Ofer Cassif
Ofer CassifYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

First publication: After more than 85 Knesset members signed MK Oded Forer's (Yisrael Beytenu) proposal to impeach MK Ofer Cassif from the Knesset, his party, Hadash-Ta'al is trying to thwart the move by pressuring the haredi parties.

All the Knesset members of Shas, all the Knesset members of the Degel Hatorah faction of the United Torah Judaism Party, and MKs Yaakov Tesler and Moshe Shimon Roth from the Agudat Yisrael faction of United Torah Judaism, signed the request to impeach Cassif, together with members of the Knesset from Otzma Yehudit, the Religious Zionist Party, Likud, Yisrael Beytenu, the National Unity Party and Yesh Atid.

In the next step of the impeachment, the House Committee must convene and vote with a majority of 75% in favor of the move. After that, the Knesset plenum has to approve it with a majority of 90 Knesset members.

Arutz Sheva-Israel National News has learned that MK Cassif asked to speak with senior members of the haredi parties in an attempt to convince them not to support his impeachment in the upcoming proceedings. He claimed that he always stood alongside the haredi public, and that supporting the impeachment process is a precedent that will ultimately harm the haredi representatives themselves.

The chairman of the Joint List faction, MK Ahmad Tibi, who has a long-standing relationship with many of the haredi MKs, also began to pressure the haredi parties to stop the impeachment of Cassif.

"If the support of the haredi parties leads to impeachment, it will mark the dissolution of the haredi-Arab alliance in the Knesset," threatened an official in the Joint List in a conversation with a haredi official.

Earlier, MK Yisrael Eichler from United Torah Judaism announced that he is opposed in principle to the disqualification of MK Cassif, since "the haredim will be next in line", as he put it.

"It is a serious mistake to support the initiative of [Avigdor] Liberman and Forer, who want to throw the haredim in wheelbarrows into the landfill. It is clear that the next in line for disqualification will be the haredi MKs," he said.

"The Supreme Court will back the disqualification of haredim, unlike Cassif, whom the Supreme Court will leave in the Knesset," added Eichler.

At the same time, he made it clear that he would attach his signature to the impeachment request so as not to disconnect himself from the position of his colleagues in the faction.

The proposal to remove Cassif from the Knesset was submitted after he signed a petition supporting the South African case against Israel at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Cassif, the sole Jewish representative in the predominantly Arab Hadash-Ta’al Party, has repeatedly drawn criticism for his anti-Israel statements, including comparisons of Israeli leaders and even the State of Israel to the Nazi party and Nazi-era Germany.

In March of 2023, the Knesset Ethics Committee decided to temporarily suspend Cassif from the plenary following a verbal confrontation in which he called MK Almog Cohen, among other things, a "stinking Nazi", "zero", "stupid" and "bloodthirsty".

Cassif once shared a Facebook post calling Ayelet Shaked, who at the time was serving as Justice Minister, a “neo-Nazi scum”.

Before the election in April of 2019, the Central Elections Committee decided to disqualify Cassif from running, but the Supreme Court overturned that decision.