Livni Moves to Block Bill That Would Oust MKs Who Back Armed Resistance

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Justice Minister Tzipi Livni at a meeting of Hatunah, Nov. 24, 2014.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has lodged a protest against the coalition's plan to push through a bill that would oust sitting Israeli lawmakers who support armed struggle against Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week voiced his support for the bill, known as the Haneen Zoabi Law (after the Israeli MK), but demanded that a substantial majority of lawmakers be required to support expulsion before an MK gets the boot. The current version requires only a simple majority of at least 61 of the Knesset’s 120 members.

The bill’s main target appears to be MK Zoabi (Balad), who expressed understanding for the terrorists who kidnapped three Israeli teens in June and for Hamas during its 50-day war with Israel.

Livni's move will likely bury the bill unless Netanyahu presses for another discussion on the matter. In a rare step, it was the coalition administration forum in the Knesset and not the ministerial legislative committee that approved imposing coalition discipline that would allow advancing the bill. The reported reason is that because the proposal requires changing the Basic Law: Knesset, and the repercussions it would have on the functioning of the legislative authority, the government decided not to take a declared stance on the matter and to pass on to the Knesset. the decision of imposing coalition discipline

Livni sent a letter on Tuesday to the government secretary, Avihai Mandelblit, in which she protested the decision of the ministerial committee to pass the decision on to the Knesset and demanded to hold a new meeting on approving the bill.

"The proposal raises constitutional and regime-related questions, and is not a technical question touching on Knesset activity," she wrote. "It is appropriate that the government take a position on such a question."

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