Ben-Dahan: Wording of 'suspension law' problematic

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan explains why Jewish Home backed down from support of a bill allowing for MKs to be suspended for misconduct.

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan
Hezki Ezra

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home party explained on Tuesday evening why his party backed down from its earlier support of a bill backed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu granting the Knesset the power to suspend legislators for misconduct.

Speaking at a conference taking place at the Dead Sea, Rabbi Ben-Dahan explained that the party felt that the word “misconduct” is problematic and needs to be clarified.

"Yesterday at the faction meeting we discussed the wording of the Prime Minister’s bill, under which it will be possible to suspend an MK until the end of his term in office by a majority of 90 Knesset members, over charges of misconduct," he said.

"I think the wording is problematic - 'misconduct' is a word that can be turned against us tomorrow," continued Rabbi Ben-Dahan though he stressed, "There are things over which we cannot keep quiet, such as a Knesset member who supports terrorism."

"We are suggesting that instead of something vague, the wording include something specific, such as ‘support for terrorist organizations’ or ‘harm to the state’. Use wording that is focused," he added. "We hope this text will be accepted."

The Jewish Home party announced earlier on Tuesday that while they favor disciplinary action against Arab MKs who met with families of terrorists, they have concerns about the wording of the bill in its current form . 

"The principle that's troubling for us is that the bill allows Knesset members to oust other MKs who were elected by the public," sources in the party told Haaretz. 

The decision will likely undermine the bill, which the Coalition Management confirmed Monday could begin the process of advancement.

Instead, the language of the original bill is likely to be changed to conform Jewish Home's new standards before the bill can be  promoted through the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.