Likud's Elkin and Levin to chair Foreign Affairs and Defense C'tee

May 12, 2014 11:24

In compromise reached between Lapid and Netanyahu, Likud legislators to chair c'tee in a rotation; Yesh Atid's Shelah to be made deputy minister.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin.

Ze'ev Elkin 370. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

After a six-month logjam, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid resolved their dispute over the chairmanship of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday, when they agreed that Likud MKs Ze’ev Elkin and Yariv Levin would rotate in the post.

Elkin, who quit his job as deputy foreign minister Monday, will chair the committee for the rest of the year. Levin will then hold the post for a year and a half.

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If there is no election called by then, Elkin will return to the helm of the committee for the rest of the term.

In return, a Yesh Atid MK will be named a senior deputy minister.

MK Ofer Shelah, who had wanted to chair the committee, turned down the deputy minister job, calling such posts “very problematic” and “difficult to infuse with content.”

A Likud source revealed that Shelah had also rejected an offer to be a minister without portfolio inside the Defense Ministry.

Sources in Yesh Atid said one option was to appoint one of the faction’s Ethiopian-born MKs, Pnina Tamnu-Shata or Shimon Solomon, as deputy absorption or welfare minister.

The sources said it was also possible the party would reject the deputy minister post entirely.

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