- MKs Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) and Michal Rozin (Meretz) stormed out of a committee meeting on the “Arrangement Law”. Livni seemed legitimately upset, while Rozin took a more steady approach to her theatrics in contrast to her louder, pointier exit from the Knesset floor later in the week. The Ministry of Justice is trying to find alternatives to the law even as the committee is planning on voting on it this week with the goal of sending it back to the Knesset for its first reading. The law that nobody wants and nobody thinks will be enacted marches ever forward into the books.
- Recently, Israel purchased 3 submarines from Germany. The lawyer who helped to arrange the deal (David Shimron) happens to be Bibi’s personal lawyer, something which raised eyebrows regarding a possible conflict of interest. To add fuel to the scandal fire, Shimron is involved in a plan to move navy vessel maintenance to a private company. Shimron denied discussing any of this with the Prime Minister and passed a polygraph test regarding the matter. Bibi denied knowledge of any possible conflict of interest, saying that he purchased the submarines for strategic and economic reasons. He then went to his wall and adjusted his “Days Without a Scandal Counter” back to 0.
- A number of opposition politicians said that the incident is another example of Netanyahu’s corruption. In a number of sharply worded Facebook posts Meretz leader Zahava Galon wrote that the deal was made without former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s knowledge, without updating the head of the armed forces and against the will of the IDF and the Navy. She also implied that Ya’alon was fired by Bibi because of his opposition to the deal (citing sources near Ya’alon). That would all be really scandalous except that almost all of it has been denied by the relevant parties except for Ya’alon. Responsible facebooking! Good for the left and the right!
- The Attorney General has ordered that police look into the affair after receiving some unnamed information last Wednesday. However, the Knesset rejected a proposal to establish an investigative parliamentary committee pushed for by members of the opposition and Isaac Herzog, who happens to be an expert on sinking ships. The AG’s interest in the story suggests that there may be an actual scandal beyond the fantasies of Galon.
- Remember the whole Reshut v. Taagid fight for broadcasting things that few people watch or listen to? It is still causing problems between the Likud and Kulanu. No threats to collapse the coalition though.
- In a heartwarming back and forth, MK Meir Cohen announced that Yesh Atid would like to see Likud MK and Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan be appointed as Foreign Minister. See! Its not all bad between the opposition and the government!
The coalition still faces the Arrangement Law challenge if it wants to make it through this session. HaBayit HaYehudi could withhold votes for the budget bill if they don’t get what they (don’t really) want. Meanwhile, the submarine scandal is unlikely to have a major effect on future elections without something new coming out. What will happen? Tune in next week for another episode of How Close are we to Elections and who will Win!
Totally precise and not arbitrary election date: February 8, 2018
Runner Up: Yesh Atid
On another note (if you’re still with me) thanks for reading Kalpi! Last week was particularly good for readership and it feels great! I would really like to provide more content of better quality than I do now. In order to that, I need to start getting paid (don’t worry I’m not asking you for money…yet. The plan is to lull you into a false sense of security.). That said, if you like the blog, please give it a like and a share. If you haven’t given us a like on Facebook, here’s the link. If you have any thoughts about what you like or dislike, tips regarding Israeli politics, or content that you would like to see please use the contact page on the site to drop a line.
Have a great Monday! Can I interest you in a video of a cub with the sniffles?