Former minister forces South African MK out of Knesset after four days

Izhar Shay not quitting was revenge for Blue and White taking Cotler-Wunsh from Telem

BLUE AND White MK Ruth Wasserman Lande. (photo credit: Courtesy)
BLUE AND White MK Ruth Wasserman Lande.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Blue and White lost an MK to the Telem Party of Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday when former science and technology minister Izhar Shay returned to the Knesset as part of the so-called Norwegian Law and forced out new MK Ruth Wasserman Lande.
Shay, who is a hi-tech multimillionaire, decided to keep his mandate in the Knesset now that he joined Telem and not leave it for Blue and White. Other Blue and White MKs who decided to run with other parties quit the Knesset, including Avi Nissenkorn, Meirav Cohen and Einav Kabla.
Wasserman Lande officially became an MK on Friday at 2 p.m. when Cohen’s resignation took effect, and she officially lost her job at 9 p.m. Tuesday night when Shay returned. In between, she was sworn in on Monday and delivered her maiden address in which she spoke about her Zionism and her teen years in South Africa.
She was the first MK who had made aliyah from South Africa since Shmuel Katz in the first Knesset, and the first one who lived in Capetown since Abba Eban.
A source in Blue and White called Shay’s refusal to be a gentleman and remain in the Knesset “unethical.”
Shay's associates responded that Telem was part of Blue and White in the last election, so he did not steal a mandate away from the party. They said that when MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who was raised in Montreal, left Telem for Blue and White, no one in Blue and White called it unethical.
Sources close to Shay said Wasserman Lande could have remained in the Knesset had one of Blue and White's ministers decided to quit for her via the Norwegian Law.
"If they really wanted to keep Wasserman Lande in the Knesset, they could have," the source close to Shay said.