MK Danny Danon 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Just one month after it seemed that two parliamentary investigative committees
were certain to be established to probe left-wing nongovernmental organizations,
the fate of the probes became questionable on Tuesday, after the final vote for
their establishment was delayed indefinitely.
Both the bill’s sponsors
and Knesset officials agreed that the primary reason for the delay was reduced
support for the legislation among Likud ministers and MKs, but one of the
probes’ sponsors – Danny Danon (Likud) – promised that he would continue to push
for the establishment of the committees.
The final plenum vote on the two
probe committees was first slated to be held two weeks ago, and was then delayed
until this Wednesday.
But on Monday, Israel Beiteinu announced that
faction chairman Robert Ilatov had requested in light of “recent events” to
delay the vote on the probe initiated by Faina Kirshenbaum.
by the Knesset plenum, Danon’s committee would probe “the involvement of foreign
bodies and states in funding activities against the state and attempting to
acquire its land,” and Kirschenbaum’s would probe “overseas funds and states
funding Israeli organizations that participate in the delegitimization of IDF
Danon did not ask to delay voting on his probe, and complained
in a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin Tuesday that House Committee
Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) had no right to officially request the Knesset
secretary to remove the two probes from Wednesday’s agenda.
however, maintained that once the probes had passed their final vote in the
House Committee, it was Levin, and not Danon, who was authorized to delay voting
on the probes. Furthermore, the Knesset secretary emphasized that the probes had
not been withdrawn from the plenum, but merely taken off of Wednesday’s
“It is clear that they simply don’t want to have a vote on the
probes,” complained Danon. “There is a fear among Likud MKs that even though
they have freedom from coalition discipline during the vote, the public will pay
attention to how they vote. They don’t want to lose points among Likud voters
for opposing the probes, even if they personally don’t support their
Danon did not just point a finger at his fellow Likud
members, but also complained that if Israel Beiteinu Chairman and Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman genuinely wanted to push for the probes, he could do
“I don’t see Israel Beiteinu fighting together with me to force a
vote on it,” complained Danon, adding that as a member of the Knesset steering
committee, he planned to raise the topic for discussion during the panel’s
“If Israel Beiteinu joins with me tomorrow morning and
demands that the vote be held, I don’t see it as being so easy for the coalition
leadership to prevent it from being held,” he said.
Danon said that
ultimately, he believed that the probes’ opponents within the coalition were
trying to delay the vote until after the Knesset returns in May from its Pessah
recess. If the vote continued to be delayed, he threatened, he would seek
recourse with the Supreme Court.