Hanegbi paves way for Rosenblum to Knesset

Cosmetics queen Pnina Rosenblum will be sworn in to the Knesset next week as a Likud MK, replacing Minister-without-Portfolio Tzahi Hanegbi, who announced his resignation from the Knesset on Wednesday. Rosenblum was elected to the 39th slot on the Likud's list three years ago and has been waiting since then for one of the Likud's MKs to leave the Knesset. She has been on the cusp of entering the Knesset so many times that, when reporters informed her of Hanegbi's resignation, she decided not to get excited yet. "No one can congratulate me until I hear from the Knesset that it's official that Tzahi is leaving and I am in," Rosenblum told The Jerusalem Post. Rosenblum thought she was entering the Knesset three weeks ago when Likud MK Omri Sharon was indicted. There was also speculation about her joining the Knesset when other Likud MKs were under pressure to resign due to problems with the law. She also got her hopes up in 1999 when her Pnina Rosenblum Party nearly passed the voter threshold. The Knesset plenum does not meet until Monday, when Rosenblum will be in London at a business conference. If she is sworn in the following day, she would serve only nine days until the Knesset is formally dispersed on December 21. If Rosenblum serves in the Knesset for even a single day, however, her chances of getting reelected on the Likud slate would decrease significantly because she would not be allowed to run for slots reserved for candidates who have never been MKs. Rosenblum said three weeks ago that in such a scenario she would decide to join the Knesset and then run for reelection against the other Likud MKs and ministers. But on Wednesday she said she had not yet decided whether to enter the Knesset and whether to serve with Likud or Kadima. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's associates said they had no intention of asking Rosenblum to join Kadima. A senior Kadima official said even though she is a successful businesswoman, "We are building a list of respected professionals, so I don't think she would be a good fit."