Israel’s Governing Coalition Survives No-Confidence Votes at Start of New Knesset Session
Israel’s diverse governing coalition survived a no-confidence challenge as the government returned to the Knesset in Jerusalem for the start of its summer session. The government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett survived a challenge on Monday afternoon from the opposition with support from the Joint Arab List party, which is a member of the opposition. The four lawmakers from the United Arab List-Ra’am, which is a member of the coalition, did not appear in the plenum for the session after it froze cooperation with the coalition over clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers on the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa compound. Yamina party lawmaker Idit Silman, who resigned from the coalition last month, also did not attend the session. Because of Silman’s resignation, the coalition no longer has a Knesset majority. A no-confidence measure put forward by the Likud party headed by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, garnered 52 votes in favor and 61 against; a separate motion by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party was defeated 52-56. Meanwhile, Joint List lawmaker Ahmed Tibi said on Tuesday that it will back a proposal to dissolve the Knesset that is likely to be voted on tomorrow, as reports have surfaced that the Joint List and Raam have discussed reuniting if new elections are called.