The new legislation will benefit medium-sized parties like the settlers’ Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, while increasing the influence of big money on politics.
The Knesset approved today (Tuesday) several changes in its elections and governance laws. Among other things, the changes will make it more difficult to challenge the government in a vote of non-confidence, and set the threshold for entering the Knesset at 3.25 percent, or roughly four Knesset seats.
The legislation is a joint initiative by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and Avigdor Liberman’s Israel Beitenu (which united with Netanyahu’s Likud party prior to the last elections). The final vote in the Knesset passed by a 67-0 majority, with the entire opposition boycotting the vote to protest the coalition’s implementation of special procedural measures earlier this week.
The new law will mostly affect the three Palestinian parties, which usually win between 3-4 seats each. Hadash, the joint Arab-Jewish party, currently has four seats; the same goes for the United Arab List (a unification of three parties, including the Islamic Ta’al party). The secular Balad party, which currently has three seats, would not have made it into the Knesset under the new law. Prior to the last elections, Knesset members banned Balad MK Hanin Zoabi from participating in the elections, a decision that was later overruled by the Supreme Court.
Kadima, an opposition party that has two seats in the current Knesset, would not have not made it in as well under the new legislation.
The law might benefit medium-size parties like Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Shas and the settlers’ Jewish Home party, since they will not stand the risk of losing supporters to fringe parties, especially now that voters know that those factions are not likely to enter the Knesset. In the last elections, the settlers lost two seats because of an unsuccessful run by the far-right Otzma Le’Yisrael party, while Shas took a hit due to attempts by Rabbi Amsalem and Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak to run on...Read More