Bayit Yehudi and Yesh Atid found themselves at a legislative impasse this week, with each party blocking the other’s bills and refusing to budge.
The feud concerns an escalating war of appeals against votes by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which both sides said was not likely to end in time for the panel’s next meeting on Sunday.
A Yesh Atid source said Thursday that the party would not even talk about the bills with Bayit Yehudi unless that party agreed to ease its unqualified opposition to surrogacy for same-sex couples, which Health Minister Yale German (Yesh Atid) proposed in December.
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) is supposed to discuss the surrogacy issue with German next week, but as of Thursday the two had yet to schedule a date or time.
On Sunday, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) submitted an appeal against a bill that would make it impossible for the president to pardon certain murderers and terrorists. The legislation, which had been approved by the ministerial committee, was co-sponsored by Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked.
“Shame on you, Yesh Atid,” Economy Minister and Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett wrote on Facebook. “I state here very clearly: This bill will pass. Period. We will use all the tools at our disposal, including blocking Yesh Atid bills, until we pass our bill. I do not and will not tolerate or have patience for political games at the expense of essential laws for the security of Israeli citizens.”
Soon after Bennett’s comment appeared, Bayit Yehudi submitted appeals against four Yesh Atid bills.
Meanwhile, MKs from both parties avoided submitting bills for review by the ministerial committee next week, ostensibly to avoid being caught in the crossfire. Only three Yesh Atid proposals and one from Bayit Yehudi are on the agenda for Sunday.
Neither party seems to be in a rush to get past the deadlock, with Yesh Atid making surrogacy its condition for moving on.
A source close to Bennett said on Thursday that with the political scene focused on whether or not to cancel the post of president, there was no reason to resolve the issue.
The source also posited that the situation made Bayit Yehudi look good to its voters, while Finance Minister (and Yesh Atid chairman) Yair Lapid was “exactly in the place he hates to be, having to say he’s acting responsibly by doing something unpopular with the public.”