Rebel Likud MK Not Backing Down Ahead of Netanyahu Meeting

Miki Zohar
Likud MK Miki Zohar (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Likud MK Yifat Shasha-Biton was set to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss her future as chairwoman of the Knesset coronavirus oversight committee, where she has made headlines recently by countermanding some of the government’s health directives.

‏‏Coalition Whip Miki Zohar last week sent her a letter dismissing her from the position, but on Sunday he acknowledged that a compromise was in the works. Previously, he was quoted telling her that she had no future in the Likud.

“There is a time for war and a time for peace,” Zohar told Ynet. “It is correct that I am trying to find a compromise between MK Shasha-Biton and the prime minister. Obviously, this is better than removing her.”

Before the meeting, Shasha-Biton showed no signs of contrition for her independent stance.

“The Coronavirus Committee holds substantive, thorough and transparent discussions for the public and its interest,” she tweeted. “We listen to the government positions, to professionals, businesses and public representatives and appraise the issue while retaining the balance between health benefits and the social and economic damage of every decision. The figures have been, and will continue to be, the cornerstone of our decision making.”

“There are no personal considerations,” she added. “This is how I handled the discussions until now, and so long as I hold the role, I will continue [to work] according to these values.”

The Knesset House Committee, which handles such matters, has yet to formally approve the dismissal.