Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Likud-Yisrael Beytenu) explained on Thursday that the Governance Bill, which passed its first Knesset reading on Wednesday night, is good for Israelis because it will enable elected governments to plan things for the long-term.
"The Governance Bill will allow the government - any government elected by the people - to rule in favor of the citizens, especially with regard to long-term planning," he said.
"We are tired of politics that are made up of fragments of parties, extortionate MKs and plans that change every two years because of frequent elections,” added Shamir. “Yisrael Beytenu’s law, which states that the Cabinet will be made up of only 18 ministers and four deputy ministers and that the electoral threshold will be raised to 4%, will bring stability and efficient administration of government.”
He asked the members of the opposition who object to the law to reconsider. “Before criticizing the loss of democracy, try to sleep on it for a few nights,” suggested Shamir.
Members of Knesset who opposed the Governance Bill during Wednesday’s debate chose an unusual way to express their anger. Instead of continuing the passionate debate over the bill, they chose to use their three minutes on the Knesset podium to protest with silence.
In one amusing moment during the debate, hareidi-religious MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) turned to his Arab colleagues and expressed his support for their struggle against the bill – in Arabic.
MK Ahmed Tibi of Ra’am Ta’al later took the opportunity to repay MK Eichler in kind and thanked him for his support in Yiddish.
United Torah Judaism and the Arab parties Balad, Hadash and Ra'am Ta'al strongly opposed the bill, because it will make it harder for small factions to enter the Knesset.
In another, not so amusing moment, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid suspended an MK from his party, Adi Koll, after she decided to go with her conscience and abstain during the vote on the Governance Bill.
MK Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, spoke out in favor of the Governance Bill, declaring that it will “save Israeli democracy.”