Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi vehemently protested the removal of UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni from his position as chairman of the Finance Committee on Wednesday, saying that he is one of the best Finance Committee chairmen in the history of the Knesset.
Gafni was temporarily replaced by Yisrael Beiteinu Alex Kushnir, finalizing Avigdor Lieberman’s plan to wield complete control over governmental funds. Leiberman is serving as Finance Minister, Yisrael Beiteinu MK Hemed Amar is serving as a minister in the Finance Ministry and Kushnir is serving as the Finance Committee chairman.
“Replacing Gafni with Kushnir is removing one of the best MKs and one of the best committee chairmen the Finance Committee ever had,” Tibi said during the discussion in a meeting of the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee.
“This shouldn’t be done to him. For the honor of the Knesset, it’s fitting that Gafni continue in his position until a permanent replacement is elected, as is customary in the Knesset.”
Tibi’s comments about Gafni were met with a round of applause from members of the opposition.
Gafni’s fellow UTJ member, MK Yaakov Asher, also protested the move, saying: “It’s unprecedented that a chairman is replaced by a temporary committee when the permanent committee will be established shortly. What’s the urgency to replace Gafni, who even during the past two weeks, when he knew his term was ending, came here day in and day out in order to pass laws, not for Chareidim or right-wingers, but for everyone, including compensation for business owners. You were at these discussions. A little respect!”
Likud MK Keti Shitrit said: “I ask forgiveness from HaRav Gafni, whom everyone thought would worry only about Chareidim, but you proved that you worked, without any bias, for the entire state of Israel.”
Tibi added: “Gafni, it can be said about you that you were the right person at the right time. You worked for all the sectors.”
Likud MK Nir Barkat said: “Gafni was a role model in many spheres.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)