Prime Minister and Defense Ministers can no longer declare war

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also held multiple portfolios and has toyed with the idea of firing Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in recent months when they have disagreed on key issues.

By
July 17, 2018 20:37
1 minute read.
Liberman Netanyahu

Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
X

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 analysis 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

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Tuesday lost their right to declare war or take a step that could lead to war on their own when the Knesset passed into law a bill that gave those powers to the security cabinet.

On May 2, the Knesset passed a bill into law that would permit a prime minister to declare war together with only the defense minister – or even by himself, if he also holds the defense portfolio. Tuesday’s vote canceled that law, passed just 11 weeks ago.

Previous prime ministers David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak were all simultaneously defense minister. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also held multiple portfolios and has toyed with the idea of firing Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in recent months when they have disagreed on key issues.

The May bill was initially intended to transfer the power to declare war from the cabinet as a whole to the security cabinet, a move designed to prevent leaks – which had the support of both the coalition and leading figures in the opposition. There was agreement in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that a majority of the security cabinet would be needed to make such decisions.


But at the last minute, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) succeeded in passing an amendment giving the prime minister and the defense minister the right to make the decision on their own in extreme circumstances. Sources said that Netanyahu requested the amendment and that government MKs voted for it observing coalition discipline, against their wishes.

Following public criticism, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Netanyahu decided to revert to the previous draft of the bill, but it took time to pass the new bill into law.

Related Content

June 18, 2019
2019 Genesis Prize Laureate Robert Kraft receives a warm welcome in Israel

By ALAN ROSENBAUM

Cookie Settings