The Knesset .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A prime minister in Israel would be permitted to serve just two terms, or eight years, according to two bills proposed last week by opposition Knesset members led by the head of the Zionist Union faction, MK Merav Michaeli.
The bill has received support from 33 opposition MKs across the political spectrum including Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, Joint List head Ayman Odeh and the heads of every other opposition faction.
Michaeli purposely included a clause that the law only would take effect in the 22nd Knesset, the parliament after the next, so she would not be accused of directing the bill specifically at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nevertheless, it is being referred to as the “Bibi bill,” and in her introduction to the legislation, Michaeli wrote that Netanyahu backed term limits in the 1990s before he became prime minister.
She said that if term limits were good enough for the president of the United States, they could work for the prime minister of Israel, as well.
“All good things must end,” Michaeli told her faction. “Democracy is not a monarchy and everyone is replaceable.”
Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog joked that he “would be happy to limit myself to two terms.”
Knesset Law and Constitution Committee head Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) said there was no chance Michaeli’s bill would pass in the current Knesset.
Slomiansky said he hoped it was possible to pass a bill that would allow a minister in each coalition faction to quit and allow the next name on the faction’s list to enter the Knesset.
If a minister did quit, he or she would return to the Knesset and the MK would leave.
Passing such a bill would enable Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to quit for the next name on the Bayit Yehudi list, former MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli. However, the bill is opposed by United Torah Judaism because the party does not accept ministerial posts and it would not apply to deputy ministers.
Netanyahu also opposes the bill. His associates said ministers who are not MKs are less loyal, pointing out that the only minister who voted against the gas bill in the cabinet was Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabai, who is not an MK.