Daily Israel Report

PM Considering Yuval Steinitz for Knesset Speaker

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering entering current Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in the race for Speaker of the Knesset.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 3/13/2013, 8:45 AM

Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is weighing the option of entering current Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in the race for Speaker of the Knesset.

According to a report published Wednesday in the Hebrew-language Yisrael Hayom daily newspaper, Netanyahu and Steinitz recently discussed the idea, but came to no conclusion.

Sources close to Steinitz said he would prefer a ministerial position, but has not ruled out the possibility of taking the post as Speaker instead.

Steinitz is slated to lose his current position due to the changing face of the coalition government. It is likely that Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid will take the post instead.

Steinitz, born in 1958 on Moshav Ramot HaShavim, earned his doctorate in philosophy at Tel Aviv University and continued post-doctorate research at University of Haifa, working there as a lecturer and publishing articles on military strategy, until entering the Knesset in 1999.

Currently the Speaker of the Knesset is Likud MK Reuven Rivlin, who has served in the post since February 2003 and has since been re-elected to the position in 2006 and in 2009, when he won with a majority of 90 out of 120 votes.

Rivlin ran as a candidate for president in 2007 but dropped out of the election when it became clear that current President Shimon Peres had enough support to win any run-off.  Rivlin, born in Jerusalem in 1939, is a direct descendant of students of the Vilna Gaon. He is an attorney with a degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.