Yesh Atid rebel Kol: I’m not going anywhere

Lapid, Kol make up; Lapid: Who is Gafni to call me undemocratic when his party has no women, Sephardic people, gays, etc.

Yesh Atid MK Adi Kol 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Yesh Atid)
Yesh Atid MK Adi Kol 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Yesh Atid)
Yesh Atid MK Adi Kol is in the Knesset to stay, she said Sunday, four days after her party’s leadership punished her for abstaining in a vote on the electoral reform bill.
Kol took to Facebook to write that “the rumors of [her] death\imprisonment\banishment from Facebook are not true,” after Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that the two made peace.
“I’m alive, breathing, thinking, writing and continuing to express my opinion,” she added. “I was quiet in recent days, because I saw that the discussion lost all proportion and I didn’t want to make it worse.”
Kol added that she’s “not going anywhere” and that she will continue to make her voice heard and promote the values in which she believes.
She also joked that among the lessons she learned from the experience is not to suck on a lollipop in the plenum, and posted on Facebook an unflattering photo of herself from a newspaper.
Kol abstained in the first reading of the Yesh Atid-Yisrael Beytenu electoral reform bill on Wednesday, surprising the other members of her faction and making her Yesh Atid’s first rebel.
Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah and Lapid immediately suspended Kol from all parliamentary activity, including her chairmanship of the Knesset Public Petitions Committee and membership in Knesset committees, including the Law, Constitution and Justice Committee, and as a result faced criticism from opposition parties that they behaved undemocratically.
Lapid sent a newsletter to Yesh Atid supporters on Friday, complaining about the “the ridiculous gap between reality and what is written about it” when it came to Kol’s controversial vote and punishment.
“The opposition had a party; they used the word ‘dictator’ [to describe me] over and over, and MK [Moshe] Gafni (United Torah Judaism) took the stand and trembled with anger, screaming that [Yesh Atid is] an undemocratic party,” Lapid wrote. “MK Gafni comes from a party in which you cannot be an MK if you are Sephardic, Ethiopian, Russian, a soldier, gay, secular, a woman or wear a knitted kippa. You can only be in his party if you dress, behave, speak, move, breathe and think just like MK Gafni. I don’t want to sound judgmental, but I don’t think he’s authorized to decide what a democratic party is.”
Lapid added that he doesn’t think that Labor – “where everyone hates one another and gossips to reporters from morning until night and [they] don’t manage to cooperate on anything” is particularly democratic, either.
Then he described a meeting of all of Yesh Atid’s MKs on the porch of Education Minister Shai Piron’s home in Oranit, in which he said it’s important for faction members not to surprise each other and he and Kol hugged.
“We said this won’t happen again, because we are people who work on ourselves and know how to learn from mistakes,” he wrote.
Lapid concluded the story by writing that other parties are jealous of how united Yesh Atid is, and that Kol sends regards.
Despite the hugs and lessons learned, a Yesh Atid source said that Kol’s punishment still stands, and the party will pick a new chairman or woman for the Knesset Public Petitions Committee before the winter parliamentary session begins in October. The next MKs on the Yesh Atid list without a position are Karin Elharar and Shimon Solomon.