MK Zehava Galon
MK Zehava GalonFlash 90

Meretz chairwoman MK Zehava Galon was removed from the Knesset plenum on Monday evening after she insulted MK Sharon Gal of Yisrael Beytenu.

The incident took place during a heated discussion over a bill that seeks to expand the definition of a "security detainee".

During the debate, Galon referred to another bill proposed by Gal that would impose a death penalty on terrorists and said, “Any messed up person brings up a bill and you align yourselves with it.”

At that point, Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union), who chaired the meeting, asked Galon to apologize for what she said, and when she refused he asked her to leave the plenum.

Galon refused to leave and was removed by the ushers. After she was removed, shouts and protests were heard from other Meretz Knesset members and all of them were removed from the plenum after being called to order three times.

Following the incident, MK Gal said, "When I was a child I was taught that anyone has the right to choose from whom to take offense and in this case I'm not offended by a person who holds a shameful ceremony in which she reads testimonies from Breaking the Silence, who calls to label products made by Jews, and more. Recently MK Galon said she and her friends did not have to take responsibility for any leftist such as [Yair] Garbuz and [Oded] Kotler, and what we saw here today is the ‘enlightened’ and ‘liberal’ left.”

Galon, for her part, told Gal, "[What I said] was a compliment compared to what I think of you.”

Gal’s bill would curtail the rights of security detainees, thus making it more difficult for convicted inmates who are held in the same jail to use them as go-betweens in communication with the outside world. The other bill that caused Galon's ire, a bill which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acted to shelve on Sunday before it was discussed by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, would alter the existing law and require that those found guilty of murder for terrorist reasons be executed.

The incident should not come as a surprise, as Meretz and Yisrael Beytenu do not agree on most issues, despite both parties being in the opposition.

In fact, Gal himself recently said the Knesset should expect increasingly closer cooperation between his party and the coalition, saying Yisrael Beytenu has “nothing in common with the left-wing opposition. What is there between us and Zehava Galon?”