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

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

David Rotem 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
David Rotem 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
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.”
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.
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.”