Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee head MK Tzachi Hanegbi (R), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and opposition chief Isaac Herzog.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to complete the process of reshuffling his cabinet by the deadline of midnight Wednesday night to get the appointments on the agenda of the final meeting of the cabinet ahead of next Wednesday’s adjournment of the Knesset until after the fall Jewish holidays end in October.
That means the Knesset would have to meet in special session to pass the appointments, which would make the procedure much more complicated.
The appointments are being held up due to disagreements within both the Likud and Kulanu.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said firmly on Thursday that there is no chance of him joining Netanyahu’s government. Nevertheless, Netanyahu had no plans to distribute the Foreign Affairs portfolio that he had been holding for Herzog.
Herzog will face a challenge to his leadership as head of the Labor Party on Sunday at a party convention.
Labor activists will decide at the convention whether to approve his plan to delay the next Labor leadership race to next July or hold it in December, as his opponents in the party propose.
One of those opponents, MK Erel Margalit, intends to unveil a diplomatic plan on Sunday morning that he worked on with business leaders from several Arab countries.
The plan came from a meeting he held in Geneva last month with business leaders from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. He worked with the business leaders on building projects that are the basis for the diplomatic plan.
Herzog faced harsh criticism on Thursday from another of his rivals in Labor, MK Shelly Yacimovich.
In an Army Radio interview, she said what Herzog’s rivals were doing was not, as critics have said, “chopping off the head of the party,” because the party’s leader already lacked a spine.
Yacimovich complained about Herzog having “a crybaby strategy.” She said she was envious of how the Democratic convention was run in the US.
“The [Labor] convention was called in order to artificially extend the tenure of a leader who is not good for the party,” Yacimovich said. “Herzog is scaring away potential candidates by not setting a date for the race. Holding a 14-month campaign would be political suicide for the party.”