IDF scholarship bill passes in Knesset after Likud stays out of vote

The legislation was approved 55-6 after a no-confidence motion failed to pass.

 Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on May 23, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The IDF scholarship bill passed in Knesset in the early hours of Tuesday morning after voting lasted throughout the late hours of the night, passing with 55 for and six against. 

After the bill passed its second reading, the Joint List proposed a vote of no confidence. That vote failed to pass, instead of passing the bill.

The new law will award IDF soldiers with a scholarship for university when they are discharged from the army. It will be awarded to them in addition to the money they are given when they leave their service, which can be used for a number of things such as professional training, getting married or buying a house.

The original bill proposed to cover two-thirds of the soldiers' higher education, but during the vote, Defense Minister Benny Gantz proposed an amendment to raise the scholarship to 75% of the tuition.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks in the Knesset plenum on May 11, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks in the Knesset plenum on May 11, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Likud proposed an amendment to raise the scholarship amount even further to 100% tuition, but while Gantz's amendment passed, the Likud's failed.

Earlier in the day, there had been many conflicts between the different factions in the Knesset over the bill, but Gantz's proposal was intended to compromise between the original bill and the Likud's amendment. After some discussion among the party, the Likud voted to accept the compromise but stayed out of the vote for the bill after the Joint List turned the vote into one of no-confidence.

After the bill passed, MKs took to Twitter to celebrate.

"We succeeded!" wrote Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. "The soldiers won! The IDF scholarship bill passed in the Knesset. The money will be given to our soldiers already in the coming semester. IDF soldiers — this is for you!"

The IDF soldiers won!

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid

"We promised to put the soldiers at the top of our priorities, and we kept that promise - the IDF scholarship bill officially passed in the Knesset!" tweeted Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman. "Dear soldiers, you gave a lot to this country, and now it's time for the country to thank you, not just with words but also with actions. Just know there are those who are taking care of you."