(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for having too many ministries under his control.
Netanyahu holds eight cabinet portfolios, due to the firing of finance minister Yair Lapid and justice minister Tzipi Livni and the resignations of the other ministers in Yesh Atid and Hatnua, as well as by the Likud’s Gideon Sa’ar.
In addition to prime minister, Netanyahu is minister of finance, justice, environmental protection, education, health, welfare, science and communications.
He gave Deputy Minister for Liaison with the Knesset Ophir Akunis (Likud) responsibility for the Environmental Protection portfolio vacated by Amir Peretz of Hatnua, and Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman (Bayit Yehudi) will fill in for resigned minister Shai Piron. Netanyahu single-handedly controls the other six ministries.
“This situation is not only ridiculous, it is also reckless,” Yacimovich warned. “The government of Israel is not a political game in Netanyahu’s hands or a nice hobby. It is the sovereign of Israel, the power that runs our complicated lives.”
Yacimovich said that at this pace, Netanyahu may also appoint himself Lord of the Rings.
She complained that it took the prime minister too long to start dealing with what she called the worst ecological disaster in the state’s history.
“He found a solution,” she said mockingly. “He appointed Akunis as a deputy to clean up after him. If we have a health crisis, maybe he will appoint Akunis deputy minister of that, too.”
Because Israel currently has a transition government, Netanyahu cannot appoint a current MK or deputy minister as a minister. He can either give more portfolios to current ministers or promote MKs to deputy minister without a minister over them.
“Sometimes you have to rub your eyes to believe that such things are really happening,” Yacimovich said.
“An entire country has ceased functioning because of political craziness.”
Netanyahu is expected to allocate the available portfolios later this week. Transportation Minister Israel Katz is the favorite for the Treasury.