Israel’s New Government Confirmed by Razor-Thin Margin

Knesset votes 60-59 in favor of Bennett-Lapid government, giving it only a simple, not an absolute majority

By Israel Today Staff |
Photo: Shalev Shalom/TPS

Israel’s Knesset on Sunday evening confirmed the nation’s new government, but only just.

The so-called “government of change” was ratified by a vote of 60-59, with one abstention.

Confirming a new government requires only a simple majority, not an absolute majority. Otherwise, the abstention of one of the ruling coalition’s Arab lawmakers would have scuttled the entire show.

Member of Knesset Saeed al-Harumi from the coalition’s Islamist party Ra’am decided not to vote in favor of the new government because it still intends to demolish illegal Bedouin construction in the Negev. Al-Harumi had insisted that the new government legalize all Bedouin construction in the south of Israel regardless of proper permits.

Had al-Harumi voted against the new government rather than just abstaining, it would have not been established on Sunday.

Even so, a fresh survey shows that very few Israelis believe the new government headed by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid will survive a full term. The difficulty in confirming the new government on Sunday would seem to justify concerns over its longevity.