Increased Governance and Raising the Qualifying Election Threshold – Bill to Amend Basic Law: The Government (1160)

Political Participation

This amendment, enacted in March 2014,  raises the threshold percentage of votes required for political parties in order to obtain seats in the Knesset from 2% to 3.25%.

The amendment to increase the threshold undermines the parliamentary representation of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel in particular, more than other groups of citizens. The increased threshold prevents the Arab parties from contesting the elections within multiple party lists that represent the broad range of their political and ideological beliefs. The amendment to raise the threshold is an instance of the Knesset majority imposing its will on the Arab minority, in violation of its political rights.

In January 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by private attorney Yehuda Gutman to cancel the amendment. Adalah and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) participated in a hearing on the case in December 2014 as amicus curiae.

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