Likud MK to Joint List: The party's over

MK Nurit Koren seeks to sanction Arab Knesset members who boycott official visits.

Hezki Baruch ,

Nurit Koren
Nurit Koren
Hezki Baruch

MK Nurit Koren (Likud) on Sunday evening blasted the Arab MKs from the Joint List who are planning to boycott the speech of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the Knesset.

Koren said she would initiate an amendment to the Knesset members' ethics rules, according to which a member of the Knesset who boycotts an official visit will not be able to receive funding from the Knesset for trips to the country whose official he boycotted.

In addition, the amendment will regulate the rules of conduct of Knesset members in the plenum during an official visit, as in the view of MK Koren, the use of a provocation intended to harm an official visit is tantamount to harming the foreign relations of the State of Israel and the dignity of the Knesset. The duration of the sanction will last as long as the boycotted personality holds any official position in his country.

"Democracy is not only rights. It has a price and entails many obligations that are necessary to protect it. In this case, the option provided to Knesset members from the Joint List to boycott an official visit by one of Israel's greatest friends will be accompanied by a future sanction - they will not be able to receive funding for their travel to the United States,” said Koren.

“The party’s over. It is time to stop the absurd exploitation of loopholes in democracy on the part of the members of the Joint List without consequences. My proposal aims to set a clear price for their actions," she added.

On Saturday, Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh reiterated that his party will boycott Pence's speech at the Knesset.

In a tweet, Odeh wrote, "I was asked if there has been a change in our position regarding Pence's visit."

"He is a dangerous man, who has a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region. He comes here as the emissary of a man who is even more dangerous - a political pyromaniac, racist, and misogynist who cannot be allowed to lead the way in our area. The entire Joint List will boycott his Knesset speech."

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked the Arab MKs for their decision, saying, “It is a disgrace that MKs seek to boycott the speech. We will all be there, and will give the Vice President the honor due to him.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) similarly criticized Odeh’s statements.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the outrageous statements by Ayman Odeh, who denigrated and belittled VP Pence and plans to boycott his speech. Israel's Arab citizens deserve better leadership than Ayman & his fellow extremists,” tweeted Erdan.