Ruhama Avraham

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Ruhama Avraham
Ruhama Avraham 2008.JPG
Date of birth (1964-01-29) 29 January 1964 (age 52)
Place of birth Rishon LeZion, Israel
Knessets 16, 17, 18
Faction represented in Knesset
2003–2005 Likud
2005–2013 Kadima
Ministerial roles
2007–2008 Minister without Portfolio
2008–2009 Minister of Tourism

Ruhama Avraham Balila (Hebrew: רוחמה אברהם בלילא‎‎, born 29 January 1964) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Likud and Kadima between 2003 and 2013. She also held the positions of Minister of Tourism and Minister without Portfolio responsible for liaison with the Knesset.


Avraham was born in Rishon LeZion in 1964 to a family of Sephardi immigrants from Turkey. After completing her army service, she received a B.A. in political science from Bar-Ilan University.

She was first elected to the Knesset in 2003, after winning 17th place on the Likud list. During the party primaries she had tried to encourage the voters to vote for her by opening up a hot dog stand. In her first term she served as a member of the Finance and Economics Committees, as well as of the Committees for the Advancement of the Status of Women and for Foreign Workers. In March 2005, she was appointed Deputy Minister of the Interior.

In 2005 she defected to Kadima, and was re-elected on its list in 2006. Later in the year an investigation into bribery began, after Avraham and Eli Aflalo accepted a $6,800 trip (plus $4,388 in expenses) from agricultural export firm Agrexco. Following the trip, despite not being a member, Avraham called a special meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee, which covered the large security expenses Agrexco was paying on its exports.[1] In 2008 she was questioned under caution,[2] but later escaped trial due to a lack of evidence. However, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz commented, "Avraham's conduct was unworthy, improper, in violation of the Knesset's rules of ethics and bordered on the criminal."[3]

As part of a cabinet reshuffle in July 2007 she was appointed Minister without Portfolio responsible for liaison with the Knesset. In July 2008 she was appointed Minister of Tourism. She retained her seat in the 2009 elections after being placed eighth on the Kadima list. In October 2012 she announced she would be resigning from politics.

She is a mother of two. She speaks Hebrew, Ladino and English.[4]


  1. ^ Guy Leshem (2 October 2006). "MK Ruhama Avraham investigated for bribery". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Lis (28 March 2008). "Police grill minister over junket funded by agricultural firm". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Nurit Roth (14 August 2008). "Avraham escaping trial in Agrexco case". Haaretz. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  4. ^ See Knesset website

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