Fighting lines drawn as coalition, opposition continue clashes over Knesset fate – The Times of Israel

The political battle will take place Monday in the Knesset as the coalition pushes forward with its effort to lull a parliament that has been snatched from its control amid long-running opposition efforts to bring former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu back to power.

Sitting in the middle of the noise, Yamina MK rebel Nir Orbach said Thursday that he would convene his Knesset committee in the House of Representatives next Monday, allowing a bill to dissolve the Knesset and call early elections to move the first of three full votes sooner rather than later. days. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is set to become prime minister during the transition period, replacing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Orbach’s refusal to move the law since he received preliminary support on Wednesday gave the opposition time to try to form a replacement government led by three-time indictee Netanyahu.

Yet despite Orbach’s announcement, opposition sources say they will continue to try to keep the Knesset on lifelong maintenance to allow more time to assemble a possible ruling coalition without going to new elections.

On Monday morning, Orbach announced that the start of the meeting would be delayed by 1.5 hours in another apparent attempt to delay the law.

If their long-running efforts to build a new coalition fail, the Knesset will close and new elections will be scheduled sometime in the fall, and current TV polls predict a possible stalemate from 2019, although Bennett could break it by joining a hard-line Netanyahu-led coalition. .

It has been a week since Bennett and Lapid announced that their conflicting minority coalition of big tents, divided by ideological divisions, can no longer hold power and will return voters to the polls for the fifth time in three and a half years.

Yamina MK Nir Orbach leads the meeting of the House of Representatives in the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 21, 2022 (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash90)

Reconciled with the dissolution and preferring elections to the possibility of a Likud-led government, most members of the coalition advocate the speedy death of the Knesset.

The offer to speed up the disintegration of the Knesset received a boost on Sunday as Orbach was convicted by the Knesset’s legal adviser, who said he could not unjustifiably delay a law that had won overwhelming support. The criticism came in response to complaints from the coalition, which had been informed a few days earlier that the law could not be removed from Orbach without undue delay.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and MK Boaz Toporovsky (right) during the Knesset debate, June 8, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

Acting coalition whip Boaz Toporovsky of Yesh Atid told the Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice on Sunday afternoon that Orbach had not yet announced a deadline for introducing the law.

“I have not yet received a response from the Speaker of the House Committee and I have certainly tried, given the dates and deadlines as part of the Knesset dispersal process,” Toporovsky said hours before Orbach scheduled a meeting.

Likud sources said the opposition still intends to “make it difficult” for the coalition not only to pass the dissolution law, but also to improve all other parts of the law it hoped to clean up before time runs out.

These include a law pushed through by the government on Sunday that would effectively ban Netanyahu or any other individual charged from serving as prime minister, and another that would set an eight-year term limit for the post, which was held by the Likud leader from 1996 to 1999 and again from 2009 to 2021.

The opposition has found itself in a unique position to have the teeth to stand behind its threats as it has been left without a majority in a series of defections from Bennett’s coalition in recent weeks. But despite defections and a large majority of right-wing MPs, Netanyahu’s legal situation and the burning of political bridges in the past have prevented him from luring the 61 members of the Knesset needed to support the alternative government he heads.

Coalition sources said they are exploring other options if Orbach continues to swallow the legislative wheels, including promoting the law directly through the Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice, which can propose laws on topics within its jurisdiction. The committee is led by MK Gilad Kariv from the coalition Labor Party.

However, the legal opinion of the Knesset on Sunday cast “great doubt” on the maneuver to create a precedent.

“The accepted interpretation of this section was that the committee could not promote the law on dispersal on its own behalf,” Knesset legal counsel Gur Blai testified at the committee’s hearing on the issue.

The trip would also take two days longer than if Orbach upgrades the bill, which could dissolve the Knesset in a few hours, although it will take more money by the end of the week for the bill to pass two committee reviews and three full votes in the Knesset.

Negotiations over the election date are still stalled, and talks have been suspended since Wednesday, due to mutual anger. Likuda faction president Yariv Levin, who is leading the negotiations for the opposition, was also diagnosed with COVID-19 two days later.

Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and faction president Yariv Levin (right) lead their party’s Knesset meeting on May 23, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

As a rare sign of courtesy among the parties, Likud sources close to the issue said the party is unlikely to block laws granting financial aid to small businesses affected by the Omicron variant coronavirus, as well as a law recognizing bereaved siblings of fallen soldiers.

Although elements of the opposition and Bennett’s Yamina party are actively working to create a new, immediate right-wing coalition, it is considered unlikely to successfully win the 61-MK threshold necessary to replace the government without new elections.

Last week, Home Secretary and decade-long Bennett’s political partner Ayelet Shaked said she would be willing to join a Likud-led coalition, although she has since focused her public statements on taking over the reins of Yamine if Bennett leaves politics.

Attention was also focused on the blue-and-white party of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Netanyahu’s former political partner, although Gantz says the former prime minister “spent [his] political merit ”with him.

New Hope was said to be in talks with Likud earlier this month, but reportedly cut off contact after the opposition successfully blocked the occasionally needed law to resume the application of Israeli law to settlers in the West Bank.

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