27 gone out of 120: Knesset sees record number of dropouts

Almost a quarter of lawmakers have given up their seats since being elected in 2015, and the number is likely to rise

View of a plenum session of the Knesset, July 2, 2018. (Flash90)
View of a plenum session of the Knesset, July 2, 2018. (Flash90)

More lawmakers have left the current Knesset than any previous sitting of the parliament.

In total 27 members have departed the 20th Knesset, almost a quarter of the total number of 120 MKs. That number will rise to 28 once Zionist Union’s Zouheir Bahloul, who announced he was leaving Saturday in protest over the nation-state law, officially tenders his resignation in the fall.

The previous record for number of MKs who gave up their job and their salary was 20 — during the 15th Knesset, which governed 1999-2003.

In the 19th Knesset, only eight MKs departed.

Zionist Union MK Zouheir Bahloul (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

In the current Knesset, elected in 2015, 11 lawmakers chose to give up politics and take other positions outside the Knesset: Moshe Ya’alon and Danny Danon (Likud); Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu); Yigal Guetta (Shas); Avi Wortzman (Jewish Home); Isaac Herzog, Erel Margalit, Manuel Trajtenberg and Daniel Atar (Zionist Union); Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) and Zehava Galon (Meretz).

Eleven more left because of either rotation agreements within their party or the Norwegian law, which allows ministers to resign their seat in favor of another party member: Aryeh Deri, Meshulam Nahari and Yitzhak Cohen (Shas); Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu); Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu); Naftali Bennet (Jewish Home); Meir Porush (UTJ); and Youssef Atauna, Osama Saadi, Abdullah Abu Maaruf and Ibrahim Hijazi (Joint List).

Four others left due to scandals or allegations made against them: Basel Ghattas of the Joint (Arab) List, Yinon Magal of Jewish Home, Silvan Shalom of Likud and Yaakov Peri of Yesh Atid. Another Knesset member, Eitan Broshi of Zionist Union, is under pressure to quit over a sexual harassment scandal.

One Knesset member, David Azoulay (Shas), left due to ill health.

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