Photo Credit: MK Eitan Ginzburg's Facebook page
MK Eitan Ginzburg

The Knesset plenum on Wednesday continued a series of marathon debates on some 9,000 objections to Basic Law Proposal: The Government (Amendment – Alternating Government) and a proposed amendment to the Political Parties (Financing) Law. The proposed legislative amendments are designed to allow the coalition agreement between the Likud and Blue and White parliamentary groups to be implemented. Voting on the bills in their second and third (final) readings was set to begin at 4 pm.

The bill to amend the basic law deals with the structure of the rotation government, defining it as an equal government, in which both blocs that will make up the coalition will have an equal number of ministers and deputy ministers. The bill further deals with the swearing-in of the prime minister and the alternate prime minister as soon as the government is established, the date on which the transfer of power between the incumbent prime minister and the alternate prime minister shall take place, and the daily conduct of the said government.


The proposed amendment to the Political Parties (Financing) Law is meant to allow the Derech Eretz faction, which is expected to join the coalition, to receive funding for its activities.

MK Eitan Ginzburg (Blue&White), who initiated the legislation, said at the opening the debate on Tuesday: “The bills presented before you were submitted by members of Knesset who represent most of the house’s parliamentary groups and a very large majority of Knesset members who wish to enshrine in law the ability to form a unity government based on the principle of rotation; an equal government that is based on a partnership between both blocs – the Likud bloc and the Blue and White bloc, which will now have to work together to reach broad agreements within the government, in order to act and function as an effective and stable government for the State of Israel.”

“We are not changing the system of government in Israel,” MK Ginzburg said. “The system of government in Israel was and remains a democratic system, there is no disputing that. It is stable, it is strong.”

Israel, MK Ginzburg told the plenum, “is a parliamentary democracy, despite the claims of some Knesset members, and that is not going to change. On the contrary, we are going to strengthen it and anchor it.”

“The two bills seek to stabilize the system of government in Israel, in a way that will provide a response to the difficult experience (we had) over the past year – the most severe governmental crisis we have known since the state’s inception. The bills seek to put an end to a difficult situation and allow the establishment of a new government in Israel, to get the country out of the governmental standstill we are in.”

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid-Telem) said: “When you go to elections in the name of principles, you either lose or win. You don’t replace your principles if you lose. You certainly don’t replace them if you win. This is not an emergency government. Last night the prime minister, in his own voice, at a press conference, announced that we are already on the way out of the emergency situation. He killed the excuse for establishing this government. This is not a government, it’s an unemployment office. A corrupt celebration of jobs under the auspices of the corona. In Germany there are 16 ministers, in Japan 11, in Holland 16, in Singapore 15, in Austria 15. Here they will be building the largest table in the history of Israel’s governments. This is the essence of the law that is placed here before you.”

“This is not a government. It’s a deal. (When dealing with corruption) one cannot ‘fight from the inside.’ If you’re in, you’re a part of it. You cannot stop being an honest person for a year and a half and then go back. There is nowhere to go back to,” said MK Lapid. “This is not what an emergency government looks like. In an emergency government, everything we have, every shekel, should be dedicated to one cause: saving the economy. Instead, the money of the unemployed will buy you unnecessary jobs. The gavel you are holding, Mr. Speaker of the Knesset (Blue & White Chairman MK Benny Gantz), is not the gavel of a speaker of the Knesset. It is the gavel of an auctioneer at a liquidation sale. The first law of the jungle is that there are no laws. This law turns our basic laws into the first law of the jungle: There is no protection for the rights of the minority, there is no tradition. Whoever has power does as he pleases.”


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