Yuli Edelstein 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein tried unsuccessfully on Tuesday to deal with the
vacancy at the helm of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense
The committee has been leaderless since former chairman
Avigdor Liberman became foreign minister two weeks ago.
Binyamin Netanyahu hopes to appoint his ally, Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, to the
post, but his coalition partners prefer Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer
Due to the dispute, no committee chairman has been appointed, and
the committee has not met.
Responding to a complaint on the matter from
his predecessor, Likud MK Reuven Rivlin, Edelstein said his legal advisers had
told him he had no authority to convene the committee by himself or to appoint a
He said he had asked the Prime Minister’s Office to
expedite the appointment last week, to no avail.
“I have found ways to
make clear that the situation is unacceptable,” Edelstein said.
are matters of life and death that must be decided. We will find a way to
take action if the matter is not resolved as has been promised to me.”
a speech at the Knesset, Rivlin said the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
was so important that it meets when the government is not in session. He said
the Defense Ministry’s budget must be passed by the end of the year.
committee’s role in overseeing the government must not be abandoned because of a
political problem,” Rivlin said.
Labor MK Nachman Shai wrote Edelstein
that during key developments on security issues and foreign affairs, the
committee needed to be meeting.
He called the fact that the committee
could not convene “a debacle that prevents the Knesset from doing its job.”