Edelstein eyes Amram Mitzna for chairman of Foreign Affairs and Defense C’tee

Knesset Speaker's Office would not confirm report that the Hatnua MK was Edelstein's choice.

December 9, 2013 01:59
1 minute read.
Amram Mitzna

Amram Mitzna 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Knesset may have to go one more day without a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, but Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has his eye on MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) for the job.

Edelstein pushed off his ultimatum to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the selection of a new chairman for the Knesset’s most prestigious panel by a day, as opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) and Knesset House Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu) are attending the Brooking Institution’s Saban Forum in Washington and are expected to return on Tuesday.

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Still, if Netanyahu does not choose a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman by Tuesday, Edelstein will bring his favored candidate from among the panel’s members to a vote by faction chairpeople.

The Knesset Speaker’s Office would not confirm that Mitzna, who is currently chairman of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee, is Edelstein’s choice, but a source close to Edelstein called Mitzna “a good bet.”

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 someone to take the Yisrael Beytenu leader’s place.

The committee deals with sensitive and classified materials, and as such, the law forbids the Knesset from appointing a chairman who would serve less than three months.

Therefore, the committee has been unable to hold meetings since Liberman’s departure, though its subcommittees remain active.

Netanyahu prefers to see Hanegbi in the position, but Finance Minister Yair Lapid insists the job should go to Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah.

Netanyahu has yet to comment on the issue publicly.

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