Declaration of Independence, electoral threshold bills postponed

The bills are now unlikely to pass if the Knesset, as expected, is dissolved on Tuesday night and initiates early elections.

The Knesset House Committee, convening on December 7, 2020 (photo credit: DANI SHEM TOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSONS OFFICE)
The Knesset House Committee, convening on December 7, 2020
(photo credit: DANI SHEM TOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSONS OFFICE)
Bills that would lower Israel’s electoral threshold and make Israel’s Declaration of Independence a Basic Law were among the casualties of Wednesday’s Knesset agenda being shortened due to Hanukkah.
The bills are now unlikely to pass if the Knesset, as expected, is dissolved on Tuesday night, initiating early elections.
“The ‘Basic law: Declaration of Independence’ is a reaffirmation and a renewal of the commitment to Israel’s fundamental values and core identity as Jewish and democratic,” said the bill’s sponsor, Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh.
“In anchoring the vision, mission and values of the State of Israel, including the legacy of Israel’s prophets and equality to all citizens, this bill addresses and is a solution to the tremendous challenges Israel is faced with – internally, in its relationship with Diaspora Jewry and in the international arena.”
The electoral threshold bill, sponsored by Likud MKs Shlomo Karhi and Osnat Mark, would have lowered the threshold from 3.25% to 1.5%, enabling factions with only two or three MKs, instead of the current minimum of four or five.
The bill could have enabled the right-wing Otzma Yehudit and National Union parties as well as the Ra’am (United Arab List) Party of MK Mansour Abbas to run on their own and enter the next Knesset.
One bill that did pass, but only in a preliminary reading, would require the state to fund free education for all children from birth. The bill, sponsored by opposition MKs Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Merav Michaeli (Labor) and Orly Fruman (Telem), has no chance of passing into law if the Knesset is dissolved Tuesday night.