The main event during the term of the tenth Knesset was "Operation Peace for the Galilee,"
which began in June 1982. The declared goal of the operation was to remove the shelters
of the Palestinian terrorists from southern Lebanon, and its broader goal was to
cause the election in Lebanon of a government that will be willing to sign a peace
agreement with Israel, and liquidate the PLO.
The 10th Knesset: MKs from the
National Religious Party and Agudat Yisrael, 14.12.1981.
The operation, which at first enjoyed a broad consensus in Israel,
rapidly turned into the focus of disagreement, which manifested itself
in the street and in the debates of the Knesset.
The controversy intensified following the massacre of Palestinian refugees in the
camps of Sabra and Shatilla near Beirut, which was planned and implemented by one
of the Christian militias. The Cohen investigative committee, which was appointed in November 1982, found that
political and military factors had not acted to prevent the act. These findings brought about the
resignation of Ariel Sharon from his position as Minister of Defense.
Operation Peace for the Galilee also caused a serious deterioration in Israel's
international status. Simultaneously with the effort to liquidate the PLO, Village
Leagues were set up in Judea and Samaria, with the hope that an alternative
Palestinian leadership would emerge. In the course of the term of the tenth Knesset
the Israeli law was applied to the Golan Heights, and the withdrawal from the Sinai
was completed with the evacuation of Yamit.
In the economic sphere the collapse of the bank shares took place,
which resulted in the bank shares of all the major Israeli banks, except
the First International, being held by the government.
MK Ch. Bitton (Hadash) being removed from the plenum by ushers, 10.10.1983.
The grave financial state of the local authorities also came up for debate. Towards
the end of the term of the tenth Knesset the rate of inflation reached a three
digit figure, and the "Dollarization plan" of Minister of Finance Yoram Aridor came up. In this
period the government decided to undertake two major prestigious projects: that of
the Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal, and that of the Lavi fighter plane. Both projects
were debated by the Knesset.
In the economic sphere, as a result of the narrow majority of the government, the
religious parties tried to change the religious status quo. Their main
success was in stopping El Al flights on Saturday (Shabbat). Unrelated to the
flights on Saturday, after a long period of strikes in El Al, the national airline
was placed in the hands of a termporary receiver.
Opposition MKs before the vote
on the early dissolution of the 10th Knesset, 22.3.1984.
In this period the ultra religious group "Atra Kadisha" intensified its
activities, and the problem of the ancient graves found in the building
site of the "Hamat Gader" hotel in Tiberias, came up for debate in the
Additional issues that came up for debate in the tenth Knesset were the murder of
Peace Now activist Emil Grunsweig, the apprehension of the members of the Jewish
Underground, the No. 300 bus affair and the murder by Arabs of the boy Danny Katz
in Haifa. The Knesset also dealt with the Prisoners of Zion and the growing number
of emigrants (yordim). On 5 May, 1982, the Knesset held a special
debate on the foundations of the Israeli parliametnary system.