Edelstein threatens the opposition

Knesset Speaker says that if the opposition appeals to Supreme Court against Recommendations Law, he will prevent filibusters in the future.

Hezki Baruch ,

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Knesset Spokesperson

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday evening threatened the opposition, saying that if it appeals to the Supreme Court over the Recommendations Law, he would act to ensure that the opposition will not be able to carry out a filibuster in the future.

Edelstein’s remarks came as the Knesset began the vote on the Recommendations Law, after a 42-hour period in which members of the opposition gave lengthy speeches in an attempt to delay the vote. The voting is expected to take hours, as the opposition submitted hundreds of reservations against the law and each of them needs to be voted upon.

The Knesset Speaker spoke after Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid declared that his party would appeal to the Supreme Court should the bill pass. In response, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) chastised Lapid and accused him of disgracing the Knesset.

Edelstein said that, if Yesh Atid goes through with its appeal, he would in the future enact section 98 of the Knesset rules, a clause that cancels lengthy debates and barring the possibility of a filibuster.

"I have gone through difficult arguments about why I did not enact section 98, and why I allowed a 45-hour discussion. I hereby announce here and now, if after the vote there will be a request from one of the Knesset members to the Supreme Court, I will no longer interfere with section 98,” he declared.

The Yesh Atid party was unfazed by Edelstein’s threats, saying, "Yesh Atid does not take orders from the coalition, especially not on the day that the government is enslaving the entire democratic process for the purpose of Netanyahu's criminal troubles. The appeal will be submitted as planned tomorrow morning."

The Recommendations Law seeks to prohibit police from making public recommendations for or against prosecution at the end of an investigation. Opponents of the law have accused the law of shielding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from negative police recommendations in ongoing investigations against him.

Netanyahu has actually ordered that the Recommendations Law be amended so that it would not apply to investigations to which his name was connected.