Coalition ‘flees’ as opposition wins 13 votes at Knesset

Opposition presented 13 bills and won all of the votes.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israel’s opposition parties were successful in passing a mass of 13 bills at the Knesset’s plenum on Wednesday, a significant blow to the morale of Naftali Bennett’s unstable coalition.

Following infighting between the governing coalition’s factions and announcements of boycott and counter-boycotts, the coalition told its members not to attend voting on the bills, as it did not have the required majority to control the room. Similarly, the coalition again decided to withdraw its motions after it realized it would not obtain a majority.

The members of the opposition presented 13 privates bills and won all of the votes.

The bills called for the increasing of the child allowance given by the National Social Security Agency and discounts on property tax for large families, the prohibition against impersonating a kindergarten teacher, the obligation to keep epinephrine in restaurants, and similar bills. All passed in their first reading but will probably not become law.

The coalition has a very slim majority, and any protest action by even one of its members undermines its ability to act. It has lost votes in recent weeks and has failed to pass legislation for at least three consecutive weeks.

This development is less of an achievement for the opposition and more of a crushing defeat to the coalition, which has been in shambles in recent days. Such a landslide defeat for the coalition has not occurred in recent memory.

The chairman of the Likud faction and the opposition’s whip MK Yariv Levin stated in response to “the coalition’s escape from the plenum” that “today, two clear facts were established in the Knesset – the opposition is the one that controls the plenum, and Israel has no government.”

“The worst prime minister [Bennett] in the country’s history has failed for the third week in a row to take control of his senior ministers. This is not what leadership looks like. This is what bankruptcy looks like. This government needs to move out of the world. We will continue to do everything that happens, and it will happen,” he stated.

The governing coalition’s disarray stems from Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s threat to topple the coalition if the Knesset doesn’t approve salary and pension increases for career soldiers. Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli staunchly opposes the bill.

World Israel News staff contributed to this report.