Israeli Lawmaker Quits, Threatening Bennett’s Hold on Knesset

The plenum hall of the Israeli parliament on the opening of the 22nd Knesset, Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem, on October 03, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** פתיחת הכנסת מליאה

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lost his razor-thin parliamentary majority on Wednesday after a lawmaker from his nationalist party quit, leaving his government with a more precarious grip on power but in no immediate danger of collapse.

The walkout by Idit Silman, a step she said she took on ideological grounds, left Bennett in control of 60 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.

“a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.” Deut. 11:12

The political neophyte whipping a Knesset cacophony into coalition harmony | The Times of Israel

(Idit Silman, head of the Knesset Health Committee)

As the assembly is in spring recess, the premier was spared any imminent no-confidence votes.

To succeed, such votes would need the backing of at least 61 lawmakers, including Arab legislators who are outside the ruling coalition but also long-time political enemies of the current opposition leader, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But by abandoning her post as Knesset coalition chairwoman in the name of preserving “the Jewish identity of the State of Israel,” Silman dealt a blow to Bennett’s efforts to keep together a rare alliance of liberal and Arab deputies who opted to join his government last June.

Assembling that coalition empowered Bennett to end Netanyahu’s record 12 years in power.

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