Equality Bill Passes in Preliminary Vote, Embarrassing the Likud

The Knesset plenum.

A bill that would add equality to the Knesset’s Basic Law passed by a 56 to 54 vote in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday afternoon, with Blue and White joining the opposition against Likud, Shas and United Torah Judaism.

The law, initiated by Blue and White, violates the tenets of Yiddishkeit and gives recognition to the Reform.

The chareidi factions in the Knesset mobilized support in recent days and thought they a majority to knock down the law, while the Derech Eretz faction expressed opposition to the law and the Likud mobilized all their MKs, including those who had to go into isolation in recent days, to oppose it.

However, on Tuesday night Gideon Sa’ar announced his resignation from the Likud. The Knesset and the factions worked on Sa’ar throughout the morning to come and vote against the law, since there are 48 hours until his resignation from the Knesset takes effect and he still remains an MK. Sa’ar spoke in the afternoon with MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni (UTJ) and promised to vote against the law.

In the end, the law was approved by a majority of 56 to 54 opponents, with Sa’ar not participating in the vote, and another MK close to him, Michal Shir, also surprisingly absent – which could have made the difference to the law passing.

The chareidi factions are very upset with Sa’ar. “This is not a ‘New Hope,'” they said, playing on the name of his new party, “his word cannot be trusted.”


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