Knesset vote today on MK Expulsion Bill

ACRI Attorney Debbie Gild-Hayo: “This is one of the most serious legislative proposals in recent years, and it harms the very building blocks of democracy – the right to freedom of expression, the right to vote and to be elected, and the right to representation. This bill provides members of Knesset with the power to dismiss serving MKs for political reasons. Freedom of expression is tested in extreme cases, by the ability to accommodate difficult positions. Arab MKs whose actions and remarks do not find favor with the political majority will be the first people harmed by the bill – however it is a slippery slope and the bill has potential to affect all MKs. It is no coincidence that there are right-wing MKs, including the Minister for Justice, who do not support the law.


The bill allows political parties to act as investigators, prosecutors and judges. The proposal provides enormous and excessive power to the Knesset Committee, which is a political body, whose members have political and electoral interests, to dismiss their professional colleagues who were elected democratically by a large group of civilians. They do not take into account the legal considerations or appropriate checks and balances necessary for the protection of democracy, minorities and individual rights. ”


The final version of the bill was approved yesterday in the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and is due to be discussed and voted on by the full plenum today, 19 July 2016.


The final version of the Bill includes the following:


Amendment to the Basic Law of the Knesset:


  • The Knesset may dismiss (as opposed to suspend) serving MKs with a majority vote of 90 members of Knesset, if the requirements of section 7 (a) (2) or (3) are met – incitement to racism or supporting the armed struggle against Israel (i.e. – the condition regarding the denial of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state has been removed).
  • The Knesset Committee will reach a decision by a majority vote of three quarters of its members.
  • 70 MKs are needed to commence proceedings, of which at least 10 MKs must be from the opposition.
  • If membership of an MK is terminated they will need to cease working within 14 days, during which they cannot participate in discussions but will be able to vote.
  • The decision may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • The dismissal provision will not apply during elections.


Amendment to the Knesset Law:


Adding Chapter 1D


  • An application must be submitted to the Chair of the Knesset, who will then forward the application to the Knesset Committee.
  • A decision by the Knesset Committee not to dismiss an MK is final.
  • The MK has the right to a hearing and can be represented by an attorney before the Knesset Committee.
  • The Knesset Committee and/or the Plenum are required to give notice at least 10 days in advance of the hearings.
  • The hearing in the Knesset Committee/ Plenum will take place within three weeks of the request and/or decision.
  • Provisions have been determined/ taking immunity
  • An appeal must be made to the Supreme Court within 2 days of the Plenum’s decision. Provisions of the Electoral Law will apply.
  • Provisions in the law regarding the “election period” will not apply.



Please click here for more information on the Bill.


Please also see ACRI’s position in the news articles below:


Israeli parliament passes controversial legislation allowing MP expulsion

By: Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, 20 July 2016


Israeli parliament passes controversial impeachment law

By: BBC News, 20 July 2016


Israeli Parliament passes law enabling ouster of legislators

By: Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 19 July 2016


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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties

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