The article provides a history of the phenomenon of kalanterism and its legislative regulation in the Knesset. Named after Rahamim Kalanter, the term denotes a kind of legislative party-switching intended to bring about or prevent change in the incumbent government in return for political favors. Following the collapse of Yitzhak Shamir's National Unity government, the Knesset passed comprehensive legislation that sought to prevent the recurrence of kalanterism in the future. The article shows that the introduction of this anti-defection law has fulfilled its original goal, which was to prevent defections from destabilizing Israeli governments. The parliamentary horse-trading that marked legislative politics in the spring and summer of 1990, never occurred again and, thanks to the penalties built into the anti-defection law, is unlikely to recur in the future. At the same time, further evidence suggests that while the anti-defection law may have changed the dynamics, timing and form of defections, it did not eliminate them altogether.


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pp. 95-114
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