Raising the electrocal threshold to 3.25% (about four seats) would be a blow to the two Arab factions in the Knesset. Balad currently holds only three seats in the Knesset, while Ra'am Ta'al stands right on the threshold with four seats.
Kadima, that scored 29 seats in the 2006 general election, now holds only two seats and is also in danger of disappearing.
The provocative new amendment to the Basic Law: The Government will also limit the number of ministers and deputy ministers, relinquish the minister without portfolio position, change the procedure for a no-confidence vote and limit the government's activity to an approved budget.
- Governance bill sparks fiery Knesset debate
- Knesset passes governance bill to MKs' silent protest
- Liberman agrees to amend no governance bill
The opposition criticized the legislation change proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu, claiming that raising the electoral threshold would wipe the Arab parties off the political map.
The amendment was approved by a small majority of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, a move that raised tensions between Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin and Bayit Yehudi Knesset Members Shuli Mualem and Orit Struck, who conditioned their vote on the content of the new draft bill.
Committee Chairman MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) praised the passing of the bill and said "this is an important step towards final approval in the Knesset."
His colleague, MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid), added that "the bill guarantees that future governments will be small and efficient and deal with the actual needs of the country instead of political agendas."
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) firmly criticized the bill saying "it's a shame how the coalition changes the rules of the democratic game. The coalition acted like a bunch of horse traders and this is not how governance should look like and certainly not how a democracy should look like."