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The big test of the Bennett-Lapid government: the Knesset will vote to extend the Citizenship Law

After several weeks of discussions, debates and lobbying, today the coalition will vote in the Knesset plenum to extend the section of the Citizenship-Family Law, which is due to expire tomorrow. As Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked has repeatedly stated (right), the law will be submitted as worded and without changes.

Yesterday, on her way to the cabinet meeting, Shaked addressed the issue and said that “the Citizenship Law will go up as worded. The temporary order expires on Tuesday so it should go up tomorrow. “Opposition leaders also saw the GSS ‘opinion less than a month ago and understood that the law must be passed. I do not believe they will change their minds.”

During yesterday, Shaked and Prime Minister Shalom Shlomo continued talks with all coalition officials, with an emphasis on senior RAAM and Meretz officials, in order to reach agreements ahead of the vote. During the cabinet meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the controversies in the coalition over the law and asked for restraint. “We do not want the government to fall because of tweets,” he told ministers.

At the same time, the opposition parties on the right – the Likud, religious Zionism and the ultra-Orthodox factions – decided to wait until the last minute before announcing how to vote. In the Likud, disagreements continue regarding the vote on the law, when in the opinion of the majority it is obligatory to oppose the law and “not to give the coalition a safety net.” However, some Likud members, led by Avi Dichter and Yuval Steinitz, argue that this is a security issue and that it is forbidden to vote against extending the law only for political reasons.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement yesterday attacking the government and its leaders, saying, “Only the Basic Law on Immigration will curb Palestinian infiltration into Israel. Bennett and Lapid are unable to preserve the Jewish character of the State of Israel. Tomorrow they will vote in the Knesset.” Meretz and a Knesset member from the Labor Party oppose it. “

Netanyahu added that he and the governments he headed “are trying to pass the Basic Law: Immigration for several years and we have been stopped – first by Ayelet Shaked who was Minister of Justice and then by Avi Nissenkorn. There is no reason to block this Basic Law. We proposed to the coalition to do the “The right thing to do is to extend the existing law by two months, to pass the Basic Law immediately: immigration in a preliminary reading and to finish the legislation of the Basic Law within two months. So far, they have refused.”

Factional discipline at work

The work on the Citizenship Law will begin this morning, when the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chaired by MK Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid), will convene to discuss “the issue of family reunification of Israelis with residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and with citizens of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.” Later, the debate will move to the Knesset plenum, where Interior Minister Shaked will extend the section of the law that is due to expire tomorrow. The coalition hopes that the MKs of RAAM will abstain or be absent from the vote.

The chairman of the Meretz faction, who opposes the law, MK Michal Rosin, said yesterday: “We tried to reach agreements and talk to Minister Shaked. We offered her a variety of compromise proposals regarding the law. If she agrees to open the law and amend it, there is something to talk about. Ready. “

A member of the faction, MK Musi Raz, said: “We will vote against the Citizenship Law in its current form. If he falls, it will be an embarrassment for the coalition, but the government will not fall as a result. “

In the Labor Party, in which MK Abtissam Maraana opposes the extension of the law, factional discipline was decided. On behalf of the faction’s chairman, MK Ram Shefa, it was stated: “At work, they will vote for the law, and factional discipline will apply where everyone will vote together. The Labor Party is a security party and it will take care of maintaining Israel’s security. “

Ahead of the vote on the law, Coalition Chairman MK Boaz Toporovsky (Yesh Atid) said: “We were sure that Netanyahu, Smutrich and Deri would support its extension. It did not occur to us how far the opposition parties – who enacted the law and sought to extend it for 17 years – would go against their ideology, values ​​and voters. We will raise the law to the committee and the plenum and we will show the public who supports its values ​​and who betrays its voters. ”

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