Liberman takes over Foreign Affairs, Defense C'tee

Meretz MK Horowitz: Unacceptable Liberman will head c'tee when a corruption trial against him is still ongoing.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 18, 2013 02:27
1 minute read.
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman at press conference, March 18, 2013

Liberman 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman (Likud- Beytenu) was voted unanimously on Wednesday to the post of chairman of the powerful Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Liberman, who served as chairman in an interim capacity before Wednesday, called it “the most challenging post in the Knesset, especially in this period.”

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Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, who did not arrive in time for the early morning vote, said he would have voted against the appointment, given Liberman’s ongoing corruption trial.

“Liberman has been indicted on charges directly affecting people who hold central roles in the foreign service,” Horowitz said. “It is unacceptable that when the trial is still going, he heads the committee in charge of oversight of the Foreign Ministry. It is a harsh conflict of interest that harms the legal process.”

The other chairmen of coalition-controlled Knesset committees were formally appointed Wednesday, including Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud-Beytenu) as House Committee chairman and Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) as chairman of the important Knesset Finance Committee. Chairmen for committees in the opposition’s control are still under dispute.

Slomiansky promised to work with modesty and humility after his appointment was unanimously approved in a vote boycotted by Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs.

“We all know the reason you got this job,” said UTJ MK Moshe Gafni, whom Slomiansky replaces in the position. “You vetoed an entire sector. That’s why.”

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