Aida Touma-Suleiman
Aida Touma-SuleimanKnesset spokesperson

An argument broke out in the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality between committee head Aida Touma-Suleiman (Joint Arab List) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) Monday.

The committee was meeting to discuss the issue of shelters for at-risk girls from the haredi community. MK Touma-Suleima objected to the fact that in former advertisements for the shelter it had been touted as "preventing assimilation" between Jews and Arabs.

When MK Smotrich tried to answer her, she tried to prevent him from speaking and then ordered that he be thrown out of the discussion.

"MK Touma-Suleiman decided to promote her party's agenda to make the State of Israel 'the state of all its people.'" Smotrich said afterwards. "The use of the committee for a political agenda is not proper. Furthermore, even if the association claimed that it's goal was the prevention of assimilation, as was stated in the committee, that is a legitimate goal."

"Those who say that resistance to assimilation is racism have a serious identity problem and certainly do not represent the majority of Jewish society in Israel. The nation of Israel sustained itself for thousands of years (in exile) and it is our duty to ensure that it continues (to do so) in the Jewish State. I believe that the decision of the committee chairwoman to throw me out is McCarthyism in all its glory." Smotrich said.