Culture Minister Miri Regev.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Likud MK initiated an effort Thursday that if passed into law, could result in multiple parties not making it into the next Knesset.
According to the proposal by MK Sharren Haskel, the electoral threshold would be raised from 3.25 percent to 7%.
The bill is intended to strengthen the two largest parties at the expense of smaller ones. For instance, it could be hard for Meretz, Yisrael Beytenu, United Torah Judaism and Shas to make it into the next Knesset.
Haskel said she hoped if her bill passed, fewer parties would run, smaller parties would have to unite and it would be easier for the Likud as the ruling party to run the country.
The threshold was raised ahead of the last election in a move initiated by Yisrael Beytenu that was seen as intended to harm the Arab parties. Due to the bill, four Arab parties ran together in the 2015 election as the Joint List.
Zionist Union MK Yoel Hasson endorsed Haskel's proposal and said he would try to persuade his party to back it.
"Finally a smart initiative that comes from Likud," Hasson said. "We must return to having two large parties in Israel."
But coalition chairman David Bitan said Thursday night that he opposed the bill and would not promote it.
"I think the threshold should be lowered, not raised" he said. "We saw that raising it doesn't change anything, because parties can unite and split again."
A Ma'agar Mohot poll taken for the Radio Lelo Hafsaka station, which is owned by The Jerusalem Post, found that if elections would be held now, Yesh Atid would continue its rise at the expense of the Zionist Union.
Likud would win 27 seats, Yesh Atid 21, Bayit Yehudi and the Joint List 13 each, Zionist Union 10, Yisrael Beytenu nine, Shas eight, UTJ seven, and Kulanu and Meretz six each.