Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at the Knesset

Walking on eggshells, the coalition hopes to weather the winter

Analysis: Coalition members brace themselves as Knesset goes into its winter session, and with six whole months of uninterrupted legislative work, lawmakers are bound to find themselves on a collision course on almost every issue

Moran Azulay |
Published: 10.04.21, 21:33
The opening of Knesset's winter session is always a tortuous event but when it comes to the current government, it gets more complicated manyfold.
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  • Unlike the summer session, which only lasts seven weeks, winter in parliament is long — six whole months of uninterrupted legislative work which usually leads to regular confrontations and puts lawmakers on a collision course.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    יאיר לפיד ונפתלי בנט במליאת הכנסת
    יאיר לפיד ונפתלי בנט במליאת הכנסת
    Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid at the Knesset
    (Photo: AFP)
    That is also why the coalition finds itself on the back foot. Its leaders realize that the situation is already very delicate. And if the short summer session saw some very important votes fail to go through, major bills being struck down and relative paralysis in several fields — the challenging winter session is only expected to further intensify what we've seen so far.
    One of the significant hurdles the government must overcome is the soaring violence and crime rates in the Arab sector.
    Recurring murders and other serious crimes among Arab citizens, alongside a general feeling of loss of governance that has lingered from the days of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule, put the current government in a tight spot.

    2 צפייה בגלריה
    מנסור עבאס ויאיר לפיד במליאת הכנסת
    מנסור עבאס ויאיר לפיד במליאת הכנסת
    Mansour Abbas shakes hands with Yair Lapid at the Knesset Winter Assembly opening
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    The pressure on Ra'am Chairman Mansour Abbas from his constituents to present some accomplishments is mounting by the day. The same also applies to Meretz and if we won't see an immediate and fundamental shift in regards to crime and violence in the Arab sector, its specter will keep hovering over this rickety government's head, threatening to tear it apart.
    The government's fragility and narrow make-up also affect its routines and force its members to work on a day-by-day basis. Each disagreement and argument are weighed as if the next election is right around the corner.
    In the meantime, party leaders all had the same message for their fellow legislators and ministers in recent days: Calm things down so that we can weather the winter.
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