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Barbivai to be first female head of Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

CM 25/04/2021

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Opposition leader Yair Lapid’s number two in Yesh Atid, MK Orna Barbivai, will head the Knesset’s temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, according to a proposal that will come to the Knesset Arrangements Committee, set to convene on Monday morning.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc has a majority on the committee to approve Barbivai, who will be the first woman ever to head the sensitive committee that oversees Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on security issues and foreign affairs. 
According to a proposal that will come to a vote, United Torah Judaism leader Moshe Gafni of the pro-Netanyahu bloc will control the temporary Knesset Finance Committee.
The anti-Netanyahu bloc will bring another proposal to the committee to appoint three deputy Knesset speakers for the bloc. Yariv Levin of Likud would remain the speaker, with one deputy from his party. The fifth deputy speaker would come from the Ra’am (United Arab List), which is not in either bloc. 
A source close to Arrangements Committee head Miki Zohar (Likud) said there is no reason why the proposals would not pass, despite fights between the two sides that ended in a stalemate the last time the committee convened last Monday night. 
Levin’s spokesman denied an Army Radio report that Levin rejected an offer to become prime minister for a year in a rotation with Netanyahu. The report said Netanyahu’s associates had offered the Knesset speaker the post in an effort to woo to the coalition Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope faction, which opposes Netanyahu remaining prime minister but has no problem with the government being led by another figure from the Likud.
The spokesman said “Levin had nothing to reject, because he had received no such offer.”

Maiden speeches are set to be delivered this week by controversial new MKs Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious Zionist Party), Rabbi Gilad Kariv (Labor) and Ibtisam Mara’ana (Labor). 
Meanwhile, Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev told Army Radio on Sunday morning that his party leader Merav Michaeli deserved one of the top three portfolios in the next government: Foreign Affairs, Defense or Finance. He said she was qualified for all three posts and noted that Yamina, which like Labor has seven seats, is demanding the premiership for its leader, Naftali Bennett.The Yamina faction met Sunday and endorsed Bennett’s efforts to form a government and prevent a fifth election and what the party called “deteriorating to chaos.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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