Ze’ev Elkin 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerzolomiski [file])
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) took revenge against Labor rebel MK
Daniel Ben-Simon on Saturday night, announcing that he would prevent the latter
from taking over the chairmanship of the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and
Diaspora Affairs Committee.
Ben-Simon had expected to receive the
committee chairmanship when several committees shift hands at the beginning of
November according to the coalition agreement. But Elkin vetoed Ben-Simon’s
appointment due to his efforts to bring down Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
“It has always been a rule that to get the benefits of being
a member of the coalition you have to be loyal to the coalition,” Elkin
“Ben-Simon has become a rebel and even joined the opposition in its
efforts to draft 40 MKs to force the prime minister to come to the Knesset.
Ben-Simon should realize that this behavior is unacceptable.”
that if Ben-Simon or another Labor MK would not sign a document vowing to be
loyal to the coalition, the committee would be temporarily held by the
One possibility is to give the committee to Labor MK Einat Wilf,
but she is said to be interested in holding out for the chairmanship of the
Knesset Education Committee, which Labor will receive next year according to the
Ben-Simon expressed outrage over Elkin’s efforts to
prevent him from receiving the committee chairmanship.
He said he had
limited his membership in other Knesset forums because he expected to be busy as
a committee chairman.
“In November, I am taking over the chairmanship of
the committee as the Labor faction decided unanimously,” Ben-Simon said. “I dare
anyone in the coalition to try to take it away from me. This is not a
totalitarian state and no one can force me to sign any loyalty
Meanwhile, in the Labor leadership race, a Panels poll was
published over the weekend that asked the public which candidate would make them
more likely to vote for the party.
According to the poll, 51 percent said
no potential candidate could make them consider voting for the party, 19% said
MK Shelly Yacimovich, 16% said Social Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog, 9% said
incumbent party chairman Ehud Barak and 5% said Minorities Affairs Minister