Family Unification Law Fails in Committee Vote, Moves to Knesset

YERUSHALAYIM -
An aerial view of the Knesset. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

The Family Unification Law failed to pass in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday morning, with 14 MKs voting for and 17 against it.

The law will now move to the Knesset plenum for a vote. The opposition parties are slated to vote against the law. Without support from opposition MKs, the law is set to fall.

At the same time, the coalition has begun internal talks to find a compromise to prevent the law from expiring on Tuesday.

“A coalition that believes that whoever votes against the law harms the security of the state, what does that say about members of three of its parties – Labor, Meretz and Ra’am – that intend to vote against it?” Likud MK Shlomo Karhi told Yediot.

While the right-wing parties support the law, and it has been renewed every year since being enacted, the new government includes opponents of the measure, and the right-wing opposition led by former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu — aiming to embarrass the government — has warned it won’t provide the votes needed to renew the law.

The vote is expected late Monday.

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law was enacted as a temporary measure in 2003, at the height of the second intifada, when Palestinians launched scores of deadly terror attacks in Israel.

The law has been renewed even after the uprising wound down in 2005 and the number of attacks plummeted.