Opposition MKs say Bayit Yehudi leader disrespects democracy

Bennett became a member of the Knesset again, two months after departing under the Norwegian Law.

December 7, 2015 17:50
2 minute read.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett at the Jerusalem Post's Diplomatic Conference. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Education Minister Naftali Bennett returned to his post Monday, a day after his resignation went into effect, and opposition critics charged that his political maneuvering amounted to disrespect for the democratic system.

Bennett became a member of the Knesset again, nearly two months after departing from his legislative position under the so-called “Norwegian Law.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The Israeli version of the law, which has a narrower scope than the original, says a minister from each party may resign from the Knesset to allow the next person in the party’s list to become a lawmaker. If the minister is fired or resigns, he or she may return to the Knesset, and the MK who replaced him or her must leave.

Bayit Yehudi advocated for passing the Norwegian Law earlier this year, citing separation of powers. The party welcomed MK Shuli Muallem, who was sworn in to the Knesset instead of Bennett.

Last week, Bayit Yehudi’s Yinon Magal resigned after sexual harassment allegations, and the next candidate on the list was former deputy education minister Avi Wortzman.

However, Wortzman chose to retain his position of director-general of Aleh Negev - Nahalat Eran, a village for young adults with multiple disabilities.

At the same time, Wortzman did not want to resign from the Bayit Yehudi list.


A party source said Wortzman wanted to avoid being at the mercy of Bennett’s decision to resign or the prime minister’s to fire him.

Bennett tendered his resignation from the cabinet last week to resume his previous role as MK. Then, on Monday, the Knesset voted him back into the cabinet, contradicting his own call earlier for a separation of powers.

MK Miki Rosenthal (Zionist Union) accused Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of lying to the public about the “Norwegian Law.”

“Only a few months ago, Bennett and Shaked defended the change to a Basic Law... I said in that debate, ‘this is not the Norwegian Law, it’s the Israeli Jobs Law.’ Today, Bennett is returning to the seat that was kept warm for him. What happened to all his arguments from then?” Rosenthal said.

“Do we no longer need to strengthen the Knesset? Do we no longer need to allow legislators to focus on their work and not run between committees?” Rosenthal said. “The motive behind the law was completely personal. None of its proposers focused on the rationale, just political negotiations.”

Rosenthal accused Bennett and Shaked of lying to the public about their intentions in getting the law amended, thereby harming democracy.

Speaking in the plenum debate about Bennett’s return, MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) called it “a farce and disrespectful to the government.”

MK Dov Henin (Joint List) quipped that Norway should sue the coalition for slander, because what they call the “Norwegian Law” does not resemble the policy in the Scandinavian state.

“They don’t have these kinds of political tricks in Norway,” he said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

An El Al plane in Ben Gurion Airport
November 17, 2018
Arkia flight IZ821 to Eilat turns back, pilot lands safely in Tel Aviv