Edelstein refuses to sign MK’s Arabic resignation letter

Edelstein’s spokeswoman said of the refusal: “How can he sign a letter that he cannot read?”

August 8, 2018 13:37
1 minute read.
Wael Younis

Wael Younis. (photo credit: KNESSET SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein refused to sign an MK’s resignation letter on Wednesday because it was in Arabic.

Joint List MK Wael Younis’s resignation did not count until the speaker signed it. Edelstein gave the letter to the Knesset’s translation department, and signed the Hebrew version of the letter.

Edelstein said: “The Arab MKs tried to pull a stunt by giving me a letter in a language I don’t know. I respect the Arabic language, but I cannot sign a letter that I cannot read.”

One of the more controversial sections of the new Nation-State Law says that Hebrew is “the language of the state,” while Arabic has a “special status.” The previous legal situation was less clear, with many considering Arabic to be a second official language, though in practicality, it was used far less than Hebrew in an official capacity.

Younis called Edelstein’s decision “the practical translation of the article canceling the official status of the Arabic language in the Nation-State Law.

“It cannot be that the Knesset speaker refuses to sign my resignation letter just because it is written in Arabic,” he said. “Other parliaments in the world, like Canada... would have accepted the letter. I am determined to give in my resignation letter in Arabic, and the speaker must accept it.”

Younis’s resignation brought to an end an ongoing dispute within the parties making up the Joint List about their rotation agreement. Younis is from the Ta’al Party, and will be replaced by Nivin Abu Rahman of Balad.

Rahman will break the Knesset’s record for the number of female members, bringing the total up to 35. The 20th Knesset has broken its own record several times.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Minister Elkin presenting the candidacy of Mataniah Engelman to the Knesset Secretariat.
May 21, 2019
List of candidates for State Comptroller submitted to the Knesset