Barring a last-minute change, on Monday the Citizenship Law, a.k.a. the Family Reunification Law, will go to a vote in the Knesset plenum, ushering in the first major test of the Bennett-Lapid coalition. Three days after the swearing-in of the government, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced her intention to bring the law to a vote, to continue its annual extension as has been done every year since 2003. But some coalition parties like RA’AM and Meretz oppose it on ideological grounds.
The coalition recorded its first loss Monday morning when it failed in its attempt to move the discussion of the Citizenship Law from the Knesset Organizing Committee to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. 17 MKs voted against the coalition’s move, only 14 MKs supported it. But this did not mean the coalition has lost the plenum vote, which is still due on Monday.
On May 12, 2002, the Israeli government proposed to restrict the family reunification clause of the Citizenship Law, by closing the door firmly before all citizenship seekers from the Palestinian Authority. There have been two appeals of the restriction to the Supreme Court, and both were rejected by a 6-5 majority. However, the 2002 legislation was created with a one-year sunset, so that the provision must be renewed by the Knesset every single year. In fact, the current vote on renewing the law was submitted three months ago, as is the due process, by the Netanyahu government…
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