Knesset enters its winter session – it looks to be a stormy one

At faction meetings prior to the opening session, threats and insults were hurled.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

The 23rd Knesset’s Winter Session began on Monday. It was preceded by calls to bring down the Netanyahu government and warnings by the coalition’s main partner during factional meetings prior to the opening ceremonial session.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, who heads Yesh Atid-Telem, told his faction that whoever didn’t vote on Monday for a no-confidence motion in the Netanyahu government is a coward, Kan public broadcasting reported.

“This government is not qualified to lead the crisis. This prime minister has failed to manage the crisis. Anyone who knows this and does not vote no-confidence is simply a coward,” he said.

“Blue and white people know that this government has failed. One vote, in two hours, and tonight Netanyahu will no longer be prime minister. No elections, no mess,” he said.

“We will pass a budget. We will open the lockdown. There will be immediate compensation for businesses. We will return to the ‘Traffic Light’ layout, “said Lapid, referring to a system that separates areas according to the incidence of the disease.

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Avigdor Liberman, leader of the Israel Beiteinu party, told his members to support a bill he submitted that prevents an indicted Knesset member from running for prime minister. The bill, if passed, would prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from serving as the country’s leader as he faces indictment in three corruption cases.

Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White faction, warned its coalition partner, the Likud. that the gloves would be off in the next session.

“We were called traitors and we restrained ourselves. We were called weak and we restrained ourselves. We were told that a million and a half of our voters were a danger to the country and restrained ourselves. This episode is over and done with. There will be no more restraint, no more harm to the entire public who voted for us. There will be no silence in the face of harm to any public, “Gantz said

At the opening session, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Speaker Yair Lapid will speak.

The winter session is expected to go until the end of March 2021.