After months of conflict paralyzed the Knesset’s secretive Ethics Committee, Committee Chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich announced earlier this week that she would temporarily resign her position. Yacimovich explained that she was leaving the position in order to focus her energies on the upcoming battle to lead the Labor Party in advance of the party’s primaries, which are set for September.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin has decided to appoint MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) to take over the leadership of the committee, which is supposed to hold closed-door meetings to discuss potential ethics violations by MKs. The committee, which is empowered to place sanctions against MKs found to have violated ethical standards, has barely functioned after Yacimovich refused to allow the committee to discuss MK Hanin Zoabi’s (Balad) participation in the Gaza Flotilla almost one year ago.
Since then, a number of members have boycotted most of the committee’s sessions, reducing the usually powerful committee’s efforts to a near-standstill.