After a month without a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman,
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an
ultimatum Thursday: Choose a chairman by Monday or I’ll do it myself.
the prime minister does not make a decision by Monday, Edelstein will allow
faction chairmen to vote on their preferred candidate out of the committee’s
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is still missing a
chairman after Avigdor Liberman left the role last month to return as foreign
minister, as Netanyahu has yet to appoint one.
The committee, the most
prestigious in the Knesset, deals with sensitive and classified materials, and
as such, the law forbids the Knesset from appointing a chairman that would serve
less than three months.
Therefore the committee has been unable to hold
meetings since Liberman’s departure.
Netanyahu prefers to see Knesset
House Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu) in the position, but
Finance Minister Yair Lapid insists the job should go to Yesh Atid faction
chairman Ofer Shelah.
Lapid and Netanyahu agreed to a rotation between
Hanegbi and Shelah, but they are at an impasse as to who would be first, since
whoever is second may never actually get the job if there is an early
“It cannot be that the man who is most appropriate for the job
won’t get it even though he deserves it,” Lapid told Army Radio
“I recommend everyone read his book about the structure of the
IDF. It’s simple; Ofer Shelah must be the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and
On Monday, Edelstein spoke out in the plenum against
the situation in which the important committee is left without a
“We can’t live with this situation for long, because of
day-to-day work and in case there is an emergency,” he said.