New law would bring Litzman back to Health Ministry

Proposed law would allow Litzman to return to the Health Ministry as deputy minister under Netanyahu as in the past.

Chaim Lev ,

Yaakov Litzman
Yaakov Litzman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The Justice Ministry on Monday evening distributed a memorandum of a law that would allow MK Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) to serve as Deputy Health Minister with the authority of a minister, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will continue to hold the title of Health Minister.

Two years ago, following a petition by MK Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, the Supreme Court ruled that Litzman could not serve as Deputy Minister in the Health Ministry and that he must resign or be appointed as a full-time minister.

In the wake of that ruling, Litzman was appointed Minister of Health following the approval of United Torah Judaism’s Council of Torah Sages. United Torah Judaism has traditionally not accepted ministerial positions for ideological reasons.

At the time, Litzman poked fun at Lapid and said that he "probably thought the Council of Torah Sages would not allow me to be a minister. This is his only achievement in politics since he founded the Yesh Atid party. Not the economy, not security and not welfare. Only the fact that they added a few shekels to Litzman’s salary. Let him enjoy it.”

Litzman resigned from the government several weeks ago due to the conflict over railway construction work on Shabbat, but Netanyahu had expressed an interest in having him return to the post and the government is seeking to enact a law that will allow Litzman to return as Deputy Minister.

The memorandum published on Monday states that the law will determine that the powers of a minister could be delegated to his deputy.

However, the memorandum also states that delegation of powers will not detract from the authority and responsibility of the Prime Minister who is in charge of that particular ministry, and he would continue to be responsible for the conduct and implementation of the laws in his sphere of responsibility.

The memorandum also states that the deputy minister will not be a member of the government and of the ministerial committees.