Oppenheimer banned from Knesset

Oppenheimer banned from

October 26, 2009 13:58

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin barred Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer from entering the Knesset premises on Monday, after activists from the left-wing group posed as students and attempted to persuade right-wing MKs to release statements that would be used to portray Israel's political Right negatively in a documentary. The activists were detained after MK Michael Ben-Ari (NU) and his aide became suspicious of the nature of the questions posed to him by the "students," and referred the matter to Knesset security. A security check revealed that the three had visited the Knesset a week earlier to conduct interviews with MK Danny Danon (Likud) and MK Fania Kirshenbaum (Israel Beitenu). Following Rivlin's decision, the group put out a statement condemning the ban, which it termed and "attempt to punish the movement in the place which is supposed to guard freedom of movement for all of society." Oppenheimer himself said that he would appeal Rivlin's "hasty and scandalous decision." "Everyone who was interviewed knew that he was being interviewed in front of a camera, and was given freedom of speech," Oppenheimer said in a statement. "Every attempt to silence voices proves that maybe people are embarrassed of their viewpoints."

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