Rotem censured for twice calling Gal-On a ‘beast’

Knesset Ethics Committee censures Israel Beiteinu MK for “rude and insulting language" against Meretz MK.

By
January 24, 2012 16:38
1 minute read.
David Rotem.

David Rotem 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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The Knesset Ethics Committee on Tuesday censured Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu) for saying MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) “is not even a beast” and repeating his statement on the radio the next day.

In a committee meeting in November on a bill that would change the way Bar Association representatives to the Judicial Selection Committee are chosen, Gal-On called Rotem “a bully and a rude person.” In response, he told her to leave the meeting because she is “not even a beast.”

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The following day, on the Shai and Dror radio show, the hosts joked that Rotem spoke accurately, because Gal- On is not a beast. The Israel Beiteinu MK said there is beastly behavior, and below that there is Gal-On’s behavior.

Rotem told the Ethics Committee the complaint against him is justified.

“After MK Gal-On called me ‘a bully and a rude person,’ and Shai and Dror called me ‘a violent bully,’ I shouldn’t have stooped to their low level and reacted as I did,” he quipped.

The panel reprimanded Rotem for using “rude and insulting language, which he repeated the next day in a radio broadcast.”

The Ethics Committee noted that it recognizes MKs’ right to freedom of speech and the fact that some may get excited in an interview or argument.

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The committee added, however, that such insults “truly harm the dignity of the Knesset and its members, and reduce the public’s confidence in the Knesset.”

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