Likud and Habayit Hayehudi sign deal

Deal stipulates modification to law which will lead to 2 Ethiopian-born Israelis entering Knesset.

Einat Wilf 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Einat Wilf 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A day after the Labor Party convention voted to join the next government, that coalition continued to take shape on Wednesday as the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi signed a deal, bringing the number of MKs in the coalition to 69. In an effort to resolve a dispute within Habayit Hayehudi, the Likud agreed to legislate a modified version of the "Norwegian Law" - by which all ministers quit the Knesset and allow the next candidates on their party lists to enter, but they can return to the parliament if they quit the cabinet. The Likud agreed to legislate a bill allowing every faction in the coalition to have one minister quit and at least temporarily be replaced by the next name on their list. According to the agreement, Habayit Hayehudi head Prof. Daniel Herschkowitz, a mathematician at the Israel Institute of Technology-Technion, will become science minister. Habayit Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev will chair the Knesset Committee for the Welfare of the Child for a third of the government's term and the Knesset Education Committee for another third. Herschkowitz will head a ministerial committee for helping Gaza Strip evacuees and the Sela Disengagement Authority will be under his jurisdiction instead of the Prime Minister's Office. The National Service Authority, which was under former minister-without-portfolio Ami Ayalon, will also be under Herschkowitz's control. If the Norwegian Law is approved, Ethiopian-born Israelis on both the Likud and Shas lists will be promoted to the Knesset when, as expected, a minister from each faction gives up their place in the legislature. The new Likud legislator will be Aleli Admasu, from Rishon Lezion, while the Shas MK will be former lawmaker Mazor Bayana, from Beersheba. Strategic consultant and Harvard graduate Einat Wilf, from Tel Aviv, would enter the Knesset on behalf of Labor. In Israel Beiteinu, Yitzhak Slavin, a social worker from Kiryat Gat, will become an MK. A critic of Herschkowitz in Habayit Hayehudi mocked him for accepting a deal that the critic said would not advance religious Zionism. He questioned how holding the Science Ministry would advance the party's causes and said that if he were offered the deal, he would not have accepted it.