Likud MK resigns from key panel in protest of restrictions on small businesses

Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar resigns from a Knesset committee that is charged with approving the government’s emergency orders in protest of the restrictions on small businesses during the current nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

In a letter to the coalition whip, Sa’ar also cites his opposition to “Big Coronavirus Lockdown” in his decision to resign from the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

The law, passed in July, limited Knesset oversight over the government’s emergency powers.

“During the previous meeting, I couldn’t support the restrictions on small businesses (with less than 10 employees) at a time when [indoor] gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. I also can’t do this in the future. Therefore, I no longer see any reason for my membership in the committee,” Sa’ar says.

Sa’ar is an internal Likud rival of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and last year unsuccessfully challenged the premier in the party’s leadership primaries.

His criticism of the restrictions on small businesses comes days after Likud Finance Minister Israel Katz criticized them, leading to a harsh clapback from Netanyahu.

Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, February 19, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

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