Knesset votes no-confidence, but Bennett government doesn't fall

Opposition MKs took turns at bashing the government and the budget, singling out a clause in the budget allocating NIS 12 million over two years.

 PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the Knesset session in which their government was inaugurated in June. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at the Knesset session in which their government was inaugurated in June.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government lost two votes of no-confidence in the Knesset plenum on Monday, but it will not fall because 61 out of 120 MKs are needed to topple it.

The two bills, proposed by Likud and by Shas and United Torah Judaism, declared the state budget cruel. They passed by votes of 8-0 and 9-0.

The coalition boycotted the votes to protest the opposition’s violation of the tradition to refrain from proposing no-confidence votes when the prime minister is abroad. The Likud responded that Yisrael Beytenu broke that tradition when it submitted a no-confidence motion in then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government when he went to Washington last year to sign the Abraham Accords.

Opposition MKs took turns bashing the government and the budget. They each singled out a clause in the budget allocating NIS 12 million over two years for spaying and neutering stray cats.

“I don’t understand cats, but this state budget is the first time dogs gave anything to cats,” UTJ MK Ya’acov Litzman said. “Those who bite are dogs.”

 Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Prime Minister Naftali  Bennett following the vote on the new coalition in the Knesset on June 13.  (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS) Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett following the vote on the new coalition in the Knesset on June 13. (credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

Yesh Atid MK Yasmin Fridman, who initiated the allocations for stray cats, responded to Litzman on Twitter: “At least this ‘bitch’ served in the army.”

Likud MK Miri Regev criticized Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and said the state budget gives money to stray cats and not soldiers.

The budget does not add taxes on “the caviar that Liberman likes,” but only on the poor who use disposable plates that will be taxed, she said, adding that Liberman doesn’t wash the dishes.

“It’s a good thing there’s not a tax on air in this budget,” Regev said.

Religious Zionist Party MK Ofir Sofer said, “This is a government of cats, and every MK was given their milk.”