The Jerusalem Post

Reunificat­ion bill to test Likud, not us

Knesset speaker approves probe of Yamina MK caught voting twice

- • By GIL HOFFMAN

The controvers­ial family reunificat­ion bill that is set to come to a vote on Monday is not the first test of the coalition but of the opposition led by the Likud, Coalition Chairwoman Idit Silman told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday night.

The bill would extend a current ordinance preventing Palestinia­ns

from obtaining Israeli citizenshi­p by marrying Israelis. The Likud extended the bill annually but now opposes it, in order to encourage rifts between coalition MKs on the Left and Right.

“I advise the Likud to be the opposition to the coalition, not the opposition to the State of Israel,” Silman (Yamina) said. “I’ll be shocked if they don’t vote in favor of extending the ordinance. It will be sad if they decide to harm Israel for political reasons. They will have to explain that to their voters. This is a test for the opposition before the people of Israel.”

The coalition chairwoman praised Likud MK Avi Dichter for what she said was his courage in trying to persuade Likud MKs to back the bill.

Silman was on the phone in the plenum on Thursday when Yamina MK Abir Kara mistakenly voted for her and himself on a bill aiding workers who were unemployed due to the coronaviru­s. Kara said he mistakenly voted using the computer of Silman, who sits next to him in the plenum. He said he then

voted using his own computer and immediatel­y told Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy of his mistake.

Kara said he voted from the wrong computer “out of instinct and by mistake.” The important thing, he added, “is that I clarified the mistake right away.”

“The coalition had a majority of the votes anyway,” he said. “The members of the opposition who never took responsibi­lity for the decisions they made that cost people their lives – Mount Meron and Lod – will not teach me how to correct a mistake. I will continue to serve the public with love and dedication.”

But opposition MKs pointed out that voting twice is a crime. MK Amir Ohana (Likud) asked that all of Kara’s votes over the past two weeks be checked, in the presence of a representa­tive of the opposition, and Levy accepted the request. Likud MK Shlomo

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