Finance Minister Yair Lapid and MKs of the Knesset State Control Committee clashed on Monday over the quality of his appointments of directors for government-connected corporations.
The debate also asked the question of whether those appointments represented “old” or “new” politics.
MK Gila Gamliel (Likud) implied Lapid had broken his promise to move away from old politics and politicization, by “appointing so many of his party members” to the positions.
MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) slammed Lapid as having categorically disqualified several sectors of the public, including: Haredim, Arabs and new immigrants. He said this was done by requiring particularly higher level of Israeli academic credentials for appointments.
Committee chairman MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) said that particular academic credentials should not be the end-all in appointments.
Lapid responded, saying that “well-picked directors will help us establish professional, well-managed and profitable governmental corporations that will give the Israeli public added value and place money into the state’s coffers from the profits.”
The finance minister said: “We promised the public new politics and there is no better manifestation of bringing the old politics to its end than cutting off the bitter line of political appointments to governmental corporations.”
He rejected allegations that many of the appointees were Yesh Atid members, saying that any political affiliation actually reduced candidates’ chances.
Balad MK Haneen Zoabi said that Arab-Israelis should have more than three percent of the appointees, reflecting that they are 20% of the population.
Uri Yogev, head of the governmental corporations authority, committed to half of the director-appointees being women and 10% being minorities of some sort.