As the Otzma Yehudit party boycotts the Knesset vote, new coalition problems erupt.


The recently formed coalition government of Israel is showing signs of tension over the refusal of the right-wing Otzma Yehudit party to participate in a Knesset vote on a bill to expand gay rights.

The party, which is part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, said it will boycott the vote because it “contradicts the values of the national religious public.”

The party’s decision has drawn criticism from other coalition members, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who called it “a mistake.”

The vote on the bill, which would provide same-sex couples with certain rights and benefits, is set to take place on Wednesday.

The bill is likely to pass, as it has the support of the centrist Blue and White party and the left-wing Labor party.

However, the Otzma Yehudit party’s decision not to participate could lead to further tensions in the coalition, which is already strained due to the party’s hardline stance on issues such as immigration and the status of the Palestinians.

The party’s decision could also lead to further divisions between religious and secular Israelis, as well as between right-wing and left-wing Israelis.