The Knesset’s festive plenum opening of the winter session was very predictable. It lasted four hours, as Speaker of the House Rivlin, Prime-Minister Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Livni all gave speeches. Rivlin and Netanyahu discussed how much the government accomplished during the 80-day recess while Livni talked about how the government did absolutely nothing. The government easily survived three no confidence votes with safe margins. No bills were discussed.

No Confidence Motions

Kadima’s, titled “The Netanyahu government’s failure politically, economically and socially,” was defeated 33-56, with 4 abstaining and 21 MKs not present.

Balad, Ra’am-Ta’al and Chadash’s, titled “The Settlement policy and failed talks,” was defeated 11-60, with 17 abstaining and 32 MKs not present.

Meretz’s, titled “The Israeli government’s policy regarding the continued freeze” was defeated 32-59, with 29 MKs not present.

The Knesset also voted on the speeches known as “announcements”

The goal of voting on the “announcements” was for the coalition rebuttal by coalition chairman MK Elkin (Likud) to the no-confidence motions to be accepted by the plenum. Equally as important was for the plenum to defeat the announcements/speeches given by four opposition MKs.

MK Elkin’s announcement (Likud) passed 54-38. The other four, mostly short speeches about the no confidence motions, were defeated. MK Pelsner ‘s (Kadima) was defeated 26-57, with 5 abstaining. MK Chanin’s (Chadash) was defeated 11-58, with 19 abstaining. MK Eldad’s (National Union) was crushed 3-65 with 20 abstaining. MK Gilon’s (Meretz) was defeated 34-60.