Photo: Motti Kimchi
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Edelstein trying to cancel event calling for Hebron evacuation

Knesset speaker trying to prevent conference organized by opposition MKs calling to evacuate the Jewish settlement in Hebron, which is set to take place on the same day as a state visit by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is trying to prevent a conference at parliament calling to evacuate the Jewish settlement in Hebron. In response, opposition MKs threatened to sabotage a visit of the Czech Republic's president on the same day.



The conference, organized by Joint List MKs Ayman Odeh and Dov Khenin and Meretz MK Michal Rozin, will be titled "Hebron First" and feature a speech from B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad, who recently spoke at the UN Security Council against Israeli treatment of the Palestinians.


Other invitees to the event on Monday include activists from left-wing groups B'Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Peace Now, Yesh Din and Palestinians from Hebron.


Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


Since news of the conference broke on Wednesday, Edelstein has been trying to have it cancelled, claiming Czech President Miloš Zeman, who is scheduled to visit the Knesset on the same day, will need all halls in the building for his team.


The conference organizers, however, refused to accept this claim, saying it did not make sense for the Czech president's entourage to have use of over 25 halls in the parliament building.


"As long as the settlers are in Hebron, we'll hold the conference," the organizing MKs said in a statement. "The Knesset is not the property of the Knesset speaker, and the parliament building is not the Likud party's stronghold."


Edelstein remained intransigent, and in response the Meretz party announced it would go ahead with the no-confidence vote it planned to submit on Monday, even though the coalition and opposition recently reached an agreement not to bring a no-confidence proposal to a vote that day to allow the Czech president to speak at the Knesset.


This could embarrass Zeman's hosts, who could find themselves with an important guest while MKs on both sides of the aisle are squabbling over the government's conduct.


Edelstein decided to turn to the Knesset's House Committee and demand a special agenda to be set for that day, which would allow the Czech president's speech to go ahead as planned without a no-confidence vote getting in the way. It would, however, also sideline the coalition's so-called "loyalty in culture" legislation, as all bill proposals would be taken off the agenda.


"The opposition insists on causing a diplomatic embarrassment to the Knesset, but we won't let it," Edelstein said.



פרסום ראשון: 11.22.18, 09:01
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