות". ynet (in Hebrew). 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  5. ^ "לחצות את הקו הירוק - וואלה! חדשות". וואלה! (in Hebrew). 15 December 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  6. ^ "רואים עולם - וואלה! ברנז'ה". וואלה! (in Hebrew). 12 March 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Nitzan Horowitz". Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  8. ^ "פרס Pratt לתקשורת בנושאי סביבה | זוכי פרס פראט 2007". Pratt Prize. 27 September 2013. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  9. ^ Paz, Shelly (15 December 2008). "Gilon beats Gal-On in Meretz primary". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 15 December 2008.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Paz, Shelly (18 December 2008). "Meretz and Hatnua Hahadasha unveil their joint Knesset list". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  11. ^ Senyor, Eli (11 February 2009). "Meretz shock: Gal-On not in Knesset". Ynetnews. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz leaves politics after six years". The Jerusalem Post. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  13. ^ Cohen, Benjamin (20 October 2010). "Israel's only gay MP speaks out for marriage on visit to London". PinkNews. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  14. ^ Ilan, Shahar (13 February 2009). "The freshman". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2009.
  15. ^ "First-term Meretz MK to present bill for gay and civil marriages". Haaretz. 17 February 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  16. ^ Ilan, Shahar (18 February 2009). "Three dual-citizen MKs ordered to annul their foreign passports". Haaretz. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
  17. ^ "Meretz MK to boycott all pope's activities in Israel". The Jerusalem Post. 10 May 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  18. ^ Horowitz, Nitzan (10 May 2009). "Making our world worse". Ynetnews. Retrieved 12 May 2009.Horowitz, Nitzan (11 May 2009). "Disrespecting other faiths". Ynetnews. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  19. ^ Maltz, Judy (24 June 2013). "Can Nitzan Horowitz become the Mideast's first gay mayor?". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Israel's Meretz party becomes country's first to elect an openly gay leader". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 27 June 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  21. ^ Sharon, Jeremy (27 June 2019). "Israel's first gay party leader Nitzan Horowitz elected head of Meretz". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  22. ^ TOI staff (12 June 2021). "Who's who in the Bennett-Lapid government". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  23. ^ Hoffman, Gil (16 June 2021). "First deaf MK sworn in to Knesset, 13 new legislators join parliament". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  24. ^ Joffre, Tzvi (14 February 2022). "Health Ministry formally bans LGBTQ conversion therapy". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  25. ^ Kornbluth, Jacob (15 May 2022). "Bernie Sanders took pride in being a Jewish presidential candidate, a former aide says". Forward. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  26. ^ Troy, Gil (9 March 2021). "Why did Nitzan Horowitz encourage ICC's targeting of Israel? - opinion". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  27. ^ 'We all are Fighting to Save Democracy' MK Nitzan Horowitz (Speech). 19 December 2019.
  28. ^ Daventry, Michael (6 April 2022). "Israel's coalition crumbles as MK walks out over chametz row". Jewish News. Retrieved 4 November 2022.
  29. ^ כהן, שירית אביטן (12 July 2022). "ניצן הורוביץ לא יתמודד על ראשות מרצ; ימשיך ברשימה לכנסת הבאה". Globes. Retrieved 27 July 2022.

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