The Israeli Knesset constitution committee has cleared the “governability bill” and sent it on to the full chamber. If passed, it would raise the threshold for representation from its current 2% of the vote to 3.25%.
This change will keep parties with fewer than four seats out of the Knesset. Thus the three Arab parties, each of usually wins three to four seats in election, would have to merge to ensure that they get in.
The bill also makes other changes in the system of government, including restricting the cabinet to 18 ministers and four deputy ministers and barring the appointment of ministers without portfolio.
Further, the Haaretz item (which unfortunately you probably have to be a subscriber to access) indicates the intra-coalition logrolling that went into advancing the bill to this stage:
Unusually, the final committee vote on the governability bill coincided with votes on key sections of the new conscription bill in the Shaked Committee. Moreover, in both committees, the coalition had a majority of only one Knesset member. The Habayit Hayehudi party therefore exploited the situation to try to ensure that the conscription bill would meet its approval: Its two MKs on the Constitution Committee, Orit Strock and Shuli Moalem, threatened not to vote for the governability bill if the party’s demands on the conscription bill weren’t met.
Haaretz claims, without detail, that the maneuver did not secure any change of substance. Nonetheless, the episode underscores the narrowness of majorities under the current government.
The change to the threshold is not a minor matter, yet it is being pushed through without consensus.