Likud MK Tally Gotliv will not be able to participate in parliamentary activity in the next few days after being sanctioned by the Knesset Ethics Committee for blaming High Court Chief Justice Esther Hayut on social media in February for a terror attack in Jerusalem that killed three people, the committee announced on Tuesday.
Gotliv will not be able to speak during the next two Knesset plenum sessions on March 22 and March 27, and will not be allowed to speak in Knesset committee for the next three days of parliamentary activity. She also received a "severe reprimand."
Gotliv said in response, "Remember that I am not a marionette. I will return to work when my right and my duty to speak will be returned to me. I understand that this will lead to a delay in voting, but so be it. By the way, with the behavior of our representatives in the Ethics Committee, who needs enemies? I have noted this," the MK said.
The coalition is racing to pass a number of laws before the Knesset recesses for approximately a month beginning on April 2. The central law it is focusing on is the law to amend the Judicial Appointments Committee. While Gotliv is still permitted to vote, if she refuses to do so the 64-member coalition could lose a precious vote. The coalition needs 61 votes to pass this law, as it is an amendment to a Basic Law.
Why was Gotlive reprimanded?
Gotliv wrote on February 12 on Twitter, "I blame the High Court Chief Justice for the terror attack. I blame her for the feeling of chaos amongst the people of Israel, I blame her for the destruction and severe damage to democracy and the rule of law. She scared [people] regarding a right-wing government. Not because of the [judicial] reform. So what if there will be chaos here, so what if our enemies will attack us because they will identify weakness amongst us, everything is legitimate in order to topple a right-wing government," Gottlieb wrote.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior coalition members put out a short statement against the Tweet, but Gottlieb later repeated her claim, accusing Hayut of "scaring people because of legitimate actions of the right-wing government using very harsh words," as well as "sedition of half of the people against the other half."
"By doing so you are creating chaos amongst us and surely awakening the terrorists within us to bring about destruction," she said.
Gotliv argued in her defense that the appeals to the Ethics Committee were an attempt to silence her, and that her criticism was legitimate.
The Ethics Committee is made up of four MKs, two from the coalition and two from the opposition. Its discussions are not open to the public.
The committee announced a number of other decisions on Tuesday. Hadash-Ta'al MK Ayman Odeh received a reprimand and distancing for one day from the Knesset plenum due to a physical confrontation with National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir as well as calls against Arab police officers. Likud MKs Hanoch Milvetsky and Ariel Kallner received warnings for making unsuitable calls to Hadash-Ta'al's Ofer Cassif.