Arab lawmakers respond to speech boycotts by walking out on Netanyahu address


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Members of Israel’s ruling government coalition boycotted speeches by lawmakers of the Arab Joint List at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session, and the Arab lawmakers responded by walking out on the address by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The coalition said in advance of the Israeli parliament’s opening on Monday that its members would boycott the Joint List to demonstrate its anger at the party’s decision to boycott the funeral last month of former President Shimon Peres.

Joint List members frequently walk out on Netanyahu speeches at official events, Haaretz reported.

Under Knesset house rules, at least one coalition minister must remain in the plenum hall during the sessions.

Freshman Likud lawmaker Yitz Glick remained in the plenum for the speech of Joint List lawmaker Taleb Abu Arar.

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