Knesset Ethics Committee bars Ayman Odeh from plenum for a week

Boker and Hazan's complaints pertained to a video recording of Odeh lashing out at police officers in Haifa in May.

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July 2, 2018 20:41
1 minute read.
HADASH MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, speaks at the Knesset in this file photo.

HADASH MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, speaks at the Knesset in this file photo.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Knesset Ethics Committee voted to have MK Ayman Odeh (Joint List) removed from the Knesset plenum and committees for a week starting Monday, following complaints against him by MKs Nava Boker and Oren Hazan (Likud) and additional appeals.

Odeh will still be allowed to vote in the plenum.

Boker and Hazan's complaints pertained to a video recording of Odeh lashing out at police officers in Haifa in May. Odeh was barred from paying a hospital visit to activist Jafar Farah, who had been injured and arrested at a demonstration the previous day against the IDF's recent actions in the Gaza Strip.

The footage showed Odeh exclaiming: "Go to hell!" "Who are you, anyhow?" and "You're nothing!" at the officers outside the Bnei Zion hospital in Haifa.

Odeh later stated that the police ignored his parliamentary immunity and aggressively blocked him from visiting Farah.

In response to the Ethics Committee's inquiries Odeh added: "The chairman of the committee knows that this is not my usual style, but I, too, like all other people, am capable of heating up under certain circumstances. I did not mean to harm any public servant [police]. I'll be thankful to the committee chairman if he erases the complaints filed against me."

After watching the footage of Odeh, the majority of the Ethics Committee members decided that regardless of whether his parliamentary immunity should have enabled him to visit Farah, his comments to the police were unwarranted and even "outrageous".

"Odeh's comments toward the policemen were not strong political condemnations worthy of the broad protection this committee extends toward Knesset members' freedom of political expression," the committee stated. "Rather, these comments use the most base language of curses and swears."

Adding that this is not the first time Odeh has been accused of violating the Ethics Committee's rules, he will be allowed back into the plenum and Knesset committees on July 9.


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