MK Anastasia Michaeli (Israel Beiteinu) is suspended from the Knesset for a month, beginning on Wednesday, after pouring a cup of water on MK Ghaled Majadle (Labor) during a heated argument in the Knesset Education Committee this week. The Knesset Ethics Committee announced the Israel Beiteinu MK’s punishment on Tuesday morning, following Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and the Labor Party’s filing complaints shortly after the incident on Monday.
Michaeli will not be allowed to participate in plenum or committee discussions, but she will be permitted to vote. Majadle praised the Ethics Committee’s decision, which he said will bring back his and the Knesset’s respect and deter others from acting similarly.“At this point, I have not made a decision about the continuation of this incident, and all options are open,” he added.The Israel Beiteinu MK apologized for pouring water on Majadle and causing distress to her party and colleagues in the Knesset. “There is no place for such behavior in a respectable place such as the Knesset or anywhere else, even if it comes from being upset and insulted,” Michaeli said. On Monday, Michaeli interrupted Majadle while he was speaking – not an unusual occurrence in the Knesset – and the Labor MK told her to “shut up.” As the argument grew heated, Majadle requested from Knesset Education Committee chairman Alex Miller (Israel Beiteinu) to either eject or silence Michaeli for being “rude and disorderly,” which Miller would not do.“She, and no one else, will silence me – I was elected to represent the public!” Majadle exclaimed. “No one will take away my independence. Military rule [over Israeli- Arabs] ended in 1966.”At that point, Michaeli picked up a cup of water from the committee’s table, poured it on Majadle’s head, and walked out of the room.The Labor MK then called Michaeli crazy, and her behavior “wild, rude and fascist.” Following the incident, Rivlin, Israel Beiteinu and Labor all condemned Michaeli’s actions.This is not the first time the Israel Beiteinu MK has been punished by the Knesset Ethics Committee. In August, Michaeli was reprimanded for “attempting to physically disturb” MK Haneen Zoabi (Balad). Michaeli attempted to block Zoabi as she took the stand in a plenum discussion of the 2010 Gaza flotilla, in which the Balad MK had participated.