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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Oh my: Benny Begin quits government UPDATED

Likud MK Benny Begin is a rarity in Israeli politics: an honest politician. It's a sad commentary on both Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government's prospects for survival that Netanyahu has in essence forced Begin to resign from the government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Facebook post Friday that while he would “make every effort to incorporate MK Benny Begin into the cabinet later,” Likud’s coalition partners had objected to changing the agreed-on number of portfolios per faction, making it impossible to keep both Begin and Erdan.
Netanyahu’s Facebook post seemingly left Begin no choice but to announce his resignation from the cabinet.
“Over the past few days I have turned to my friends and partners, the heads of the coalition, with a personal request to leave our friend, Benny Begin, as an additional Likud minister in the government,” Netanyahu wrote. However, the coalition partners would not permit the number of ministers per faction to change and allow Likud to have 13 ministers.
Netanyahu, who effusively praised Begin in the post, also wrote that “there is not a shred of truth to the claim that he [Begin] said he would refuse to resign from the cabinet.” 
Begin was first appointed minister without portfolio, while Erdan, who was number two on the Likud Knesset list, remained outside the cabinet after turning down an offer to become public security minister. Erdan wanted the Foreign Ministry portfolio, which Netanyahu insists on holding himself, or a ministerial portfolio that included elements of both the interior and public security ministries.
When Erdan’s demands were not met, he refused to join the cabinet. However, last week Erdan agreed to become minister of public security, strategic affairs and public diplomacy.
Erdan’s appointment angered his fellow party member MK Zeev Elkin, who was initially given the strategic affairs portfolio along with immigrant absorption. He then demanded to be made Jerusalem affairs minister and threatened that, otherwise, he would absent himself from Knesset votes, which could put the coalition at risk considering its razor-thin majority (61-59).
Netanyahu subsequently had to break his commitment to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat that the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry would be abolished and its powers absorbed into the Prime Minister’s Office.
One MK having a temper tantrum is enough to bring down this government. Anyone want to take bets on how long it will last?


Get a load of these two tweets from JPost Knesset correspondent Lahav Harkov.
Until the next crisis....

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At 3:52 PM, Blogger Batya said...

Benny is honest in general, but he wasn't there to really work. He was added to the list to get Right votes from the old-timers.


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