Likud, Labor ministers refuse to quit Knesset

Soon-to-be MK vows to pick sympathetic judges

Blue and White ministers present their resignation to Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (photo credit: KNESSET SPEAKER YARIV LEVIN'S OFFICE)
Blue and White ministers present their resignation to Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin
Ministers from Blue and White, United Torah Judaism and Shas have quit the Knesset in accordance with the Expanded Norwegian Law that passed into law Monday night, but no minister or deputy minister from Likud or Labor has been willing to resign to implement the law.
The ministers and deputy ministers who quit on Wednesday are Chili Tropper (Blue and White), Alon Schuster (Blue and White), Asaf Zamir (Blue and White), Michael Biton (Blue and White), Arye Deri (Shas) and Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism). Blue and White Minister Izhar Shay joined them on Thursday evening, when he completed his two-week quarantine. One or two Shas deputy ministers were expected to quit this week.
But every Likud and Labor minister questioned refused to resign and allow the next candidates on their list to enter the Knesset. In Likud, the next candidates are former MKs Ariel Kallner and Osnat Mark. In Labor, which ran with Meretz and Gesher, former Meretz MK Ilan Gilon would enter if Amir Peretz or Itzik Shmuli resigned, which would make the coalition lose an MK to the opposition. Peretz and Shmuli are not expected to quit for that reason.
Deri, who resigned late Wednesday night, was replaced when the resignation took effect on Saturday night by the next candidate on the Shas list, Petah Tikva Deputy Mayor Rabbi Uriel Busso. According to the new law, if Deri quit his ministerial post, he would automatically return to the Knesset instead of his replacement.
The reason given by Likud minister Eli Cohen for not resigning is that the law was passed to help Blue and White have MKs to do the party’s work in the parliament and not to help Likud, which did not have that problem. Out of Blue and White’s 15 MKs, 12 were ministers.
In the previous Knesset that enacted the mini-Norwegian Law in which one minister or deputy minister from every coalition party could quit the Knesset, the Likud was the only party in which no minister or deputy resigned. Former MK Yehudah Glick, who waited for the Likud to implement the law in the 20th Knesset, complained about his party on Twitter.
“The Likud never implements the Norwegian Law,” he lamented.
Mark said she believes she will enter the Knesset soon, even if it means waiting for Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Tzipi Hotovely to leave for their posts to become ambassadors in the United States and United Kingdom in August.
When she enters the Knesset, Mark will be part of the judicial selection committee as a representative of the coalition. In an interview with KAN Radio Thursday morning, Mark admitted she wanted judges sympathetic to the Likud’s views who oppose judicial activism.
“I am looking for a worldview that fits with that of the Likud,” she said, but later retracted and said professional considerations would guide her.