The Arab Joint List voted against a no-confidence motion in the Knesset on Monday, preserving the coalition government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The Arab Joint List, which is not a coalition member but has six members in the Knesset, justified their action as a means to prevent the return to power of former long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After the vote, it declared that it will oppose any effort to restore Netanyahu to power, emphasising that it will only operate in the interests of the Arab community in Israel.
According to an Israeli newspaper, the opposition parties led by Netanyahu failed to satisfy the needed threshold of 61 MPs voting against and 52 in favor.
Notably, the Arab Ra’am party, a coalition government member with four Knesset seats, was absent from the meeting.
Earlier on Monday, Bennett urged his coalition partners to maintain government unity in the face of a grave crisis that threatens its survival.
Bennett stated at the commencement of the Knesset’s summer session that political instability is “unhealthy for the state.”
“We must muster all of our resources to sustain and possibly expand the coalition,” he continued.
Bennett’s coalition has lost its parliamentary majority after 11 months in administration due to the defection of key leaders from his right-wing nationalist Yamina Party.
Netanyahu, for his part, blamed Bennett’s cabinet for the current political situation in Israel.
“This weak and fake government is incapable of standing even for a moment against the submissive tactics of the American administration against Iran, just as it is incapable of combating Hamas terrorism,” he was reported saying.
Bennett led a coalition of eight parties, including the Ra’am Party, to power in Israel in June 2021, ending Netanyahu’s almost 12 years in office.