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Photo: Reuters
Olmert. More power to Arab parties
Photo: Reuters
Kadima boosts Arab influence in Knesset
Ruling party to assign greater number of Arab MKs to major Knesset committees, in bid to ensure approval of future plan to withdraw from West Bank
The Kadima ruling party has already started acting to promote the future withdrawal from the West Bank, by removing potential obstacles that may work to impede the implementation of the plan. The Knesset's largest faction intends to do so by creating a majority of Arab
and left-wing Knesset members on the parliamentary committees that are set to vote on the convergence plan – the Economics Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

 

The Arab and left-wing MKs will be assigned to the committees on the expense of members of the Likud, Israel Our Home and the National Union-National Religious Party factions.

 

According to Knesset regulations, a party needs to have seven parliamentary mandates in order to receive automatic representation in these two important committees. In light of the problems the previous government encountered when trying to have the disengagement plan approved, the current cabinet decided to grant the Arab parties two seats in each of the committees, compared to only one seat they received during the last term.

 

Right-wing MKs were outraged with the decision, claiming that the Arab parties have been granted representation not proportional to their relative power in parliament. Worried that the proposed distribution will be approved by the Knesset's arranging committee, the rightist factions are trying to form a "plenum rebellion" that would take shape in constant interruptions during Knesset sessions, until the committees' distribution is changed.

 

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