Photo: Haim Horenstein
Photo: Hagai Aharon
The Knesset Ethics Committee decided on Tuesday to suspend United Arab List-Ta’al MK Ibrahim Sarsur for one day after he refereed to Defense Minister Amir Peretz as a “murderer.”
Arab MK Jamal Zahalka (National Democratic Assembly) was suspended from the Knesset for three days for making similar remarks.
The Ethics Committee hearing was held following complaints made by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik and MK Yoel Hasson. It was also said that during the first days of the recent war in Lebanon Zahalka lashed out MK Benjamin Netanyahu, telling the Likud chairman, “You want war; you’re the angel of death.”
Itzik told the committee, “freedom of expression is very dear to my heart, and I consider it foundation stone to ensure the Knesset members’ ability to operate. However, freedom of expression has nothing to with the phrase’ angel of death’…this is verbal hooliganism of the lowest kind that should not be protected but condemned. Itzik requested that the committee suspend Zahalka for the maximum 10 days.
Zahalka responded by saying that “the Ethics Committee has adopted a discriminatory, mouth-shutting policy, lead by the Knesset speaker. I believe this is a political and unfair decision that disrupts parliamentary work instead of defending it.
“I stand behind my comments against the war, its crimes and criminals,” he said.