Bennett resigns from Knesset, will continue to serve as education minister

Bayit Yehudi leader quits parliament in accordance with so-called Mini-Norwegian Law.

Naftali Bennett (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Naftali Bennett
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett quit the Knesset on Wednesday at noon in order to enable the next candidate on his party’s list, former MK Shuli Moallem-Refaeli, to become an MK.
Bennett’s resignation was facilitated by the so-called “Mini-Norwegian Law,” which passed in July. The law enables a minister to quit the parliament and return if he or she leaves the cabinet.
Moallem-Refaeli will enter the Knesset automatically when the resignation takes effect Friday.
She is expected to be sworn in on Monday, the Knesset’s first day back from its extended summer and holiday recess.
When Moallem-Refaeli becomes an MK, the Knesset will have 31 women, a record for the Israeli parliament and a higher percentage (more than 25%) than the US Congress and many other legislatures around the western world.
Bennett remains education minister and a member of the security cabinet. He intends to return to the Knesset in six months when Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is due to resign as part of a rotation agreement in the party.
Not all of the other parties impacted by the Norwegian law had decided by press time when to implement it, but Shas and Kulanu expect to carry it out by next Monday. Shas leader Arye Deri and Kulanu head Moshe Kahlon will quit to allow former MKs Avraham Michaeli and Akram Hassoon, respectively, to return to the Knesset.
The situation is more complicated in United Torah Judaism, due to a dispute between its Agudat Yisrael and Degel Hatorah parties that could prevent the return of former UTJ MK Ya’acov Asher.
In the Likud, there has been no discussion about who will quit in favor of the next name on the party’s list, Tel Aviv gay activist Amir Ohana. It is possible that two ministers or deputy ministers will quit, in order to facilitate the entrance to the parliament of Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick, who is after Ohana on the party list.