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Fulfilling coalition demand, UTJ’s Gafni named chair of Knesset Finance Committee

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

The Knesset’s temporary Finance Committee approves United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni as its chair, after the Arrangements Committee responsible for creating the Knesset’s parliamentary panels put him forward.

Gafni was a long-time chair of the committee, but was ousted in 2021 when his party moved into the opposition. Returning him to the seat was one of UTJ’s coalition demands.

Putting Gafni forward, Arrangements Committee chair Likud MK Yoav Kisch says that he has previously worked under Gafni and “he does excellent work.”

Gafni takes over for former MK Alex Kushnir, who was edged out of the Knesset in the November 1 elections. Kushnir is a member of Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, which has worked to encourage ultra-Orthodox Israelis to join the workforce by cutting some of the allocations that previously funded their lifestyles.

“I can tell you that in the previous term, there was also a committee chairman who tried to work, but ran into a finance minister with a clear agenda to harm a certain sector. I hope that in the next government this will change completely,” Kisch says.

The temporary Finance Committee and temporary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee are the only impermanent panels required by law, alongside the Arrangements Committee. Once the Arrangements Committee finishes its work setting up Knesset committees, it will dissolve itself and the rest of the committees will be finalized.

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