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Mansour Abbas helps Likud score victory in Knesset Arrangements Committee

CM 26/04/2021

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The Likud made a deal with political kingmaker Mansour Abbas (Ra’am Party) that helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party take control of the Knesset presidium in a vote in the Knesset Arrangements Committee on Monday.The presidium is made up of the Knesset speaker and its deputies. Together, they decide what bills to bring to a vote and other items on the Knesset agenda, including the date for the race for president.The committee approved three deputy Knesset speakers for Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud): Abbas, Matan Kahana (Yamina) and Ya’acov Margi (Shas). There will be no deputies from the Center or Left, unless the anti-Netanyahu bloc forms the government.Abbas made a deal with the anti-Netanyahu bloc last week that helped the bloc win a majority on the committee. But it was not enough to stop Monday’s move.The Arrangements Committee approved the formation of three committees on Monday: A temporary Finance Committee chaired by United Torah Judaism head Moshe Gafni, a temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) led by Yesh Atid MK Orna Barbivai and a new committee on Arab issues that will be chaired by Abbas, which the Likud gave him as part of the deal.MKs in the anti-Netanyahu camp expressed outrage at the new committee for Abbas, calling it political bribery. Meretz MK Esawi Frej warned that the Likud was “putting Arabs in a ghetto” by creating the committee.But when it came time to vote, the anti-Netanyahu camp did not vote against the formation of the committee, because they did not want to upset Abbas.

Barbivai, who was the first female major-general in the IDF, became the first female head of the FADC. She promised to begin immediate oversight over Netanyahu’s government.“National security isn’t only the defense but also a combination of governance, diplomacy, economic strength and social solidarity,” Barbivai said. “In light of the current political chaos, proper committee oversight takes on added importance. I intend to fulfill this responsibility with the utmost seriousness, as befits the challenges facing the State of Israel.” Source: Jerusalem Post

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