Toporovsky to serve as de facto coalition head

Toporovsky will convene the meetings of faction chairmen who decide what bills will be legislated and their timetable. He will also ensure a majority for every bill brought to a vote.

Yesh Atid MK Boaz Toporovsky (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Yesh Atid MK Boaz Toporovsky
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has decided against filling the vacancy created by the departure of coalition chairwoman Idit Silman, sources in the coalition said on Tuesday.

The coalition agreement stipulates that while Bennett is prime minister, the post must go to an MK from his party. But Bennett did not find any MK in Yamina who was willing and able to fill the sensitive post.

Instead, deputy coalition chairman Boaz Toporovsky of Yesh Atid will be the de facto chairman.

“Bennett could not appoint Boaz as chairman because of his political affiliation, so there will be no appointment, but he will do the work,” said a source in the coalition.

Toporovsky will convene the meetings of faction chairmen who decide what bills will be legislated and their timetable. He will function as the whip, ensuring a majority for every bill brought to a vote.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, May 1, 2022.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the cabinet meeting, May 1, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

In the first step in his de facto role, Toporovsky sent MKs a letter on Tuesday saying their attendance is mandatory for every vote over the next three weeks. He warned against their acting independently, and asked to be told about any significant legislative step five days in advance.

In an interview with Channel 12, Silman said the reason she defected from the coalition to the opposition was that the government was harming the Jewish values of the state. She cited the government’s conversion and kosher certification reforms, which she voted for. She also brought up the Western Wall agreement, which has not been advanced by the government at all, but she said the government was building “a Reform Kotel.”

Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana challenged his former Yamina colleague on Twitter, reminding her that top Orthodox rabbis had endorsed his conversion and kosher certification plans.

Her remarks about the Kotel saddened Blue and White MK Alon Tal, a Conservative Jew who prays regularly at the egalitarian prayer space that Bennett facilitated in the Southern Wall archaeological site.

“I am deeply disappointed in her and her approach, which indicates that she does not understand the complicated dynamics of the Kotel and the richness of the diverse streams in the Jewish world today,” Tal said.