Kadima body punishes MKs for voting down 'boycott' law

Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich are suspended from committees and cannot propose bills.

By
July 14, 2011 03:53
2 minute read.
The Knesset adjourning for its spring break.

Knesset session 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Kadima MKs Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich were punished on Wednesday by a Kadima disciplinary tribunal, because they were absent from the vote on the “Boycott Bill,” which all Kadima members were told to oppose on Monday.

Schneller was suspended from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Control Committee for six months and lost his right to propose bills and motions to the Knesset’s agenda for six months. Kadima announced that this was the fourth time Schneller was called before the disciplinary tribunal for breaking party discipline, and that during the “Boycott Bill” vote, the MK did not announce his absence and ignored phone calls.

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Shamalov-Berkovich stood before the tribunal for the first time, and was suspended from the Knesset Aliya and Absorption Committee for three months. Kadima also took away her right to propose bills and motions to the Knesset’s agenda for the next month.

“The severity of their punishments is directly connected to the severity of their disciplinary offense and the severity of the bill that they did not vote against,” a Kadima spokesman said.

“The punishment shows the Kadima leadership’s preference of politics and battles over deepening ideological ideas and over the Zionist interests of the Jewish state,” Schneller said in response.

“This is a warning sign for those Kadima members and supporters, like me, who came to the party from the right to the center of the political spectrum in hopes of creating a central party with values,” he added.

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Shamalov-Berkovich was not available for comment.

MK Danny Danon (Likud) spoke out in support of the two Kadima rebels in a Knesset speech on the opposition party’s “zigzag leadership.”

“The Kadima faction is boycotting its members that boycotted the ‘Boycott Bill,’” Danon explained. “It sounds complicated, but it’s true.”

“Today, Kadima decided to boycott MK Schneller,” he added. “First of all, I am giving you my allotment. If you want to propose a bill, do it from my allotment. If you want to make a motion, do it from my allotment.”

Danon also offered to let Shamalov-Berkovich use his vote in the Knesset Aliya committee, which he chairs.


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