The punitive action inspired much public criticism against Lapid and his party, supporting Kol's right to vote in accordance with her conscience and slamming Lapid for what some claimed was aggressive enforcement of partisanship. Friday, in an email to party activists, Lapid claimed that after the vote, Kol and himself spoke and buried the hatchet. "Sometimes, the gap between reality and what is reported is ridiculous," Lapid wrote.
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The voting of the first part of the governance bill, which related to the number of ministers and reducing ability to submit no-confidence motions, was passed by a 63-46 vote, while two abstained. The second part of the bill, which raised the election threshold, was passed by a 64-49 vote, with one abstainer.
During the second vote Kol voted along party lines, thus reducing the number of those abstaining to one, but the damage was done, and she was forced to apologize and barred from her Knesset committees until further notice.
Opposition benches (Archives) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Some reports claimed seeing Kol return to the Knesset plenum between the two votes teary eyed after allegedly being scolded by coalition members.
In response to the uproar caused by the incident, Lapid wrote: "While the vote to change the form of governance in Israel was still in process, Adi (Kol) surprisingly abstained from the vote, despite the party discipline enacted. In response, I suspended her from parliamentary activity.
"The discussion (regarding the bill) was raging, and of course the opposition had a ball and the word 'dictator' was thrown around again and again. MK Gafni (United Torah Judaism) took the podium shaking from sanctimonious rage and screaming about how we aren't a democratic party."
Lapid proceeded to slam the United Torah Judaism MK: "MK Moshe Gafni – Gafni for the love of God!! Gafni is a man who comes from a party that you cannot be a member of if you are Sephardic, Ethiopian, Russian, a soldier, gay, secular, a religious-Zionist or a woman. I don't want to sound judgmental but I'm pretty sure that disqualifies as an authority on democratic parties."
Regarding the opposition Labor party, Lapid said "I don't thing that a party like Labor, in which everyone hates everyone with a passion, in which party members dish dirt on one another through the press from sunrise to sunset and no single issue manages to bring them together are a democratic ideal."
Lapid then moved on to explain how he and MK Kol made peace.
"That Thursday evening, after the big uproar, we – all the Yesh Atid MKs, Adi Kol included – were sitting on the balcony of the MK Rabbi Shai Piron in the community of Oranit. It was getting cooler, we were drinking red wine and Diet Sprite, and we talked.
"It was a long, loving, open and deep conversation into the night. Adi explained what happened to her, and I spoke about how important it is that we do not catch each other off guard. We hugged and agreed it would never happen again – because we are people who work to better themselves, know how to build a common language and learn from our mistakes."
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