In first defeat for Israeli government, opposition passes first bill at Knesset

The opposition in the Knesset passed a bill Wednesday in a political maneuver that delivered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government its first legislative defeat.

The bill was put forth by Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharrar and seeks to limit debt collection to the city where the debtor resides. Forty-six MKs voted in favor and 45 voted against the bill.

The maneuver was the result of a cooperative effort by MKs Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union), Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) and Ahmad Tibi (Joint List). In order to “daze” the coalition, opposition MKs intentionally lost the vote on a previous bill – and gave the impression of an undisciplined opposition by stepping out of the plenum. A few seconds before the electronic vote on the Yesh Atid bill, the MKs rushed back in and voted.  

 “Again, a surprise for the prime minister,” opposition chairman Isaac Herzog tweeted, calling Wednesday’s vote “a surprising parliamentary move.”


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