Minister says Opposition escalated Monday’s tiff in the Knesset, during which Moshe Feiglin was called ‘fascist,’ for political reasons.
By Ido Ben-Porat and Tova Dvorin
Minister for Senior Citizens MK Uri Orbach (Jewish Home) defended MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) on Tuesday, after Feiglinforcibly removedMK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) and MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) from the Knesset podium for labelling Feiglin a “fascist” and threatening him.
According to Orbach, an MK who calls another MK a “fascist” and threatens to “choke” him must be removed immediately.
”It’s not just a matter of rules, but basic courtesy,” Orbach stated, in a Facebook post. “It’s not about free speech, but the basicprinciples of parliamentary democracy.”
Orbach stated that Feiglin’s decision to boot the two MKs from the podium was “just.”
”There is absolutely no room for discretion,” he added. “It’s like a football [soccer – ed.] player spitting on the referee and not receiving a red card [to eject him from the game – ed.].”
Orbach also slammed several other Opposition MKs who went up to the podium and began heckling Feiglin for the decision.
“Are you out of your minds?” he said. “Does it seem to you that someone who curses out the Knesset Speaker and calls him ‘fascist’ can be worked with in peace?”
“Do you not think that mudslinging like this by Arab MKs can encourage a young Arab in Jabal Mukaber [in Jerusalem – ed.] to hurt Jews,” he added, referring to the neighborhood where the terrorists behind last week’s massacre in Har Nof lived.
Orbach also attributed the hullaballoo to sinister political motivations from the Opposition, in his words – specifically “Labor and Meretz.”
“Members of the opposition, on the left, with a little help from friends and the media, are trying to create an atmosphere of chaos in the Knesset,” he fired, “by claiming that Arabs are repressed there because of their cultural identity and not because of the curses they uttered and the ongoing incitement they have raised in the Knesset.”
”Rudeness and bad taste are not a criminal offense,” he continued, “but there is basic etiquette in the Knesset. Harsh verbal violence against [Feiglin] by Zahalka and Barakeh is dangerous to democracy and encourages violence.”
Monday’s heated debate emerges just as tension in the coalition are at an all-time high, following the postponement of the preliminary reading for the Jewish State Law. MKs and analysts alike have predicted that the coalition could fall if Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) do not vote for the bill according to the coalition agreement, although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself stated Monday that only “time will tell” if the crisis will culminate in new elections.