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Barak, Ayalon Punished for Knesset Absences

Defense Minister Barak, Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon have pay docked for missing too many Knesset sessions.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 11/9/2011, 4:02 PM

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will both lose two days’ pay over repeated absences from the Knesset, the Knesset Ethics Committee has announced. The two were among six MKs and ministers who failed to attend the requisite number of Knesset sessions.

Barak missed 18 sessions, two more than the limit. The committee found that his absences could not be attributed to illness or another approved reason.

The Defense Minister has repeatedly been in trouble with the committee over absences. He missed three more sessions than permitted last year, and six more than were allowed in the first year.

Ministers’ full schedules are not an excuse to miss more than 16 sessions, the Ethics Committee said in a reminder issued this week. “Ministers have many obligations to fulfill in Knesset, both as Members of Knesset who are called on to take part in discussions and voting, and in their role as ministers, who are asked to appear before Knesset committees and to respond to proposed laws,” the committee said.

Ayalon missed 18 sessions as well. He informed the committee that he had been abroad on Foreign Ministry business for 12 of the sessions in question, and pledged to work hard to fulfill his commitments to the Knesset.

The Ethics committee decided to punish Ayalon for only half of his missed days.

Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya'alon, MK Leah Ness, MK Ruchama Avraham, and MK Yitzchak Herzog each missed more sessions than allowed as well. However, as none of the four had a record of missing sessions in previous years, they were all let off with a warning.