MK Rivlin Response to ACRI

Re: Verbal Abuse and Silencing at the Knesset

[stamp] Received by ACRI on 20 June, 2010
Knesset Speaker’s Office
Jerusalem – 10 June, 2010
Ref: 2086310

Attn: Mr. Hagai Elad
Executive Director – ACRI
75 Nahlat Binyamin St.
Tel Aviv 65154

Dear Sir,
Re: Your Letter to the Knesset Speaker, Dated 6 June, 2010

I am honored to offer this reply in coordination with the Knesset speaker.
First, thank you for your kind words regarding the Knesset speaker’s attitude to the events that took place in the plenum session last week.
he Knesset speaker consistently believes democracy to be the heart and soul of the State of Israel, feeling it is a fundamental value without which Israel cannot form its unique identity as a Jewish and democratic state. The Knesset speaker is against impairing on the privileges of MKs through Parliamentary proceedings, dreading this slippery slope that might eliminate the minority and impose the tyranny of the majority.

He believes that any attempt to silence an MK – certainly from the podium, even if his remarks deviate from the majority position and, to a large extent, actually because they do – is wrong, redundant, and harms Israel on the international ring. Needless to say that the manner of speech chosen by certain MKs on both sides of the fence displeased the Knesset speaker, even if their remarks were made passionately, in the heat of the moment. Some of them have already expressed their regret over that in recent Knesset debates.

The Knesset speaker believes that the State of Israel’s glory stems from being a solid democracy that justifiably earned itself a name as country that earnestly defends the rights of minorities living in it. This view guides him through his manner of conduct and instructs his decisions.

Harel Tobi
Knesset speaker’s senior advisor and spokesperson

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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Arab Citizens of Israel, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression

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