Knesset Committee Decides to Ignore 'Nuisance' of Mass-mailed Complaints

Mass-mailed complaints stem from social media campaigns encouraging people to complain about a certain lawmakers.

Michal Fattal

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided on Tuesday to take action against mass-mailed complaints, in which dozens of people send identical complaints against a given Knesset member to the committee.

To this end, it said, it plans to ignore most such complaints: It will refuse to discuss the allegations they make and will not send any response to the complainants. Currently, the committee informs every complainant of the outcome of his complaint.

Committee Chairman Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) explained that dealing with these mass complaints is a “nuisance.”

Generally, mass-mailed complaints stem from social media campaigns encouraging people to complain about a certain MK. Over the past week, for instance, members of the public have filed dozens of complaints against MK Haneen Zoabi (Joint Arab List) because she called Israeli soldiers “murderers” from the Knesset podium.

The committee, which is authorized to punish MKs for violating the Knesset’s code of ethics, has always received complaints from individuals or organizations outside the Knesset. But the phenomenon of mass-mailed, identical complaints is fairly new.

“The Ethics Committee sees no value in submitting large quantities of identical complaints, and beyond the nuisance entailed in receiving and answering these complaints, this even demonstrates contempt for the committee and the proceedings that take place there,” the panel wrote in its decision.