Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday suspended the minister from a far-right party in the coalition government and from cabinet meetings “until further notice”.


Can the U.S. president suspend any government officials given a good enough reason? I was surprised that it was the Prime Minister himself who suspended, you would think that a democratic government would have a sort of committee to have the final words on this, is this something that's allowed in the U.S.? I am thinking it might be also true in the U.S. given that the official had committed an action terrible enough to warrant it.

  • 4
    Israel is a parliamentary democracy where ministers can be removed or appointed by the PM (actually the cabinet, usually in consultation with party leaders / coalition leaders).
    – sfxedit
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


Define "Government Official"....

In the US system the President is head of the executive. He can appoint to the cabinet (with the advice and consent of the senate) and he can remove (on his own authority) members of the executive. He can fire members of his cabinet on a whim.

He can suspend or fire other senior officials such as Ambassadors. But he doesn't (in general) suspend minor government employees, such as postal workers or national park rangers.

He can't appoint or suspend positions in the House or Senate. He can't remove the Speaker of the House, or the chair of a Senate committee.

The big difference is that in the US system, members of the Cabinet are explicitly not Representatives or Senators. In a Parliamentary system, members of the Cabinet must be Representatives or Senators (however these are named in a particular country)

I'm not sure how you imagine "democracy" to work. The Cabinet is "some sort of committee". It is chaired by the Prime Minister, and it is the Prime Minister acting as the head of the Cabinet who suspended a minister who had made an unacceptable comment in public.

  • On a related issue -- all these Presidential appointments require Senate confirmation. But AFAIK the Senate can't revoke their confirmation -- they can't fire an ambassador, cabinet member, etc.
    – Barmar
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 23:25
  • Or are they all subject to impeachment?
    – Barmar
    Commented Nov 9, 2023 at 23:25
  • usually members of a parliament are called MPs in English. On a separate note, Israel had a separate election for Prime Minister 1996-2001 (and the 1st time it was held, it was won by Netanyahu, whose party did not win the plurality of the parliament) before abandoning it. They toy with the idea of bringing it back sometimes.
    – wrod
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 3:51
  • "But he doesn't (in general) suspend minor government employees, such as postal workers or national park rangers." It isn't just that he doesn't, he can't. Political appointees have little authority to fire employees who are part of the civil service system without good cause which is a quite high bar. Some government employees (e.g. judges and employees of independent agencies) aren't even under his direct line authority to direct and control.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 4:52
  • @Barmar Basically all government employees are subject to impeachment, although in practice the process has been used very sparingly, mostly for judges who can't be removed from office by other means.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 4:53

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