Binyamin Netanyahu at Foreign Ministry
Binyamin Netanyahu at Foreign Ministry Kobi Gideon/GPO

The controversial “expulsion bill” gained critical political support on Tuesday when Prime Minister Binamin Netanyahu promised to secure full coalition support to advance the legislation.

MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), chair of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, had cancelled discussion of the bill Tuesday morning following opposition from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud). Slomiansky demanded explicit coalition support for the bill before he would advance committee deliberations on the proposal.

Within hours, Edelstein retracted comments he had made pledging to prevent the bill from being passed into law.   

Netanyahu, who is currently on a state visit in Germany, called Slomiansky Tuesday afternoon, guaranteeing him that the Likud and other coalition partners would vote in favor of the bill. 

After Edelstein’s about-face and Netanyahu’s reassurances, Slomiansky stated that committee discussions on the bill would now proceed.

The bill in question would expand the grounds for expulsion from the Knesset to include expressions of support for terrorism, racism, or a member’s rejection of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. The legislation was proposed after three Arab MKs met with the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis, demanding they receive the bodies for burial.