MKs quote Winograd in plenum

MKs call decision not to allow special Knesset session on Winograd report "partisan politics."

zevulun orlev 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
zevulun orlev 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Legislators who were denied a special Knesset session Thursday on the findings of the Winograd Report showed their outrage by reading out portions of the interim report during Tuesday's plenum. Likud MKs Gideon Sa'ar and Reuven Rivlin, Meretz MKs Yossi Beilin and Zehava Gal-On and MK Arye Eldad (NU-NRP) led 10 of their colleagues in reading out portions of the report during a portion of the plenum meeting dedicated to one-minute speeches. "We do not want the public to think we are ignoring them and their cry for justice," said Eldad. Likud MKs said that Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik's decision to deny their request for a Thursday session "reeked of partisan politics," adding that it was designed to give Prime Minister Ehud Olmert additional days of grace before he would have to answer questions about the report. The Winograd Committee is set to release its report at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the time at which the Knesset normally ends its plenum sessions. Sa'ar and MK Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP) petitioned Itzik earlier this week for an additional session on Thursday so that the Knesset could debate Winograd in a "timely and appropriate manner." Orlev had also previously petitioned the Winograd Committee to move up the publication of its findings to earlier in the week, but was denied by committee chairman Eliahu Winograd. "We believe that this is an erroneous decision. The report's value far outweighs the prime minister's attempts to bide a few extra moments of political time," wrote Sa'ar and Orlev in response to Itzik's decision. "There is no doubt that debates essential to the national agenda must be held within the Knesset arena." A statement released by Itzik said that the Knesset would hold a special session on the Winograd Report at some point next week, although no date has yet been set. Many MKs said that they would remain in the Knesset Wednesday to hear the official reading of the report, despite not being able to discuss it in the plenum.