As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition prepares to debate and vote on three major bills this week in the Knesset, the opposition decided Sunday to boycott all debates on the proposals.
The opposition will meet at 11 a.m. Monday to hold a public discussion in a Knesset hall on Israeli democracy , while the coalition debates the three laws on the Knesset floor, Ynet reported.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog promised earlier Sunday to take drastic, unprecedented steps in the fight against the legislation.
At the beginning of Sunday’s meeting in Tel Aviv between heads of the opposition factions, Herzog threatened to “take steps that have not been seen since the establishment of the Knesset,” and argued that the laws are driven by hatred, discrimination, and a desire to push parties aside and shut down debate in the Knesset, Israel Radio reported.
The three bills are the Governance Bill, the Equal Service Bill, and the Referendum Bill.
The proposals will increase the electoral threshold for political parties to enter the Knesset, establish a new conscription policy for the ultra-Orthodox community, and establish a semi-constitutional Basic Law requiring a referendum for any land exchange in a future peace deal.
The coalition’s push for the bills’ fast passage is meant to preempt a delay of the votes until after the upcoming summer recess.
In preparation for the pivotal week, a letter committing factions to supporting the three laws was created over the weekend by the coalition parties, and is expected to be signed by all five.
“In order to conclude the legislative process, strengthen the coalition and fulfill our goals and commitments to the public,” the letter read, “we hereby commit to supporting the final passage of the three bills in the upcoming vote in the Knesset plenum.”
The debates and votes are expected to run from Monday morning until Thursday evening.
Haviv Rettig Gur contributed to this report.