Bill to Penalize MKs' Rhetoric Passes Preliminary Reading

Bill, proposed by MK Esterina Tartman, allows removal of MKs for expressing opinions against Israel.

The Knesset plenum on Wednesday passed a preliminary reading of a bill that would allow the Knesset to dismiss one of its members for publicly expressing anything that falls within "denial of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incitment to racism, support for armed battles by an enemy state or a terror organization against the State of Israel."

According to the bill, proposed by MK Esterina Tartman, the Knesset plenum would be able to dismiss a lawmaker after 30 MKs propose the dismissal, and a majority of 80 MKs vote in favor of it.

The bill passed with 34 MKs voting in favor, and 22 against. Most of the coalition factions supported the bill.

MK Michael Eitan, whose Likud party opposed the bill, called the move "a disgrace."

He called the decision "a blow to Israeli democracy and to minority rights by the left as well as the right, and a mark of disgrace for the Knesset."