Likud MKs Support New Hope Bill Despite Vow to Oppose Government

On Wednesday, a bill was passed in the Knesset aimed at providing the rights to bereaved siblings and formalizing their status. In a surprising move, the legislation received the support of MKs of the Likud party in the opposition as well, even though they had vowed not to support any bills put forward by the government. Michal Shir, a coalition MK, had presented the bill in question and received 72 votes in favor of it during the preliminary reading and zero votes against it. This comes amidst reports that the Likud party’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, is in talks with her New Hope party about replacing the current government.

Gideon Sa’ar, the Justice Minister, is the leader of the New Hope party. On Wednesday, he denied having any such discussions. A number of right-wings MK were ejected by Ahmad Tibi, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, from the plenum due to the raucous voting on the legislation, as one of the MKs hurled accusations of supporting terrorists at Arab lawmakers. The Religious Zionism party’s MK Orit Strockaddressed Shirand said that it was because of her friends in the coalition, there were a greater number of bereaved siblings from increasing attacks. She was referring to the Islamist Ra’am party that is part of the coalition.

Tibi spoke up and questioned her if she was making accusations of terror against Arab lawmakers, which she accepted. Hailing from the Joint List party of the opposition, which is mostly Arab, Tibi said that making murder accusations against the Arab members of the Knesset was unacceptable. He said that it was extremely dangerous because they were accusing MKs of killing and murder. He also noted that the time given to her for speaking had elapsed and ordered that she be removed.

There was an uproar at this announcement and a number of lawmakers in the opposition rushed to defend Strock. They began shouting at Tibi and he ordered MK ItamarBen Gvirwho belongs to the OtzmaYehudit party, along with other Religious Zionism MKs SimchaRotman and Bezalel Smotrich, be ejected as well. Later, Smotrich stated that it was against Knesset’s honor for Tibi to continue being the deputy speaker of the Knesset. Rotman stated that it was a disgrace because they were discussing the rights of bereaved siblings, while honoring those who were responsible for the killings. Members of the opposition had heckled Shirwhen she began to speak because of the inclusion of the Ra’am party.

This also included the Likud party. Being a former member of said party, Shir said that she was glad she no longer was part of it. The bill in question is aimed at ensuring that an official notification is given, along with details of death to bereaved families of people who die in terror attacks, or while serving in security forces. They should also be informed about their rights. Shir said during the bill’s presentation that family members are often notified about the death from third parties.

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