Israeli Government Loses Majority as MK Withdraws from Coalition

Israeli lawmaker Idit Silman with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. (Photo: via Silman Twitter page)

Israeli member of the Knesset Idit Silman, from the Yamina Party, announced on Wednesday her withdrawal from the government, leaving it with 60 lawmakers and ending its majority in the Knesset, Israeli media reported.

Silman, who is currently the chairwoman of the Israeli government, decided to withdraw from the coalition, due to what she described as “ideological” differences with partners in the government from the Israeli left-wing parties. She will formally hand in her resignation later on Wednesday, but she is not expected to resign from the Knesset.

In a resignation letter to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, she said that some coalition partners “are unwilling to make compromises.”

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “her move comes days after a public row with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz over his directive for hospitals to allow visitors to bring leavened food products, known as chametz, during Passover in opposition to Jewish law.”

Silman is the second Knesset member from the Yamina Party to withdraw from the coalition, after MK Amichai Chikli, bringing the number of Knesset members in the coalition down to 60.

Israeli media quoted Silman as saying she tried to achieve unity and work for the current coalition, but “I will not abet the harming of the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and the people of Israel.”

Head of the opposition Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed Silman’s announcement, saying he welcomed her back home to the nationalist camp and thanked her “in the name of many people in Israel that waited for this moment”.

“I call on everyone who was elected with the votes of the nationalist bloc to join Idit and return home, you will be received with all due respect and open arms,” Netanyahu added.

(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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