Mar 22, 2015

The only position Gafni can take

coalition negotiations are already in relatively high gear. Moshe Kahlon is demanding the FInance Ministry and the head of the Knesset Finance Committee. Kahlon says he needs both in order to ensure that he can effect the reforms he is planning.

The clash here is that UTJ's Moshe Gafni wants that position, head of the Knesset Finance Committee, for himself. When asked about the possibility that he won't get the position, Gafni responded, "let's not get dramatic...they understand there is nothing else for us to take".

UTJ deserves their fair share of appointments and authority in exchange for joining the coalition. I don't know enough to say what I think they deserve and what they do not deserve. And, by all accounts, Gafni has done a good job in the past when he held the position of head of the Knesset Finance Committee, and I have no doubt he would do a good job again if he were to receive that appointment.

I also think it is not a great idea to give the position to Kahlon in addition to the Finance Ministry. The government already has almost no checks and balances. That is just the way the system works. It is the appointments in the committees that provide some sort of minimal checks and balances. Giving the Finance Committee to Kahlon would get rid of even the most minimal checks and balances and make Kahlon practically free to do whatever he wants.

However, I question why this position is so important to Gafni? Why does Gafni think there is nothing else for him to take - only the Finance Committee? Gafni's community suffers from a severe crisis in the housing realm - why not take a position that can be influential in that regard - Minister or Deputy Minister of Housing, or head of the Housing and Construction Committee? What about welfare - ministry of committee? What about Ministry of Religion? something else?

Again, I am not saying what he should get, and head of Finance Committee is fine by me, but why is that the only option? There are plenty of other offices that should hold interest to UTJ.

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  1. My understanding of this is, when a law is passed the money to fund it the goes thru the Finance committee.
    So a law can pass and the chairman can drag his feet as to when to put it on the agenda to fund it. This sets up a scenario where the chairman can horse trade for his pet legislation to help get it voted into law. Almost 10 yrs ago I heard a Charedi politician explain it as a way to help them pass their pet legislation.

  2. You can ask the same questions about Deri and Shas. How does being The שר הדתות help the שקופים? Why not be שר התמת or something similar?

    1. 1. I did a few days ago
      2. my question here is specific to Gafni. They can all want and demand appointments, and some they might get, and others might get rejected with alternatives offered. Deri can want to be sar hapnim, and Litzman can want to be sar habriut. no problem. Gafni here said the only thing they can possibly take is head of finance committee. nothing else is appropriate. my question is why not? why is only this appropriate.


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