Knesset votes down parent labeling bill

Blue and White boycotts bill it backs.

Knesset meeting to pass bills to create coalition government on May 6, 2020 (photo credit: ADINA WALLMAN)
Knesset meeting to pass bills to create coalition government on May 6, 2020
(photo credit: ADINA WALLMAN)
The Knesset voted 48 to 25 on Wednesday to reject a bill that would change how parents are referred to on government forms.
The bill, sponsored by Yesh Atid MK Yorai Lahav Hertzanu, would have changed the parent options on the forms from mother and father to “parent one” and “parent two.”
The legislation was intended to embarrass Blue and White, which supports the bill but could not vote for it due to coalition discipline.
All Blue and White MKs absented themselves from the vote, except for the party’s faction chairman, Eitan Ginzburg, who voted for it.
Ginzburg, who like Lahav Hertzanu is gay, voted for the bill, which is intended to help same-sex parents.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid dared Blue and White Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn to “follow his conscience” and back the bill, but Nissenkorn said he could vote only for bills endorsed by his Ministerial Committee on Legislation, even though the committee has not met in weeks.
Blue and White returned the favor to the Likud by quashing a bill that embarrassed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party.
The bill, sponsored by Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich, would have initiated conflict of interest probes of judges. It fell by a vote of 55 to 4.
The Likud backs the bill but could not vote for it, due to coalition discipline. All Likud MKs absented themselves from the voting, except for Shlomo Karhi, who received special permission to vote for it.
In the debate on Smotrich’s bill, Smotrich, who served as transportation minister, got into a fight with his successor in the post, Miri Regev (Likud). He warned that the Likud was losing its ideology and attacked Regev’s handling of the ministry.
Smotrich said Regev “is destroying everything in this critical ministry, piece by piece.” Regev responded that Smotrich “did horrible things in the ministry, was controlled by the ministry’s clerks and abandoned the periphery.”