Cabinet meeting devolves into screaming match

A-G tells Netanyahu attempt to appoint Justice Minister who is not approved by Gantz is illegal under coalition agreement.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Netanyahu and Gantz
Netanyahu and Gantz
צילום: דוברות הכנסת, יהונתן סמייה

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to hold a vote to appoint Likud MK Ofir Akunis as Justice Minister Tuesday.

Prior to the vote, Defense Minister Benny Gantz called for a vote on his candidacy for the justice portfolio. The Cabinet voted 17-10 not to appoint Gantz as Justice Minister.

Attorney Genral Avichai Mandelblit called Netanyahu's attempt to appoint Akunis illegal, as under the terms of the last coalition agreement Gantz must approve any appointee to the position.

The meeting devolved into a screaming match between the two sides.

Netanyahu said at the beginning of the meeting: "I would like to reach an agreed solution, take a deep breath and that I and the Minister of Defense will try to reach a compromise within 48 hours."

Gantz told Netanyahu: "There are false pretenses here. The agreement between the blocs stipulates that the Ministry of Justice belongs to the Blue and White bloc - I filled the post provisionally for 3 months and the basic assumption is that after 3 months a permanent minister would be appointed. The relevant government at the moment is the current government so the agreed solution is to appoint me."

"I'm the candidate of the Blue and White bloc for the Ministry of Justice, so we brought it to the government, that's my position. If you want to discuss it in two days there is no problem - but there will be no other decision whether it is convenient for you or not," Gantz said.

Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen wrote on Twitter following the meeting: “Anyone offered a rotation [of the premiership] by Likud and the prime minister should watch the conduct at the cabinet today closely, and ask himself how such a government would look and what the agreements [with Netanyahu] will be worth."