After right-wing members of the Knesset walked out of an overnight vote on the formation the crucial parliamentary Arrangements Committee, on Monday, March 24, center and left MKs pushed ahead with the creation of special oversight bodies, including one to monitor the handling of the COVID-19 crisis
Blue & White lawmaker Avi Nissenkorn will head up the Knesset’s Arrangements Committee which governs all parliamentary work between an election and the formation of a new government and which determines which parliamentary committees will be formed and who will sit on them. Its creation was approved by the Knesset overnight Monday by a vote of 61 to zero, with right-wing and religious lawmakers allied with Prime Minister Netanyahu boycotting the vote. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, was the only lawmaker to abstain.
The Arrangements Committee subsequently decided the composition of six, 15-member committees: The Coronavirus Committee, to be headed by MK Ofer Shelah (Blue & White); The Committee to Reduce Crime and Violence in the Arab Sector, to be headed by Mansour Abbas (Joint List – Ra’am); the Special Committee to Prepare the Education System and Special Education for the Next School Year, to be chaired by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Labor-Meretz); a temporary Finance Committee, to be chaired by MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu); a temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, to be headed up by Blue & White co-leader Gabi Ashkenazi. The Special Committee for Labor and Welfare, to be chaired by Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash).
MK Aida Touma-Sliman, 55, is leading member of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash. In June 2015 she was elected unanimously to head the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. Touma-Sliman studied psychology and Arabic literature at the University of Haifa and was the founder of Women against Violence, the first Arab feminist group against domestic violence. She also served as editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad, the CPI’s daily Arabic-language newspaper.