A record number of Knesset members have resigned during this, the 20th Knesset term. With the resignation yesterday of Yesh Atid MK Yakov Peri, the 20th Knesset now stands at 24 resignations, the highest number of MKs who have resigned of their own will. In some cases, the resignations came due to political reasoning, while other MKs left due to personal reasons.
Currently, the number of resignations constitutes one fifth of the entire Knesset and if the seats were added together it would qualify as the second largest party, tied with the Zionist Union.
Among the notable resignations was Rabbi Shai Prion from Yesh Atid. After Yesh Atid moved to the opposition after the most recent election, Piron served as Deputy Speaker of the Knesset but couldn’t find his niche in the plenum. He notified his party leader, Yair Lapid that he wanted to resign and did so.
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg from the Zionist Union party also resigned for similar reasons. Members of the Zionist Union party had high hopes for Trajtenberg who chaired the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. However, he did not succeed at establishing himself as an MK.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’aln, who was the highest-ranking MK and a Minister in the governing party also resigned after he took criticism from the Prime Minister and his party leader Binyamin Netanyahu. MK Sharon Gal also stated that the reason for his departure was that he couldn’t find his proper place in the Knesset. Erel Margalit also resigned his position as MK after he lost the leadership race for the Labor party.
MKs Yanon Magal and Silvan Shalom both resigned after being accused of criminal activity. Magal was exonerated when there was almost no evidence presented against him. Other MKs such as Danny Danon and Danny Atar left for different jobs. Danon became the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and Atar became the Director of KKL.
Numerous party leaders also resigned taking advantage of the Norwegian Law allowing a party leader to vacate their seat if they are a Minister, and allow the next person on their list to take their place. Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon both took advantage of this rule.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)