Eleventh Knesset  
August 13, 1984   November 21, 1988
  Results of Elections
  Factional Make-up
  Speaker: Shlomo Hillel
  Knesset Members
Elected Officials:
President: Haim Herzog (second term)
State Comptroller: Miriam Ben Porath
Government 21
Under Shimon Peres

Government 22
Under Yitzhak Shamir
Secretary of State George Schultz speaking with Elyakim Rubenstein, Yitzhak Shamir, and Moshe Arens, 14.3.1988
Secretary of State George Schultz speaking with Elyakim Rubenstein, Yitzhak Shamir, and Moshe Arens, 14.3.1988

Selected Events:
30.10.1984 The Government reported on the murder of two Israeli hikers in Cremisan, by Arabs, as well as the murder of an Arab by Jews on a bus in Jerusalem.
14.11.1984 Several factions presented no-confidence motions regarding the economic “Package deal” and the delay in Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
25.12.1984 The House Committee suggested removing the parliamentary privilege of freedom of movement of MK Meir Kahane, following his visit to Umm al-Fahm.
26.12.1984 MK Joshua Matza presented a motion for the agenda on the visit of the German Green Party delegation to the Knesset. During the visit, MKs Geula Cohen and Rafael Eitan waved banners stating “Green-Browns out.”

7.1.1985 The State Control Committee unanimously decided on the establishment of a national inquiry committee in the matter of the Bank Stock Crisis.
8.1.1985 An announcement was made by the Government on “Operation Moses” for the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry.
28.1.1985 A notification was delivered by the Government regarding the economic stabilization agreement signed by the Government, the Histadrut, and the Federation of Israeli Economic Organizations.
5.2.1985 A no-confidence motion was presented by Tehiya-Tzomet faction, as per the government’s incompetence in maintaining the safety of the settlers and the security of the settlements in the West Bank.
12.2.1985 Motions for the agenda were raised on the Government’s decision to withdraw in stages from Lebanon.
22.4.1985 The Government announced the formation of a free trade zone with the United States.
27.5.1985 The Government reported on the release of IDF soldiers held captive by Ahmed Jibril’s organization in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
10.6.1985 Prime Minister Shimon Peres made a political announcement on the progress made in the peace process with Jordan.
25.6.1985 A debate was held over the closure of the “Atta” textile factory.
5.11.1985 The Government issued its policy on Soviet Jewry.
12.11.1985 The Knesset held a debate on the polarization between religion and secularism.
Three generals: MKs Ezer Weizman, Rafael Eitan, and Ariel Sharon
Three generals: MKs Ezer Weizman, Rafael Eitan, and Ariel Sharon

1.1.1986 An announcement was made by the Government on the massacres at the airports in Vienna and Rome on December 27th.
10.2.1986 The Hadash faction presented a no-confidence motion, following the interception of a civil Libyan aircraft en-route to Damascus.
11.3.1986 A debate was held on the ongoing crisis in health services.
31.3.1986 The Speaker of the Knesset made a welcome speech honoring Anatoly Shcharansky, who arrived from the Soviet Union to Israel on February 11th, and the Righteous among the Nations from the era of the Second World War.
28.5.1986 A motion for the agenda was raised by MK Dov Shilansky on the matter of the establishment of a Carmelite monastery in Auschwitz.
2.6.1986 Chairman of the State Control Committee David Libai reported to the plenum on the Beisky Commission’s report on the Bank Stock Crisis. The report demanded the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Israel and the Director Generals of the four largest banks. It also fiercely criticized Finance Minister Yoram Aridor.
30.6.1986 Factions of the Opposition raised no-confidence motions, following the decision of President Haim Herzog to pardon the head of the General Security Services and his men who were involved in the “Kav 300” affair.
16.10.1986 Navigator Ron Arad was captured by the Amal organization after his plane crashed in Southern Lebanon.
26.10.1986 Mordechai Vanunu, an employee of the nuclear reactor in Dimona who exposed details on Israel’s nuclear ability, was kidnapped by the Mossad and brought to Israel.
27.10.1986 The Knesset marked the 100th anniversary of David Ben Gurion's birth.
16.12.1986 A debate was held, at the request of MK Menahem Porush, on private civil wedding ceremonies illegally performed by MK Shulamit Aloni.

A Selection of Enacted Laws

The Eleventh Knesset officiated for four years, during which two national unity governments presided: The 21st Government, headed by Shimon Peres; Peres resigned two years later to allow Yitzhak Shamir to form the 22nd Government for the remaining two years of the Knesset’s term.

The election results created equally sized right-wing and left-wing blocs. Therefore, a national unity government based on the rotation of prime ministers was necessary in order to form a government. However, the Knesset’s parliamentary work was disrupted by the fact that 97 MKs – 85 of which were from the Alignment and the Likud – were members of the coalition. In order to allow the opposition to function properly, adjustments were introduced to the Knesset Rules of Procedure, such as the number of MKs necessary to convene a special recess sitting.

Shas – a Haredi Sephardic party – was first elected to the Knesset in these elections. Unlike many other parties, Shas continues to this day to be a major component of the political system. The entry of Kach party chairman Meir Kahane to the Knesset, after three unsuccessful tries, led to legislative adjustments prohibiting “lists that incite racism” from participating in the elections. Further amendments ruled the same on parties denying Israel’s democratic or Jewish nature. On the opposite side of the political map, a new radical Arab-Jewish party was introduced – the Progressive List for Peace. In a related matter, MK Abdulwahab Darawshe resigned from the Labor Party in December 1987, following the break out of the first Intifada, and established the Arab Democratic Party.

The main issue occupying the Government and the Knesset during its term was the severe economic crisis. Finance Minister Yitzhak Moday aimed to stabilize the economy and restrain the triple-digit inflation. He had worked in cooperation with Prime Minister Peres to promote an aggressive economic policy, which resulted in the improvement of the national economy, but also in a rise of unemployment rates. This policy also caused financial crises in different sectors of the economy. The Economic Stabilization Plan brought about the creation of the Adjustments Law, which allowed the Ministry of Finance to introduce multiple changes in laws for the execution of the Plan. The Adjustments Law has become a permanent addition to the annual budget law, despite the fierce objection to it, as it undermined the Knesset’s role as legislature and as its ability to provide proper checks on the Government. An additional noteworthy economic development was the publication of the Beisky Commission Report on the Bank Stock Crisis, which took place during the term of the former Knesset.

In matters of security, the Government decided in 1985 on the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon, apart for a security zone surrounding the border. Vigorous efforts were made to free the Israeli citizens held captive by the terrorist organizations.

During the Eleventh Knesset, the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance was amended to include prohibition of governmental contact with the PLO and other terrorist organizations. Terror attacks on individuals – such as the murder of two hikers next to Cremisan Convent and the murder of the child Rami Habbah in Elon Moreh – became frequent. In addition, an increase was noticed in forest arson. In late 1987, the first Intifada broke out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Various subjects, mostly controversial and relating to the peace process, were debated during this time. Distinct debates were held on: The London Agreement, signed between Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and King of Jordan Hussein in April 1987, dealing with procedures for peace negotiations and signed without notifying Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir; the Reagan Plan for Peace in the Middle East; the proposal to introduce one-sided autonomy to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the return of Taba to Egyptian control, after Taba was included by arbitration in the areas set for Israeli withdrawal in the peace treaty between the countries.

Main subjects in the public debate were mostly continuations of events that took place during the former Knesset, such as the “Kav 300” affair and the arrest and liberation of the Jewish Underground Movement. Further subjects of interest were discussed, such as the capture of navigator Ron Arad by the Hezbollah; the Demjanjuk Trial; the arrest of Jonathan Pollard by US authorities accusing him as an Israeli spy; and the capture of Mordechai Vanunu – an Israeli citizen who sold information on Israel’s nuclear plans to a foreign newspaper – who was abducted and brought to trial in Israel by the Mossad. Other issues included the falling out of Soviet Jewish emigrants using Israeli visas to leave for Western countries, the crisis of the health system – including public attention to black medicine and organ transplants, and the continuous “Brain drain”.

The Eleventh Knesset was the setting for repeated trials of the Alignment and the Likud in search for an agreed electoral reform. A reform was agreed on with an introduction of a mixed election system, combining regional elections (4-5 representatives for each region) and the existing proportional elections. Despite the reached agreement, the attempt failed due to the objection of the Likud’s Central Committee.

Knesset Speaker, Shlomo Hillel
Knesset Speaker, Shlomo Hillel

5.1.1987 The Knesset debated the “Rule of Law” and the defects in law enforcement and the normal functions of the judicial system, as well as the causes for the non-completion of a constitution.
16.2.1987 The trial of John Demjanjuk, suspected to be “Ivan the Terrible” of the Treblinka extermination camp, began in Jerusalem.
10.3.1987 Opposition factions presented several no-confidence motions, in regards to the Jonathan Pollard affair. Pollard was sentenced on March 4th to life imprisonment in the United States for accusations of serving as an Israeli spy.
1.6.1987 The Knesset debated the state of security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the increase in terrorist attacks within them, as well as the murder of the child Rami Habbah.
8.6.1987 MK Meir Kahane repeated his oath of allegiance, but his use of an alternate formula disqualified his oath.
24.6.1987 Motions for the agenda were raised regarding the “Lavi” Project: The Government decided on August 20th to cancel further development plans of the fighter aircraft. This decision led to the resignation of Defense Minister Moshe Arens.
30.10.1987 The report of a national inquiry committee on the methods and procedures in investigations of the General Security Service, headed by Justice Moshe Landoy, was presented to the Knesset plenum.
4.11.1987 A debate was held concerning the Landoy Report and its implications.
10.11.1987 The Knesset decided to establish the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Traffic Accidents.
16.12.1987 Left and right wing factions of the Opposition raised numerous motions for the agenda on matters related to the breakout of the Intifada on December 8th, sparked by a road accident at the Erez Crossing in which three were killed and seven wounded, as well as other events. The funeral of the victims in the accident had turned into a violent demonstration.

<table width=660 class="CaptionsOrange" align=center border=0><tr><td width=210 align=center>Welcoming refusenik Natan Sharansky</td><td width=240 align=center>National Unity Government</td><td width=210 align=center>Veteran MKs from Hadash</td></tr></table>
Welcoming refusenik Natan SharanskyNational Unity GovernmentVeteran MKs from Hadash

25.1.1988 The Knesset debated the lack of laborers from the Occupied Territories due to the Intifada, and the possible importation of foreign workers.
12.7.1988 The House Committee informed the Knesset of its decision to remove MK Meir Kahane from five plenum sittings, following his threats and waving of a hanging rope towards MK Mohammed Miari during a sitting on January 19th; the Knesset also debated the worldwide increase in anti-Semitism.
26.7.1988 Several bills were presented by MK Elazar Granot and the Hadash faction for the return of Iqrit and Biram’s displaced citizens to their homes.

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