Israeli Gov’t Rattled by Failure To Renew Application of Law to Settlers
In a new blow to the shaky center-right-left coalition government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, failed on Monday night to pass the first reading of a bill to renew the application of Israeli law to Israeli citizens living in the West Bank. Nay votes on the measure – which must be renewed every five years – from right-wing parties in the opposition were expected, not because parties like the Likud and Religious Zionism oppose the law in principle but because they have vowed to use every opportunity to bring down the government. But two members of Knesset from parties in the coalition – Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi and United Arab List MK Mazen Ghanaim – also voted against the bill. Three additional MKs from the United Arab List, along with Yamina rebel MK Idit Silman, absented themselves from the plenum rather than voting on the bill, which was ultimately defeated by a vote of 52 to 58. While the bill could still pass the three readings needed to make it law before the end of this month, the chances now seem slim.