MK Levy-Abecasis: Netanyahu is punishing me for not joining Likud

Levy-Abecasis says seeks position with focus on socioeconomic issues.

Orly Levy-Abecasis (photo credit: KNESSET)
Orly Levy-Abecasis
(photo credit: KNESSET)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blocking Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levy-Abecassis from taking on a significant position at the Knesset, the lawmaker claimed Sunday.
Levy-Abecassis cited a report in Yediot Aharonot that Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon was willing to give up the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee and have her be its chairwoman so that Yisrael Beytenu would join the coalition, but Netanyahu refused.
Kulanu denied the report, and Likud declined to comment on it or on Levy-Abecassis’s accusation.
According to Levy-Abecassis, Netanyahu does not want her to be chairwoman of the committee because she refused to move to Likud before this year’s election.
Levy-Abecassis’s father, David Levy, was foreign minister while in Likud from 1996-1998, and her brother, Jackie Levy, is a new Likud MK.
The Yisrael Beytenu MK took to Facebook to explain that she does not want a position of power or a ministry; rather, she wants a position where she can work on the socioeconomic issues in which she specialized in the last two Knessets.
Levy-Abecassis is second on Yisrael Beytenu’s list, but if the party joins the coalition, its two ministries – Foreign and Immigration Absorption – will go to party leader Avigdor Liberman and Sofa Landver, respectively.
“Unfortunately, I know with certainty that the prime minister instructed the Likud’s negotiating team to give up the leadership of this important committee, and I know that Kulanu did not insist on receiving it, but the same instructions from above said not to let me be appointed to its leadership,” she wrote.
Levy-Abecassis wrote that it is unfortunate that Netanyahu’s insistence “comes from irrelevant considerations and a kind of ‘punishment,’” because “there are public servants who are really trying to do the work for which they were elected, to serve the people and fight for the populations that need it most.
“I don’t know what they’re so afraid of, but I can promise that I won’t stop fighting for [the public], and the last word has not been said on this matter,” she concluded.