Robert Tiviaiev
Robert TiviaievHezki Baruch

The Zionist Union party on Wednesday decided to suspend MK Robert Tiviaev from his parliamentary activity after he was not present in the Knesset during a vote.

Tiviaev stood outside the plenum when Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli's bill to equalize old-age pensions to the minimum wage came up for a vote. In his defense Tiviaev claimed on his Twitter account that he was at an important meeting during the vote.

"In the past few days, we have worked to mobilize all the opposition factions in favor of this important bill, which ultimately fell by a difference of a single vote. MK Tiviaev chose to ignore the demand of the faction's representatives to participate in the vote, without any justification. This is a serious act of violation of faction discipline on a fundamental and important issue," the Zionist Union said in a statement.

Opposition whip MK Yoel Hasson consulted with party chairman Avi Gabbay and opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni and it was decided to suspend Tiviaev’s parliamentary activity for a month.

"If during the next month MK Tiviaev will behave as a team player and in accordance with the positions of the faction, the sanctions will be removed. If he acts against the faction, the sanctions will be stepped up," the party said.

The Zionist Union added that they would also discuss the absence of MK Hilik Bar from the plenum upon his return from China, where he has been the past week.

MK Robert Tiviaev said in response, "Yoel Hasson's hypocrisy has crossed the line. Unfortunately, the heads of the Zionist Union are following the pyromaniac, instead of forming a strong and effective opposition. Slandering and threatening, such as what was done this week to MK Hilik Bar and now to me, lead to separation and add nothing to the strength of the opposition. On the contrary, every vote is so important that in a foolish and childish way Hasson boomeranged the opposition and lost a vote for a month."

"I suggest to Yoel Hasson not to lecture me about social issues. As a representative of the Russian sector I have not seen him helping me to lead issues that are important to the sector, not even once. As a representative of the sector I will not remain silent. Not when Hasson tramples me and not when he ignores the issues that are important to us," Tiviaev added.