Knesset passes law allowing expulsion of lawmakers


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Knesset passed a measure that would allow lawmakers to expel any member who supports armed struggle against Israel or incites racial hatred, but through a difficult process.

Lawmakers approved the amendment to Israel’s Basic Law on its second and third reading late Tuesday night by a vote of 62 to 45.

Under the new law, setting the impeachment process into motion is not easy. Ten of the 70 Knesset members who initiate the process must be from the opposition, three-quarters of the House Committee must sign off on it, and 90 lawmakers out of the 120-person Knesset must vote to approve it. The impeachment cannot be initiated during election season.

Also, any ouster can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The suspension law, as the amendment was known, was proposed in response to a visit by Israeli Arab lawmakers Haneen Zoabi, Basel Ghattas and Jamal Zahalka to families of Palestinian terrorists who were killed carrying out attacks against Israelis. They were each barred from the Knesset for several months after the February visits.

Arab lawmakers accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition of inciting against Israel’s Arab community and the Arab lawmakers.


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