MKs approve bill to dissolve the 22nd Knesset
MKs approve bill to dissolve the 22nd Knesset Gideon Sharon/Knesset spokesperson

The 22nd Knesset officially dissolved at midnight on Wednesday, after no MK was able to secure 61 signatures to form a government in the 21-day time period allotted for this.

Shortly after 3:00 a.m. early Thursday morning, the Knesset approved the second and third readings of the bill to dissolve the Knesset and move up the elections to the 23rd Knesset to March 2, 2020.

94 MKs voted in favor of the bill, with no votes against.

Earlier, the Knesset plenum approved the first reading of the bill dissolving the 22nd Knesset and the bill to advance the elections to the 23rd Knesset.

91 Knesset members supported the bill to dissolve the Knesset in its first reading and it passed without opponents and with no abstentions. 93 Knesset members supported the bill to advance the elections to the 23rd Knesset, and seven opposed.

The bills were then returned to the special committee that was established for their preparation, for further discussion and for preparation for their second and third readings.

MK Yair Lapid (Blue and White) was one of the first speakers to discuss the proposal. "Keep the children away from the television. There are elections, and those elections are going to be a festival of hate and violence and disgust. So make sure your kids aren't near the TV in the next three months, so they won't see what the elected officials are saying."

"What used to be the great celebration of democracy becomes the moment of embarrassment of this building. This election has only three reasons - bribery, fraud and breach of trust," Lapid said, in a reference to the indictments against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said that "if the public does not want to hear a discourse of hatred and polarization but demands that its representatives hear what their social goals are and not a personal discourse of the representatives - there is a solution to the crisis."

"How can we accept that disqualifying entire publics is a legitimate discourse? All that lies behind the dispersion of the 20th, 21st, and now 22nd Knesset is the desire to overthrow the prime minister. Some may have wanted to improve positions politically and electorally. We do not know what more elections will bring, but if we change the discourse, whether the public demands and wants to hear social, economic or political messages, if the public demands to know who has the experience and capabilities to lead the State of Israel, it can lead to a solution. Otherwise, we will return to the same point,” he added.

MK Yoaz Hendel (Blue and White) said that as a legislator he feels responsible for the failure of Israel being forced into elections for a third time.

"I stand here today and I want to tell you that I am in responsible, and if every one of the 120 Knesset members tell himself that he is responsible, then the fourth elections will be avoided," he said.

"We harmed public trust, Israeli democracy, the strength of society and we are going to another election. I say 'we' so that we do not hear the shouts about who is responsible and how much again and again. The upcoming elections are going to be ideology-free, there is no substantive political and economic debate that brings us to this election nor is this campaign about religion and state. So what are the elections about? About Netanyahu receiving an insufficient result for him to gain immunity,” Hendel concluded.