Knesset Not Dispersing So Fast

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli demonstrators hold masks depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, right, during a protest against a parliamentary vote to dissolve the Knesset, in Tel Aviv, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Just a few days ago, Israel appeared to be on a fast track to dispersing the Knesset and holding new elections, but a Knesset filibuster engineered by Likud on Tuesday resulted in postponement of a vote on dispersal to next week, according to media reports.

The vote on a bill backed by Likud’s own coalition partners, the Blue and White party, had been scheduled for as early as Tuesday.

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) was accused of partisanship by Blue and White for his decision to delay the vote.

The Likud said it opposes the bill because it contains clauses introducing a reduction of about 10% to campaign funding and imposing transparency rules for campaign advertising.

However, if a state budget is not passed by December 23, the Knesset will dissolve automatically, triggering elections, even if a vote on the bill is not held before then.

Also on Tuesday, the weekly cabinet meeting, which had been postponed until Wednesday, will likely not happen until Thursday, as the two parties wrangle over the agenda, according to reports.