mk tartman 298.88 AJ.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
MKs expressed emotions ranging from dismay to outrage after a report on Tuesday morning suggested that Tourism-Minister-to-be Estherina Tartman (Israel Beiteinu) had lied about having an M.A. in economics.
Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday after announcing Tartman's appointment that he had chosen her for the post due to her background in economics.
"Had we received a security portfolio, then [MK Yisrael] Hasson would have been given the job, and had we received the absorption portfolio, someone else would have been appointed. But for the financial portfolio, [Tartman] was the most fitting," Lieberman told reporters.
However, a report in Yediot Aharonot on Tuesday claimed that Tartman did not have as significant a background in economics as was previously believed. According to the report, Tartman had taken courses relating to economics, but did not have the advanced degree mentioned in her Knesset resume.
Tartman told the Knesset Channel in an interview on Sunday evening that "I'm coming from a management background ... I'm coming from a clear economics background, a Bachelors [in] accounting and financial management, a Masters [in] business management."
The report also noted that Tartman's profile on the Knesset Web site listed her as holding an M.A. As of this writing, this was no longer the case.
Meretz MK Ran Cohen declared that Israel Beiteinu had chosen "the most dishonest, untrustworthy and impudent person possible" for the position of tourism minister.
Fellow Israel Beiteinu MK Hasson, meanwhile, called the reports against Tartman "saddening," if they turned out to be true.
Sources close to Tartman, however, claimed that she was the victim of a witch hunt being conducted by her political foes.
Tartman came under fire in January after she made allegedly racist comments in an interview, describing the promotion of an Israeli Arab - namely, Labor MK Ghaleb Majadle - to the cabinet as an "affliction."