MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Uri Maklev has been serving in Knesset for 11 years, and now, it appears he may become a cabinet minister. According to a BeChadrei Chareidim report, the chareidi party is seeking a cabinet post be given to Maklev.
The reason for this at present is that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week, coinciding with the Gregorian New Year, must relinquish control over a number of ministries, including health, social welfare, agriculture and diaspora affairs. Degel Hatorah now feels that Maklev should be among those to receive one of the cabinet appointments in the transition government. This would be in addition to appointing Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman to the position of Health Minister.
Shas is also seeking additional cabinet posts in light of recent cabinet appointments in Likud and the dati leumi parties.
The report states that at present, Mr. Netanyahu opposes appointing Maklev to a cabinet post but is willing to make him a deputy minister. He is offering Maklev Deputy Minister of Social Welfare with ministerial authority, as is the case to date regarding the Ministry of Health and Deputy Minister Litzman, who also maintains ministerial authority.
However, this arrangement is no longer permissible, and one may only be a deputy minister or minister, but not a deputy minister with ministerial authority, without a minister overseeing a ministry. What is being offered as an alternative is to give the Social Welfare Ministry to one of the senior ministers today, Foreign Minister (Likud) Yisrael Katz or Defense Minister (New Right) Naftali Bennet and making Maklev the deputy minister rather than to appoint a new minister entirely.
At present, it remains to be seen if additional cabinet ministers will be appointed or more likely, the current ministers will receive additional portfolios towards preventing the need to add cabinet ministers around the cabinet table.
According to the BeChadrei report, quoting Degel Hatorah Chairman, MK Moshe Gafne, the party has requested a cabinet post on numerous occasions, and this time around, he does not plan to give in.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)