The Knesset members had lots of interesting questions for Netanyahu, like the one by Zionist Camp's Shelly Yachimovich about why Netanyahu claims that the gas has yet to be extracted when the Tamar reserve has been producing gas for two years now. Those who expected him to actually answer such questions were deluding themselves. Netanyahu had no intention of falling into such a trap with the cameras rolling.
Netanyahu overcame this hurdle by cobbling together a deal with the Shas chairman: Deri resigned as minister of economic affairs in exchange for heading the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the
On the other side of the debate were opposition Knesset members who oppose the gas deal, headed by some of the more combative female Knesset members: Yachimovich and Stav Shaffir from the Zionist Camp and Tamar Zandberg of Meretz. They came prepared with questions concerning the public interest and a request to disclose the kinds of pressure the gas tycoons used on the prime minister behind the scenes.
Opponents of the gas deal have presented significant arguments against it. They refer to it as the “great gas robbery” and claim that it is mired in corruption. Given this, the Supreme Court will play a major role in the public debate. It will receive petitions against the outline as soon as the minister of economic affairs — that is, Netanyahu — signs it. Once it reaches the Supreme Court, all the questions that Netanyahu avoided will be raised once more. Maybe then the public will finally be in a position to decide whether there is any truth to the claim that the government sold them out to the gas tycoons. A ruling in that spirit could reignite social protests.