Opposition Head and Labor party leader MK Yitzhak Herzog has agreed to provide the ruling Coalition with a temporary parliamentary safety net in order to allow it to take steps against MK Oren Hazan – but Herzog's rivals think this is not time for gentlemanly behavior.
Herzog agreed not to cooperate with Hazan in case he decides to vote against the Coalition on bills it seeks to pass. In case Hazan votes with the Opposition on such bills, one member of the Opposition will vote with the Coalition, thus cancelling out Hazan's vote.
All of this is meant to enable the Coalition and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to take steps against Hazan – like forbidding him from chairing Knesset sessions, despite his title of Deputy Speaker, as Edelstein has already done.
"In case steps need to be taken in the Hazan affair, the Opposition will allow a cancelling-out for MK Oren Hazan,” announced Herzog. “This is intended to enable the Kneset Speaker to fully take care of the affair without fearing a vote by Hazan against the Coalition, and to preserve the Knesset's dignity.”
However, Herzog's predecessor as Labor head and possible future rival for the party's leadership, MK Shelly Yechimovich, said Herzog was wrong to agree to the deal.
“It is a mistake to cancel out with the Likud,” said Yechimovich Tuesday. “He is a creation of the Likud. Netanyahu and Likud need to remain with the dishonor and the shame. There is no need for the Opposition to clean the ground for it. This is exactly the kind of case in which the Opposition must not lend a hand to the Coalition and save it from the stew it has cooked for itself.”
"This is not a matter of national security, not a critical diplomatic question, nor an item of social legislation for the welfare of the public,” she explained. “Too bad.”
MK Herzog responded on Twitter. “Why? Because when the Knesset Speaker asks to help preserve the Knesset's dignity, one helps him. Why? Because the public is embarrassed by the behavior of its elected officials. Why? Because it's not permanent but a short, responsible move.”
Herzog said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was not involved in the request to assist the Coalition.