reuven rivlin 58.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel Beiteinu cried foul Monday after Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin hinted that a crucial vote to approve stripping Balad MK Haneen Zoabi’s parliamentary privileges would be indefinitely delayed.
Israel Beiteinu submitted an official letter to Rivlin, in which it reminded him that the decision to strip Zoabi of selected privileges had passed the House Committee by a vote of 7-1 “following an open and inclusive public debate.”
The committee’s vote cannot be put into effect until the plenum approves the committee’s decision.
Although the committee’s decision was expected to pass the plenum
easily with the support of the majority of MKs, Rivlin disappointed
House Committee chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) by refusing to bring the
decision before the plenum for a vote in the same week.
“With all due respect, the failure to place such an important decision
for a vote in the plenum causes disrespect to the Knesset in the
public’s eyes, and increases the growing anger of the Zionist people of
Israel toward their elected officials,” wrote Israel Beiteinu faction
chairman Robert Ilatov.
Rivlin announced on Monday that “it has yet to be decided when the
House Committee’s decision on Zoabi will be brought before the plenum.
The subject is still on my table, and after consultation with the
government, it will not be included in the Knesset hearings this week.”
Rivlin added that with the high levels of emotion on the subject among
both Jews and Arabs, and in light of the attorney-general’s having said
that the matter was still being probed, the decision had been made to
delay the plenum vote.
Following Israel Beiteinu’s letter, Rivlin responded in a letter to
Levin that “I did not randomly make the decision to delay the vote, nor
was it made as a result of my personal views regarding the necessity of
the process, but rather through consultation with senior government
officials who are responsible for Israel’s foreign relations and for
defending Israel’s most crucial interests overseas.”
Rivlin added that “the implications of the vote on Israel’s
international standing are dramatic and far-reaching. There is no
argument that such a process would place Israel under a diplomatic
attack, would create heavy pressure against Israel from the United
Nations as well as Israel’s friends, and would play into the hands of