The following is the list of Likud ministerial positions:
Moshe Ya’alon – Defense Minister
Yuval Steinitz – Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water
Yisrael Katz – Minsiter of Transportation and Intelligence Ministry
Ze’ev Elkin – Minister of Absorption
Yariv Levin – Minister of Tourism
Miri Regev – Culture and Sports Minister
Danny Danon – Science, Technology and Space Minister
Benny Begin – Either Strategic Affairs Minister or a Minister without Portfolio
Haim Katz – Minister of Welfare and Social Services
Ofir Akunis – Minister of Communications
Gila Gamliel – Minister of Senior Citizens
Silvan Shalom – offered the Interior Ministry, but Shalom hasn’t yet accepted it, as he wants the Foreign Ministry.
Gilad Erdan – Either Minister of Interior Security or Temporary Foreign Minister
Tzipi Hotovely – Deputy Foreign Minister
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has named three Likud Knesset Members as minister, but nine other posts remain vacant only a few hours before the scheduled launch of the new government at 7 p.m. (Noon EDT) Thursday.
The re-appointment of Moshe Ya’alon as Defense Minister is no surprise. He also will be the Deputy Prime Minister, taking Netanyahu’s place when he is out of the country. Ya’alon is a safe pick because he has not shown any ambition to become Prime Minister and is not one of those Likud members who cause Netanyahu trouble.
Yuval Steinitz, a close friend of Netanyahu and who was Minister of Strategic Affairs and Intelligence in the last government, will be Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. He also will be Netanyahu’s’ pivot for coordinating the campaign against nuclear Iran, one of Steinitz’s pet activities.
Yisrael Katz has been re-appointed as Transportation Minister and Intelligence Minister. Whether anyone likes him or not – he one of the old-guard party hacks – few question his outstanding work in expanding Israel’s railroad and highways.
Katz also will sit on the Security Cabinet
There are more Likud Knesset Members hungry for a ministry post than there are ministries.
Miri Regev, who was near the top in the Likud primaries, will most certainly receive a Cabinet post. Benny Begin, son of the late Prime Minister, will be a Minister without Portfolio.
Ofir Akunis officially will be Minister without Portfolio but in effect will head the Communications Ministry, a post that is Netanyahu keeping vacant.
Other Likud MKs in the running for other ministries are Tzipi Hotovely, Yariv Levin, Silvan Shalom, Gila Gamliel, Gilad Erdan, Ze’ev Elkin, Danny Danon and Chaim Katz.
Erdan has been a long-time nemesis to Netanyahu, and it is possible he will be left out of the Cabinet. He wanted to be Education Minister, but that post was given to Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett. Then he wanted to be Foreign Minister, but that is a non-starter. Netanyahu also refused Erdan’s request to be Public Security Minister of Interior Minister, posts which Netanyahu has reserved for others.
If Prime Minister Netanyahu can finish the puzzle by 7 p.m., the Knesset will meet in special session.
If not, there always is another day.
New elections are four years away, or maybe tomorrow.
In 2003, Likud MK Michael Gorlovsky double-voted in the Knesset. He voted once for himself, and once for the absent Likud MK Gilad Erdan. He lost his seat in the 2006 elections, and in 2007 received a suspended sentence and community service for the double-vote.
Also in 2003, Likud MK Yehiel Hazan double-voted – twice, in place of the absent Likud MK Inbal Gavrieli. After being accused, he then tried to tamper with the voting equipment, and was caught in the act on the Knesset’s camera. Hazan was convicted and sentenced to 4 months community service and a 6 month suspended prison sentence. He also lost his seat in the 2006 elections.
Yesterday, while voting on the expansion of the number of government ministers, the Knesset ran a voice vote.
After Knesset Secretary Yardena Miller-Horovit called out the name of Zionist Camp MK Xenia Svetlova to vote, you hear a male voice yell out in response, “in favor”.
Whoever called out was not on camera at the time, which was run live on the Knesset Channel.
There was some confusion at that point, as it was clear that Svetlova wasn’t present.
The secretary then said whoever voted in her place was not right, and a discussion ensued between her and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who said he will deal with it.
The Knesset secretary continued the discussion, “What’s this? Someone voted in her place. Someone’s impersonating. It’s as if he voted for her. Just, they shouldn’t attack Oren.” That reference was to current Likud MK Oren Hazan, the son of Yehiel Hazan, mentioned above.
After a discussion by Knesset officials and legal advisers, it was decided that the Knesset would not investigate and try to discover who attempted to vote in place of MK Svetlova.
They made their decision based on the MK was not being visually caught on camera, and it would be difficult to firmly identify him, even though there’s only around 15-20 possible suspects (most likely from the Opposition), and second, since it’s a brand new Knesset, it was decided that whoever did it, did so “in good faith”.
The Yesh Atid party — once a member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government — is now trying to tear it down.
Lapid’s left-centrist party submitted a petition to the High Court on Sunday asking for a temporary injunction against the cabinet approval of an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government, increasing the number of cabinet ministers from 18 to 20.
Yesh Atid was a member of the previous coalition but quit the government in a bitter feud just prior to an internal battle that led to Netanyahu finally disbanding the government altogether. The party is now sitting in the opposition and lost more than half of its support.
In its petition, it asked the Court to rule on the matter by 8 am Monday in order to prevent a “trampling of the rules of democracy day by day.”
The Knesset plenum was expected to vote on the expansion by Monday in order to enable the ministers to be sworn in by Wednesday.