Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday named Minister Yariv Levin as his representative in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, giving him the right to veto any processes promoted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Levin, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, entered his dual position Sunday as Public Security Minister and Tourism Minister.
A reading of the coalition agreement reveals a special arrangement aimed at preventing Shaked from taking full control of the ministerial committee, the body charged with determining which laws the coalition will promote and which it will stop.
The Likud had tried to limit Shaked’s power during negotiations over her demand for the justice ministry, fearing that she would try to delay laws that the prime minister was interested in advancing, or that she would try to promote various legislative initiatives subject to disagreement behind Netanyahu’s back.
The coalition stipulated that Netanyahu would choose a deputy to stand in for Shaked, and that the agenda for the committee meetings would have to be made in complete coordination with him.
Levin holds similar legal stances to Shaked in the fight to weaken the Supreme Court and advance legislation to improve the status of settlements. In practice, Levin is likely to find himself putting the brakes on laws that he himself supports, so as not to thrust the prime minister into confrontation with the Israeli court system of with the international community.
At the first Likud faction meeting since the establishment of the cabinet, Netanyahu told lawmakers from his party that “matters of state” would take precedence in the next in the next government.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. Matters of state will come before all else. There are constant attempts to challenge our borders. We have red lines and we will preserve them,” Netanyahu said.
“Simultaneously, we are dealing with all domestic matters of state, including welfare. The fact that the rate of unemployment in Israel is among the lowest in the world does not mean that we do not have to deal with incidents such as the [layoff at the Israel Chemicals company] in Dimona,” he added. The Israeli public has given us a great privilege. We will fulfill this responsibility with seriousness and surprises.”