Opposition score rare victory in Knesset plenum

A motion calling for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the country’s placement of Arab teachers in the education system passed on the Knesset floor, 47-46.

 Ministers in the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021. (photo credit: DANNY SHEMTOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)
Ministers in the Knesset plenum on October 4, 2021.
(photo credit: DANNY SHEMTOV/KNESSET SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

The Knesset’s opposition managed to pass a motion on the Knesset floor on Wednesday afternoon, in a move seen as an embarrassment to the ruling coalition. The motion, which passed 47 to 46, called for the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the country’s placement of Arab teachers in the education system. It was sponsored by the Joint List and its leaders Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi.

Earlier, Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir interrupted Yesh Atid MK Yasmin Sax Fridman in the Knesset and called her a “cat feeder.”

The statement took place as the Public Security Committee held a discussion on crime in the Arab sector.

Sax Fridman quickly fired back in response, “Do you really think this is an insult to me? If you knew me, you’d know who I am.”

His nickname for her was also criticized as disrespectful by committee chairwoman Merav Ben-Ari.

Sax Fridman has expressed support for animal rights and spoke about feeding cats in her maiden speech to the Knesset.

The MK later took to Twitter with a video of the interaction at the Knesset.

“Want to tell Itamar that cat feeders can do more? Tell us what you do while feeding cats,” she tweeted, followed by the hashtag translating to “‘cat feeder’ is not a curse.”

This is not the first time the Religious Zionist Party MK has stirred up controversy and angered his fellow MKs.

On Tuesday, Ben-Gvir got into a physical altercation with Odeh. Ben-Gvir had gone to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot to check in on a Hamas terrorist undergoing the 91st day of a hunger strike.

Odeh soon arrived, however, and shouted, “Why are you the one telling me not to go in there?!”

The two exchanged insults and Odeh soon shoved Ben-Gvir, who shoved back. They were separated by civilians before it could escalate further, and Ben-Gvir filed a complaint shortly after the incident.

Ben-Gvir said Tuesday night that the police had not responded yet to the complaint.