The Knesset votes on the nation-state bill, July 19, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Coalition chairman David Amsalem (Likud) proposed a simpler version of the controversial “Gideon Sa’ar bill” that fits Kulanu’s requirements for support.
Kulanu had conditioned its support on not limiting the president’s power more than necessary. Therefore, the new bill, submitted Monday, states only that the president will be required to appoint a party leader as prime minister.
A previous version had said the president would have to choose the party leader that received the most recommendations from MKs to be prime minister, which is what presidents have done after every election since the establishment of the state. Currently, the law allows the president to choose any MK.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing this bill since he became convinced that Sa’ar, a former senior Likud minister, was conspiring with President Reuven Rivlin to become the next prime minister, something they both strongly denied.
With the coalition’s one-seat majority, Kulanu’s support would be necessary to pass the law. Bayit Yehudi had also expressed hesitations about the bill in the past.
Yisrael Beytenu leader MK Avigdor Liberman, who pulled his party from the government two weeks ago, reiterated on Tuesday that he would not support the Sa’ar bill.
Liberman said that in negotiations with his party, the coalition asked that he vote in favor of the Sa’ar bill, a bill allowing ministers to appoint their own legal advisers and the “cultural loyalty bill
,” allowing the government to revoke funding from works that incite to terrorism, among other things, in exchange for them supporting two of his party’s bills.
“It’s a totally personal bill,” Liberman said on Army Radio. “They are sacrificing four bills for it. That is petty politics and we will not support it.”