Knesset to disband by next Wednesday, coalition source says

Written by on June 21, 2022

Coalition whip MK Boaz Toporovsky (Yesh Atid) and New Hope faction leader MK Sharren Haskel met with the Knesset Speaker’s Committee on Tuesday morning in order to ensure that the proposal to dissolve the Knesset will be inserted into Wednesday’s plenum schedule.

The Likud bill for the Knesset’s dissolution brought forward by MK Shlomo Karhi is already scheduled to reach the plenum floor on Wednesday as well, but the coalition will attempt to block it so as not to enable the Likud to take credit for the Knesset’s fall.  

Bill proposals by MKs need to be approved in an initial vote before passing the standard three votes on the Knesset floor.

The coalition hopes to pass the initial vote on Wednesday. According to Knesset procedure, the bill will then go to the Knesset Committee headed by MK Nir Orbach. Since Orbach quit the coalition, he may attempt to stall the vote in order to give the Likud a chance to attempt to form an alternative government without going to elections.

Therefore, the coalition may attempt to replace Orbach as head of the committee. Orbach himself may not put up much of a fight, since if he does he may be endangering himself and running the risk of being declared an official deserter of the party, and will then be barred from running in any of the current Knesset factions in the coming election, according to a source from Yamina.

MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman talk during a vote on the ”Flag Bill” at the Knesset on June 1, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

If all goes well, the coalition hopes to pass all three votes on the Knesset floor by next Wednesday.

The coalition is also debating whether to attempt to “clean the table” and pass all of its current bills that are ready for second and third readings. This will both ensure that efforts to push the bills this far would not be wasted and give the coalition factions a number of achievements that they can then use for their upcoming campaigns.

However, the slew of votes will take up precious plenum floor time and allow the opposition to use it to attack the coalition.

Alternate right-wing government

The opposition is still attempting to form an alternate government headed by MK Benjamin Netanyahu.

This would include the Likud, United Torah Judaism (UTJ), Blue and White, New Hope and Yamina, UTJ MK Uri Makleb said on Army Radio on Tuesday morning.  

UTJ would not oppose Blue and White head and Defense Minister Benny Gantz becoming prime minister in such a scenario, Makleb added.

However, the chances of this happening are very low as no New Hope or Blue and White members have indicated at any point that they would be willing to do so, according to a coalition source.

Netanyahu said on Monday night that he had tried to initiate such a move but that it was blocked by coalition MKs, who he accused of hypocrisy as they did agree to sit with Ra’am (United Arab List) and essentially chose an Arab party over a Zionist one. 

The opposition leader added that he would not permit Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas in a Likud-led coalition.

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