Israeli government loses majority as coalition whip defects

By April 08 2022, 17:20 Latest News No Comments
Idit Silman /

Idit Silman /

Ending the governing coalition’s majority in the Knesset, Yamina MK Idit Silman announced her resignation from the Israeli government on Wednesday.

Silman, a coalition whip, handed her letter of resignation to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in which she accused the government of the “harming of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel”.

Her resignation follows a row over a letter sent by Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz to Israeli hospital administrators urging them to obey a High Court of Justice decision to allow people to bring leavened food products into hospitals over Passover in opposition to Jewish law, an action that Silman claimed crossed a “red line”.

She has reportedly been promised the role of health minister by opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in any future Likud-led government.

Silman said that she “will continue to try to persuade my friends to return home and form a right-wing government… I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Another government can be formed in this Knesset”.

The defection means that the coalition has lost its majority, with 60 seats each for them and the opposition, meaning that the government is unlikely to be able to pass legislation. If the government is unable to restore its majority, the two possible outcomes are the dissolving of the Knesset leading to the fifth election since 2019 or creating a new coalition within the Knesset.

In line with the coalition agreement, if the Knesset were to dissolve Foreign Minister Yair Lapid would become interim prime minister until a new government is seated.

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