MK Eli Cohen (Kulanu) was appointed to become the Minister of Economics while MK Ayoob Kara (Likud) was appointed to the position of minister without portfolio during a Knesset plenum vote that took place on Monday afternoon.
The two new minister were voted in by a vote of 45-33.
An elated Cohen outlined his plans for strengthening the economy, placing particular emphasis on attracting investment
“Advancing the economy and industry is a subject that is close to my heart,” Cohen said “I will work to strengthen the economic growth by increasing investment in industry, raising productivity, attracting investors and international companies to Israel, investing in and advancing education in technology and protecting the rights of workers who constitute the source of human capital crucial to development.”
Cohen went on to say that strong industry, competition and efficiency lay at the core of his ideals, “will enable fair employment and promotion of the workers and bring about the blooming of the economy.”
Leader of the Kulanu party, Moshe Kahlon, welcomed the nomination, exclaiming from the Knesset podium: “Eli gave up a lot in order to join Kulanu. When he hesitated I told him that the test of values and morals for a man, which I see in him, is to tell his grandchildren what he has done for his people and for his country.”
For their part, the opposition attacked the nomination of the minister without portfolio. Leader of the Yesh Atid party, MK Yair Lapid, asked ridiculed the title of minister without portfolio.
“What is a minister without portfolio?,” he rhetorically asked. “It is a person who has an office of a minister, a car of a minister, associates of a minister and the appointment of a minister but there is just one thing he doesn’t have—work. You come to the office and then you go home. It is sad that the government doesn’t even hide this. You don’t even recognize a sliver of shame in the Israeli government.”