Eitan Ginzburg to become Israel's third gay cabinet minister on Monday

New ministerial appointments to fill vacant cabinet slots made shortly before expiry of court-imposed deadline.

Eitan Ginzburg: Former Mayor of Raanana & Israel’s first openly gay mayor. (photo credit: YANIR COZIN / MAARIV)
Eitan Ginzburg: Former Mayor of Raanana & Israel’s first openly gay mayor.
(photo credit: YANIR COZIN / MAARIV)
Israel has a record three cabinet ministers from the LGBT community after Blue and White faction chairman Eitan Ginzburg was sworn in as communications minister in the Knesset plenum late Monday night.
Ginzburg, the former mayor of Ra’anana, was Israel’s first openly gay mayor. He will serve alongside gay ministers Itzik Shmuli, who left Labor, and Amir Ohana (Likud).
Monday morning’s cabinet meeting approved the Science and Technology portfolio for Chili Tropper (Blue and White), the Higher Education Ministry for Yoav Galant (Likud), the Water Ministry for Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and the Social Equality portfolio for Michael Biton (Blue and White).
The Communications portfolio was held by Blue and White head Benny Gantz after he fired Yoaz Hendel on December 16 when he left Blue and White for New Hope. Gantz held the ministry in a temporary capacity, but the appointment expired.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit warned Gantz that he was holding too many portfolios. Besides being alternate prime minister and defense minister, he is the justice minister and was acting science and technology minister, social equality minister and communications minister. The Supreme Court set a deadline of 4 p.m. on Monday for the cabinet to fill the vacancies.
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, which petitioned the High Court of Justice on the matter, said the appointments should have been made much sooner and not moments before the court-imposed deadline. Other key appointments were necessary, including that of a state prosecutor, it said.
“In this government of national paralysis, only the court’s intervention enables the country to be run,” it added.
The High Court dismissed the petition because its goal, getting ministers appointed, was achieved.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.