Likud ‘sick of’ Mofaz as Foreign Affairs and Defense head

"Mofaz uses the committee for his own political benefit, to fight against Livni and the Likud," source says.

Mofaz, Gantz, FADC_311 (photo credit: IDF )
Mofaz, Gantz, FADC_311
(photo credit: IDF )
The Likud sought to take the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairmanship from Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz, sources said on Thursday, despite a deal between the two parties.
This week, coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin complained to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, both of Likud, that Mofaz was holding important discussions during the Knesset recess. However, Likud missed the last chance to replace Mofaz, which was at the beginning of the month.
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“The Likud is sick of Mofaz,” a source said. “It was a bad deal, giving Kadima [the] Foreign Affairs and Defense [chairmanship] and taking [the] Economics [chairmanship] instead.”
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is traditionally chaired by a coalition member, while the Economics Committee usually goes to the opposition.
When the deal was drawn between Kadima and Likud, former Kadima MK Tzachi Hanegbi was appointed as chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
After Hanegbi was forced to resign from the Knesset due to a perjury conviction, Mofaz took his place.
“What worked in Hanegbi’s time isn’t working today,” the Likud source explained.
“Mofaz uses the committee for his own political benefit, to fight against [Kadima leader Tzipi] Livni and the Likud.”
The source said MKs secretly requested from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cancel the deal.
In the end, the Likud source said the party preferred to keep the Economics Committee, so that Netanyahu’s economic reforms would pass more easily.
“If Mofaz hadn’t used his position so cynically, the Likud would never have considered giving up Economics,” the source stated.
Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled was mentioned as a possible replacement for Mofaz. However, Peled’s spokeswoman said he was never offered the position.
Mofaz was unfazed by the news.
“I will continue to do what I believe is right for the State of Israel, its future, and the future of its citizens without fear,’ he said. “I have never given in to threats or bullies, and I will never bend the truth. I will always say what I believe. Whoever is afraid, has to deal with it.”