Netanyahu Breaches Regulations by Dodging Opposition Questions in Knesset

Lawmakers requested prime minister’s attendance on January 9 but his office asked for postponement; new date set for January 30.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the weekly cabinet meeting, January 22, 2017.
Ronen Zvulun/Pool via AP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu breached regulations earlier this month when he failed to appear in front of fellow lawmakers, despite being summoned by the opposition to answer questions in the Knesset.

According to the rules, the premier or another minister must appear on the date they are summoned. The opposition called Netanyahu to appear on January 9, providing him with two weeks’ notice. However, the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu could not attend and asked for a postponement, which the regulations do not allow.

In response to a letter from opposition coordinator MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union), Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon criticized Netanyahu for not appearing, but nevertheless permitted a postponement until January 30.

The prime minister’s bureau said there had been a misunderstanding about the date.

Michaeli said in response: “The prime minister’s attempts to escape his duty to answer lawmakers’ questions were unsuccessful. It’s good that the Knesset legal adviser put him in his place, and that Netanyahu will arrive in a week to give us answers.”