Knesset Plenum Rejected No-Confidence Motion Submitted by Hadash-Ta’al, Protests in JLM

The opening sitting of the Summer Assembly of the Israeli parliament the Knesset Plenum voted down three no-confidence motions submitted by parliamentary groups from the opposition. The motion submitted by Hadash-Ta’al, entitled “Continuation of the war and its destructive consequences for the public, including the Arab public,” was supported by 32 members of Knesset, without opposing votes.

MK Ofer Cassif during the anti-government the rally held outside the Knesset on Monday, May 20, 2024 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

During the debate in the plenum, Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman attacked the ongoing deadly in Gaza, the worsening situation of the economy and working families; the failure to bring home the hostages; the far-right government’s decision to raze an Arab-Bedouin village in southern Israel over construction infractions despite ongoing attempts to reach a compromise on the issue; and other claims. 

Leader of the Opposition MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), said: “With this Government, we will not win the war. This is a destructive and dysfunctional group that has no idea what it’s talking about, and in addition to everything else it’s also negligent and unprofessional. You are not a state government, you’re a disaster that has happened to the State of Israel. I propose to the Knesset to vote no confidence in the government that is the greatest failure in the state’s history.”

The first full day of the Knesset summer session included sharp exchanges between far-right MKs and family members of hostages. Gil Dikman, cousin of Carmel Gat, who is in captivity in Gaza, criticized at the Knesset Constitution Committee meeting the government and the far-right coalition for its silence after family members of hostages were assaulted by Likud activists during a protest in Tel-Aviv on Saturday night. Later in the meeting, a sharp exchange occurred between other family members and Likud MK Tally Gotliv. Einav Tzangauker, whose son Matan is in captivity in Gaza, criticized Gotliv for not apologizing after calling hostage family members “anarchists.” Gotliv responded by accusing the families of “ruining the country.”

On Monday evening, tens of thousands of demonstrators from across Israel converged near the Knesset in Jerusalem to protest the Netanyahu government. During the rally outside the Knesset, MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) came out from the parliament building to join the demonstration. Hadash legislator wasn’t the only ones to approach; fascist Religious Zionism MK Zvi Sukkot was met with jeers and boos from protesters when he showed. Police quickly escorted Sukkot away from the demonstration.

The “day of disruption” demonstrations began with a rally afternoon outside the Knesset spotlighting hostage family members and central anti-government activists, followed by a chaotic march through the capital which saw several protesters arrested. “Bibi is a danger to the existence of the country!” they shouted over drums and blowhorns.

Following the rally, thousands of protesters began to march through the western city, with some heading toward Netanyahu’s residence on Balfour Street and others racing to the Chords Bridge at Jerusalem’s main western entrance, where they blocked traffic leading into Jerusalem from the west. Border patrol and mounted police officers attempted to barricade roads that led to Netanyahu’s home, and doused activists with Skunk liquid, driving them back toward the governmental campus near the Knesset.

Police managed to disperse the protests utilizing a water cannon to spray foul-smelling Skunk liquid onto activists blocking roads after a procession to Netanyahu’s official residence split into multiple directions in an attempt to evade police barricades. The rally was a joint effort between anti-government organizers active in the pre-October 7 anti-judicial overhaul protests and hostage family members who, in recent months, have become more vocal against Netanyahu and his government over its inability to reach a deal freeing the captives.

Many of the protesters on Monday evening came from outside Jerusalem and they took part in a slow-moving convoy to the capital that took off from several locations throughout Israel early Monday. The drivers arrived in Jerusalem at a slow trickle and made their way to the Knesset for the 5 p.m. rally. In the morning demonstrators protested on Highway 1 leading Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, calling for elections to be held amid the opening of the Knesset’s summer session and several protesters were arrested.