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Israel Cabinet & Ministers:
Thirty-Third Government

(March 18, 2013 - Present)


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After a little over one year of gridlock and bickering, on December 2 2014 Prime Minister Netanyahu fired his Minister of Finance Yair Lapid and his Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni and on December 3 called for new elections as soon as possible.  New elections will be held on March 17 2015.  In a televised speech on Tuesday December 2 Netanyahu stated that "frequent elections are not a good thing, but a government with no governability that includes ministers who are working against it from the inside, is much worse."  Offering scathing criticism of Lapid and Livni and stating that they "harshly attacked" him, Netanyahu claimed that from the very begining that this "was a contrarian government" that was "forced on [him]." 

The cabinet disagreed over controversial topics such as the defense budget, a tax break for first time home-buyers and new settlements.  After long negotiations a state budget that left neither side satisfied was approved on September 24, 2014, deepening the rift between Netanyahu and Lapid.  The announcement by Netanyahu of new settlement construction immediately following Operation Protective Edge was criticized by Livni, who considers the settlements as "a burden," and the cause for the failure of peace talks. 

Perhaps the principal catalyst of the dissolution of the 33rd government was Netanyahu's controversial 2014 Jewish nation-state bill, which among other things would have removed Arabic as one of Israel's official languages. The bill was opposed by Livni and Lapidbut approved by the rest of the cabinet.  Livni and Lapid, along with international critics argued that enshrining in law Israel's place as a Jewish state would have discriminatory consequences for Israel's Arab citizens who comprise 20% of Israel's population.   Former Israeli President Shimon Peres stated that this bill would "destroy Israel’s democratic status at home and abroad." As of January 2015 the bill has been introduced to the Knesset by MK Avi Ditcher of the Kadima Party, but it is still in it's very early stages and has not yet had a preliminary reading. 

On December 3 after a preliminary reading, the Knesset approved a measure that disolved the Knesset.  This legislation gives the Knesset three to five months to prepare for new elections, scheduled for March 17 2015.  The Knesset officially voted to disolve itself on Monday December 8. 

Tzipi Livni and her Hatnuah party joined forces with Issac Herzog and the Labor party to run on a joint ticket in the March 2015 elections.  The two leaders agreed on a rotation system, should they be victorious, in which Herzog would serve as Prime Minister for the first two years of the term, followed by Livni


HEAD OF STATE

Shimon Peres - President

MINISTERS

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister;
Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Minister of Public Affairs
Moshe Ya'alon Minister of Defense
Yair Lapid Minister of Finance
Shai Piron Minister of Education
Gideon Sa'ar Minister of the Interior

 

 

 



Naftali Bennet Minister of Trade, Industry & Labor;
Minister of Religious Services;
Minister for Jerusalem & Diaspora Affairs
Tzipi Livni Minister of Justice
Yael German Minister of Health
Yisrael Katz Minister of Transportation, National Infrastructures & Road Safety
Gilad Erdan Minister of Communications & Home Front Protection
Silvan Shalom Minister of Regional Development;
Minister of Water & Energy Resources
Uri Ariel Minister of Housing & Construction
Yuval Steinitz Minister for Strategic & Intelligence Affairs responsible for International Relations
Uri Orbach Minister for Pensioners Affairs
Meir Cohen Minister of Welfare & Social Affairs
Yaakov Peri Minister of Science & Technology
Sofa Landver Minister of Immigration Absorption
Uzi Landau Minister of Tourism
Yair Shamir Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development
Yitzhak Aharonovitch Minister of Public Security
Amir Peretz Labor Minister of Environmental Protection
Limor Livnat Minister of Culture and Sport

DEPUTY MINISTERS

Eli Ben-Dahan Deputy Minister for Religious Affairs
Mickey Levy Deputy Minister of Finance
Danny Danon Deputy Minister of Defense
Ofir Akunis Likud Deputy Minister in the Prime Ministers Office
Tzipi Hotovely Likud Deputy Minister of Transportation, National Infrastructures & Road Safety
Fania Kirshenbaum Yisrael Beiteinu Deputy Minister of the Interior
Avi Wortzman Habayit Hayehudi Deputy Minister of Education
Zeev Elkin Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

Yuli Edelstein
Speaker of the Knesset
Asher Dan Grunis
President of the Supreme Court 
Yosef Shapira
State Comptroller and Ombudsman
Stanley Fischer
Governor of the Bank of Israel
Benny Gantz
IDF Chief of General Staff
Yehuda Weinstein
Attorney General
Shlomo Amar
Sephardi Chief Rabbi
Yona Metzger
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry, Haaretz (December 3 2014)

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