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May 17, 2022 8:24 am
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Bennett’s Party Moves to Strip Defector of Committee Posts

avatar by i24 News

Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister-designate, speaks at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, during a special session whereby a confidence vote will be held to approve and swear-in a new coalition government, in Jerusalem June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

i24 News – Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett reportedly decided early Tuesday to remove defector Idit Silman from her positions on Knesset committees.

Silman, originally a member of Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party, resigned as coalition whip and joined the opposition last month, causing the coalition to lose its parliamentary majority.

Hoping to gain Silman’s support on key votes, Bennett and the Yamina party have been gentle with her, despite the blow to the government.

However, according to Hebrew media reports, the coalition informed the Knesset that it was stripping Silman of her committee posts, including chair of the Knesset Health Committee, The Times of Israel reported.

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The coalition is expected to nominate Knesset member Shirly Pinto, also of the Yamina party, to the Health Committee to replace Silman. Last week, Pinto gave several demands to Bennett, including taking Silman’s spot as committee head.

Bennett did not inform Yamina member Nir Orbach, the party’s Knesset faction chair, of the plan to remove Silman from the posts, according to the Walla news site. Orbach is the head of the Knesset House Committee, which approves the structure of parliamentary panels.

This announcement comes shortly after Bennett removed Silman from a Yamina faction meeting on Monday after she refused to commit to supporting the appointment of Matan Kahana as deputy minister or minister in the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Bennett reportedly asked his party how they intended to vote, and Silman said, “We’ll talk about it.”

The premier replied, “Aren’t you embarrassed to come here? I don’t understand, how does this reflect your party discipline?… You’re violating the party line,” according to ToI.

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