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Knesset committees not formed due to political deadlock

CM 12/04/2021

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Coalition Chairman Miki Zohar (Likud) failed to reach an agreement between the two blocs in the Knesset by Monday, which will prevent the parliament from functioning for at least another week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Zohar to head the powerful Knesset Arrangements Committee, which runs the legislative body until a new government is formed.
But Zohar did not succeed in reaching an agreement with the anti-Netanyahu bloc on the make-up of the committee.
Without an Arrangements Committee, the Finance Committee and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee cannot be formed.
The New Hope faction accused the Likud of “purposely paralyzing the Knesset and preventing parliamentary oversight of the government, especially on matters of national security,” during a tense security situation with Iran.
The two camps disagreed on the formula for each faction to be represented on the committees based on how many seats they have.
Sources in Likud said the real reasons for the delay were the Yamina faction’s refusal to reveal its cards and take a side and the anti-Netanyahu camp declining to hold a vote when they were at a disadvantage due to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s vacation in the US.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin permitted the swearing in of Joint List MKs on Monday, after punishing them for using Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony of the Knesset to make statements attacking Israel.
Four Joint List MKs, starting with Balad head Sami Abou Shehadeh, used their turn to swear allegiance to the state to instead express their commitment to fighting what they termed Israel’s racism, occupation and apartheid.
Levin immediately told them that their swearing in would not count because they did not use the proper wording. Knesset legal adviser Sagit Afik ruled that Levin had legal grounds to deprive the four MKs of financial and parliamentary benefits coming to them as MKs.
In addition to the Joint List MKs, United Torah Judaism MK Meir Porush, who was overseas on the day of the original swearing in ceremony, was sworn in alongside fellow UTJ MKs Eliyahu Baruchi and Yaakov Tessler and Shas MK Yosef Taieb, who all replaced MKs who resigned in accordance with the Norwegian Law.

MKs from the Yesh Atid, Meretz and Joint List faction exited the Knesset plenum on Monday when far-right Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir took the podium to make remarks.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Ben-Gvir said. “For the moment where I get up to speak and they, the supporters of terror, including [Joint List MK] Ahmad Tibi, are exiting.”
Idan Zonshine contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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