Edelstein's ultimatum to PM: Choose FADC chairman or I will

Knesset's most prestigious committee has been left without leadership for a month since Avigdor Liberman's departure.

Netanyahu, Edelstein 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Netanyahu, Edelstein 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After a month without a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu an ultimatum Thursday: Choose a chairman by Monday or I’ll do it myself.
If the prime minister does not make a decision by Monday, Edelstein will allow faction chairmen to vote on their preferred candidate out of the committee’s members.
The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is still missing a chairman after Avigdor Liberman left the role last month to return as foreign minister, as Netanyahu has yet to appoint one.
The committee, the most prestigious in the Knesset, deals with sensitive and classified materials, and as such, the law forbids the Knesset from appointing a chairman that would serve less than three months.
Therefore the committee has been unable to hold meetings since Liberman’s departure.
Netanyahu prefers to see Knesset House Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu) in the position, but Finance Minister Yair Lapid insists the job should go to Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah.
Lapid and Netanyahu agreed to a rotation between Hanegbi and Shelah, but they are at an impasse as to who would be first, since whoever is second may never actually get the job if there is an early election.
“It cannot be that the man who is most appropriate for the job won’t get it even though he deserves it,” Lapid told Army Radio Thursday.
“I recommend everyone read his book about the structure of the IDF. It’s simple; Ofer Shelah must be the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.”
On Monday, Edelstein spoke out in the plenum against the situation in which the important committee is left without a leader.
“We can’t live with this situation for long, because of day-to-day work and in case there is an emergency,” he said.