Likud MK Yaron Mazuz was a no-show in the Knesset plenum Wednesday, missing his own swearing-in as a deputy minister.
Mazuz, until last month the deputy to then-interior minister Silvan Shalom, lost the position when Shalom resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. By law, a minister’s resignation forces the resignation of the deputy.
The Interior Ministry got a new minister earlier this week in the person of Shas chairman MK Aryeh Deri. But Deri apparently did not want the Likud lawmaker restored as his deputy, preferring instead fellow Shas lawmaker Meshulam Nahari.
Instead of the Interior Ministry post, Mazuz was offered a deputy ministership in the Prime Minister’s Office, under his party’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, a post that has the disadvantage of not offering Mazuz any specific responsibilities or policy influence.
Mazuz is apparently protesting the appointment, according to sources, and in the process angered Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
On Wednesday morning, Edelstein presided over the plenum gathering in which three new deputy ministers were to be sworn in to their posts. (Hebrew video below.)
“MK Yaron Mazuz,” he called out, looked around, then continued, “is not here in the plenum. So, I don’t know the reason, but apparently the occasion isn’t important enough.”
He moved on to Nahari, who was sworn in as deputy interior minister.