Since its inception, the Knesset has had 120 members — and when that number was first chosen, there were barely 600,000 people living in the country. Nowadays, Israel’s population has grown to some 8 million — but the number of MKs has remained the same. It’s time to change that, believes United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Uri Maklev; more Knesset members are necessary, and he is set to propose a law that will expand the number of MKs to at least 140.
“The growth in government since the early days of the state has led to a growth in the number of Knesset committees, and a large number of MKs are ministers,” MK Rabbi Maklev told Channel Two. “There are many other issues that the Knesset cannot get to because there are simply not enough MKs to work on them. Other countries with similar populations have much larger legislatures, and some have two houses. Finland, for example, has 5.5 million residents, but its parliament has 200 members.”
This is not the first proposal for an increase in the number of Knesset members, but this plan is supported by coalition chairman MK David Bitan, as well as the Israel Democracy Institute. MK Rabbi Maklev did not estimate the increase in budget that would be required for an additional 20 MKs. However, he is sponsoring the bill together with MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, who is considered “fiscally responsible,” MK Rabbi Maklev said.