‘Suspension bill’ will now become ‘expulsion bill’

The law will not apply retroactively to actions MKs took before it passed.

July 13, 2016 00:43
1 minute read.
knesset brawl

Knesset brawl erupts after Arab Israeli MK calls IDF soldiers "murderers," June 29, 2016. (photo credit: SCREENSHOT KNESSET CHANNEL)

Legislation meant to remove errant lawmakers from the Knesset underwent significant changes Tuesday in the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, to make it even more difficult to implement.

According to the bill, grounds for dismissal would be those listed in the Basic Law: Knesset for banning a party or person from running: incitement to violence or racism, support for armed conflict against Israel, or rejecting Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

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Earlier drafts allowed the Knesset to suspend a lawmaker violating those conditions for up to the end of his or her term, but the suspension could be shorter. On Tuesday, it was changed so that it only allows MKs to dismiss, not suspend, a colleague, meaning they will not be lawmakers for the rest of the term. The latest draft makes it more difficult to start the process of expulsion, in that it would require 70 MKs – 10 of whom must be from the opposition – to initially petition the Knesset House Committee.

As in previous drafts, 90 MKs would have to vote in favor of the dismissal in a final vote.

The law will not apply retroactively to actions MKs took before it passed.

If an MK is expelled, he or she would be replaced by the next person on his or her party’s list.

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky began drafting the bill after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the Knesset to find a way to suspend members who show support for terrorism.

Netanyahu suggested such a bill be passed after MKs Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas from Balad met with the families of terrorists in February. The MKs stood in a moment of silence in memory of “Palestinian martyrs,” and the Balad Facebook page referred to the father of a terrorist who killed three Israelis as the father of a “martyr.”

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