Will David Tal's House C'ttee prove to be a Kadima bulwark?

Although the prospects for MK Silvan Shalom's (Likud) bill to dissolve the Knesset never looked brighter than they did on Thursday, after Labor ministers announced their support, some lawmakers were concerned that the bill's progress might wreck on the shoals of the House Committee. The panel is chaired by MK David Tal (Kadima), a party loyalist who could sway the committee to hold up the bill in endless hearings before voting on whether to bring it back to the full Knesset. Tal has been accused of similar filibustering techniques before, also on bills seen as uncomfortable for Kadima's leadership. But such a legislative logjam could be circumvented, should members of the committee decide that the bill is being held up indefinitely. In that case, the bill's supporters could attempt to find a majority in the 25-member committee in favor of transferring the legislation to a more comfortable venue. Seven Labor and Likud MKs sit on the panel, as well as four from Israel Beiteinu and the National Union/National Religious Party who are expected to vote to keep the bill advancing. But - as in the Knesset itself - the critical path in the committee may turn out to run through the three Shas MKs. If the bill should indeed be transferred to another committee, the most likely is the Interior Committee, chaired by MK Ophir Paz-Pines (Labor). Paz-Pines himself sponsored a similar bill to dissolve the government, and thus would be likely to help Shalom's bill clear its committee hurdles quickly to reaching a vote on the Knesset floor.