The Knesset Ethics Committee has fined Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi $5,900 for his antics from the Knesset podium last month.
Tibi is the first Arab MK to be appointed Deputy Knesset Speaker. Make that in the past tense: “He was.” The Ethics Committee demoted him from the position until the end of the current session
He and seven other Arab MKS demonstrated their great respect for the law and the honor of the Knesset by stepping up to the podium and tearing up the bill, now a law, which regulates hundreds of illegal Bedouin villages whose residents are to be moved to legal homes.
Haredi MK Moshe Gafni put on the same theatrics earlier this year when he tore up a Knesset document from the podium.
Arab MK Ahmed went one step further in his stage performance last month by dumping a cup of water on the bill, damaging the Knesset podium microphone and amplifier.
“Comedy Hour” is every hour on the hour at the Knesset, but Tibi’s antics did not amuse the Knesset Ethics Committee.
Tibi explained to the committee members that he simply was carrying out a quaint Arab saying that one should spill water on something that has not value and let it drink the water.
The electronic equipment and the bill that he tore up before spilling water did not honor the Arab saying, and the committee censured Tibi.
His office replied, that the Ethics Committee decision was “manipulation that is not worthy of a response.”
That in itself is a marked improvement. It is rare when a Knesset Member not only has nothing to say but also admits it.
The Committee did not fine the other Arab MKs and MK Gafni, stating that their behavior was not honorable but that they did not violate the Knesset protocol that forbid using an external object to make a point.
The Committee explained that there is no clause in the protocol that prohibits a Knesset member from tearing up a document, even it if is a law.
Many Knesset Members not only tear up laws but they also break them.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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