Divided Israeli Parliament Approves Expanded Cabinet

61-59 Vote Underscores Tenuous Coalition

In a 61-59 vote entirely along coalition lines, Israel’s Knesset agreed Wednesday to waive a Basic Law limit on the number of cabinet ministers to 18.

Even though the majority coalition is the smallest majority possible, keeping everyone on board has required creating some new token ministries to placate smaller factions, any of whom could collapse the government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has talked up expanding the cabinet to 20 already, but officials suggested even more could be added as Likud tries to keep a handle on everything.

Opposition figures, including Isaac Herzog, ridiculed the vote, saying Netanyahu is wasting hundreds of millions of shekels creating new ministries instead of working to solve existing problems.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.