Knesset approves 'Dismissal Law'

Law that permits dismissal of MKs over misconduct passes second and third readings in the Knesset.

Hezki Baruch ,

Knesset Plenum
Knesset Plenum
Knesset Spokesperson

The Knesset on Tuesday night approved the second and third readings of the so-called “Dismissal Law”, which states that Knesset members could be dismissed for misconduct if a majority of 90 MKs vote to suspend them.

The bill passed by a majority of 62 MKs who voted in favor and 47 who voted against.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the approval of the law.

"Tonight we approved the Dismissal Law and put an end to the absurd: Anyone who supports terrorism against Israel and its citizens – will not serve in the Israeli Knesset. Like any democracy in the world, Israeli democracy also has the right and obligation to defend itself," said the Prime Minister.

Coalition chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) welcomed the approval of the law as well, saying, "We passed a bill that will be used as a whip against those who believe that they can take advantage of democracy to undermine the State of Israel.”

“It was important for us to pass the law by an absolute majority rather than just a simple majority in order to make it clear to those who appeal to the Supreme Court that the Knesset decision is unequivocal,” added Bitan.

Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog condemned the law on Twitter.

“The Dismissal Law is a murky stain on the face of Israel. The government of hatred is only increasing the rift that threatens the State of Israel more than any external enemy,” he said.

MK Yael German (Yesh Atid), a member of the Knesset Constitution Committee, reacted to the passing of the bill and said: “The Knesset crossed all the red lines. No democratic country has a law that allows members of parliament to dismiss other members in this way. Any MK who breaks the law can be prosecuted, and there is no need for this bill. It is also not intended for Hanin Zoabi because it is not retroactive. It is intended to intimidate and prevent freedom of expression.”

German added: “It seems that the government is confused between the State, the best interests of the government and the good of the public, as it tries to strike fear among the groups that criticizes it and hurts the principles of equality and freedom.”

MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) said that the "dismissal law finished Israeli democracy".

"One day this law will turn on you. I will fight with the rest of my strength that it will not happen, because it is inconceivable that one MK will decide that another MK cannot serve,” he added.

Under the bill, the Knesset plenum will be able to dismiss a member of Knesset for inciting racism and supporting the armed struggle against Israel, on condition that 90 MKs support the impeachment.

The impeachment proceedings would begin after the impeachment request is signed by 70 MKs, 10 of which are MKs who are not members of the coalition. It will not be possible to dismiss an MK during an election campaign (180 days before Election Day or the day that the Knesset decision to disperse).

The impeachment proceedings would begin with a request which shall be submitted to the Knesset Speaker. The Speaker will pass the request to the Knesset Committee for discussion. Approval of the application will require the support of a majority of three-quarters of the members of the committee. After the approval of the committee, the request will be forwarded for final approval of the Knesset plenum.

The bill was put together by the Prime Minister following the actions of Arab MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas of the Joint List's Balad faction, who caused a public outrage after they met with the families of Arab terrorists.