Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu to Boycott Camera Law Vote

israel election
A blind man touches ballot papers at an accessible polling station in the Multi-Service Center for the Blind in Yerushalayim, in the April election. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Despite failing to get approval for the legislation from the Knesset Control Committee, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu intends to bring the Camera Law to a Knesset vote Wednesday. Although generally the committee must approve legislation brought up for a Knesset vote, Netanyahu, as prime minister, has the prerogative to introduce private legislation.

Both Blue and White and Yisrael Beytenu have announced that they intend to boycott Wednesday’s Knesset session, when the law will be put up for a vote on its first reading. Analysts said that the parties will not attend the session in order not to give Netanyahu fuel for his campaign, showing the parties voting against the law along with the United Arab List, the chief opponent of the the law. Unless 61 MKs vote for the bill, it cannot advance to its second and third reading, and the bill will die on the floor.

Under the bill, officials would be able to film and record individuals as they entered the polling station, to ensure that they vote only once. The cameras are also to be used to record the vote counting, to ensure that there are no inconsistencies in the count. The Likud has charged that in previous elections, individuals, especially in the Arab sector, have posed as other voters in order to “stuff” ballot boxes with candidates they preferred.

In a statement Wednesday, Netanyahu appealed to Yisrael Beytenu to support the bill. “Avigdor Liberman announced he was against the bill, that he will not come to the Knesset session and thereby kill the bill. If Liberman and his colleagues do support the bill, we will be able to pass it. I call on Liberman to wake up, and not to join with Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz, Ahmed Tibi and Ayman Odeh,to come to the vote and ensure that this important piece of legislation that can prevent election fraud is passed.”