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Likud maintains boycott of the Knesset as Israeli political crisis drags on

Israel MK key to forming unity government refuses to open Knesset

March 24, 2020 at 10:51 am

The Likud party and its allies “will continue to not participate in the proceedings of the Knesset and its committees on Tuesday”, reported The Jerusalem Post, “to protest Blue and White’s decision to form the committees without coordination with the Likud’s bloc”.

Late on Monday night, the Knesset Arrangements Committee, headed by Blue and White faction chair Avi Nissenkorn, approved the establishment of six interim committees.

The important Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee will now be led by MK Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White), the Finance Committee by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), a special Coronavirus Committee led by MK Ofer Shelah (Blue and White), and a Committee to Prepare the Education System and Special Education for the Next School Year led by Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz.

“Trampling traditions in the Knesset that there have been from the beginning, they gave themselves the chairmanship and a majority on every committee”, declared a Likud spokesperson in response.

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“The nationalist camp’s 58 MKs will not participate or give a hand to this anti-democratic behaviour”, they added. “We will continue to struggle against this bullying on behalf of the citizens of Israel”.

Nissenkorn, however, argued that “it is precisely during these difficult times that it is so important to have a functioning Knesset to maintain stability among the citizens and to preserve Israeli democracy, which is in real danger”.

“The initiatives we are taking today will allow the Knesset to begin work again tomorrow, first and foremost by helping the country deal with the corona crisis”, he added.

Nissenkorn wrote Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) asking for the Knesset plenum – which reconvenes at 4pm on Tuesday – to approve the four special committees.