Netanyahu addresses Congress 311.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayun/GPO)
Much has been made of the dozens of standing ovations Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu received during his speech to the US Congress last week. Netanyahu
himself admitted that he would not get such a warm reception in the
Knesset. Now, MK Ayoub Kara (Likud) has set out to change that.
a letter penned to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Sunday, Kara requested that
the plenum rules be changed to allow clapping after MKs speak.
Leaving Congress charmed
Analysis: Applause heard in White House, around world
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress – and the respect
he received when he brought honor to the Knesset and the entire State of Israel
– raises questions as to why the accepted procedures of the American House of
Representatives are not customary in the Knesset,” Kara, the deputy minister for
Development of the Negev and the Galilee, wrote.
The Likud MK added that
the applause and standing ovations “reflect the respect and appreciation that
the prime minister and Israel receive in America,” and that leaders visiting
Israel should be shown the same admiration.
“I ask that the Knesset
regulations be changed so that it will be possible to rise and clap for leaders
that deserve it,” he wrote.
“This is an important public matter. The
applause that the prime minister received [in the US Congress] brought a lot of
respect to Israel,” Kara told The Jerusalem Post.
“Israel should imitate
the good things about the US, not just the bad,” he added. “We should also be
able to receive important guests with respect.”
Kara said that one of the
reasons for advocating applause is that he’d like the Knesset to be less
“Our parliament is a bit gray,” he explained. “Maybe this will
make it more colorful, and give the Knesset an atmosphere that matches its
During his speech to Congress, Netanyahu pointed out that the
Knesset is not an easy crowd to please.
“You think you guys are tough on
one another in Congress? Come spend a day in the Knesset. Be my guest,” the
prime minister said, citing the “rambunctious parliamentary debates” in
However, when asked whether allowing legislators to applaud
would only add to the Knesset’s unruly atmosphere, Kara answered in the
“There are hundreds of members of Congress, and they manage to
conduct themselves respectfully, and represent the values of the House,” Kara
“Why should it be a problem in the Knesset?”