Ofer Cassif
Ofer CassifYonatan Sindel/Flash90

With a majority of 14:2, the Knesset House Committee decided to impeach MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash-Taal) – contrary to the position of the Knesset legal advisor and state attorney general

The two MKs who voted against were Ahmad Tibi and Waleed Taha. Tibi commented, “This is a dark day for the Knesset.” MK Moshe Saada responded, “A day of justice.”

The decision will now be forwarded to the Knesset plenum, where a majority of 90 Knesset members in favor is required.

At the meeting, the attorney general's representative, Adv. Avital Sompolinsky clarified that the legal counsel's position is that Cassif should not be impeached: "The intensity of disgust and indignation at a Knesset member’s actions are not a measure for establishing grounds for impeachment of an incumbent member of Knesset. Disgust with actions and condemnation is one thing, and the grounds to impeach an incumbent Knesset member legally are another – and these are two separate things."

She further claimed that "the impeachment of an incumbent member of the Knesset is an action that severely damages the right to choose and be elected, the personal rights of a member of Knesset, and the freedom of political expression, and must be implemented only according to law, and based on established evidential infrastructure."

According to her, "The impeachment of MK Cassif on grounds of the petition he signed, would be to set a precedent and dangerous standard for examining the reasons for disqualification and impeachment as designed and outlined in the ruling. From a broad perspective, this could lead to the reduction of Knesset members’ freedom of political expression and damage to Israeli democracy and resilience."

MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu), who initiated Cassif's impeachment proceedings, commented, "What MK Cassif did during the war when he signed a petition to the ICJ in the Hague that the State of Israel is committing genocide, is support for the armed struggle."

"By doing so, MK Cassif endangered IDF soldiers and shed their blood during a war. If his demand had been accepted, Israel would have been left defenseless in the face of a brutal attack, tying Israel's hands and preventing the state from fighting against Hamas. All this, while Hamas would be free to continue slaughtering Israeli civilians without hindrance. I hope that at the last stage, in the Knesset plenum, 90 members of the Knesset will vote in favor and bring about the final removal of MK Cassif,” he concluded.

In response, representatives of the Labor Party stated, "Labor Party members of the Knesset, who fought for many months to preserve the character and democratic identity of the State of Israel, will not support the impeachment process of MK Ofer Kasif, which is against the law and is anti-democratic in nature."