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The suspension bill is only considered non-democratic now that Israel wants

to implement the legislation, prime minister claims.

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM
POST)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to criticism of the suspension bill
during a Likud faction meeting on Monday, listing various democratic countries
that allow for the expulsion of parliament members through a government vote.
The suspension process as described in the bill would begin with a request signed
by 61 MKs, which would have to be approved by at least three-quarters of the
Knesset House Committee’s members, and then brought to the plenum where at
least 90 lawmakers would have to vote in its favor for it to take effect.
"In the United States, this issue is enshrined in the Constitution," explained
Netanyahu. "Congress can impeach a member due to misconduct with a two-

thirds majority vote."
"In England, a member of Parliament can be suspended for violating the rules of
Parliament or for standing in contempt of Parliament with a simple majority
vote," said Netanyahu.
"Additionally, a member of the lower house can be dismissed permanently from
his position without the right to appeal with a simple majority if the majority of
the members of the house believe him to be unfit for the job, and in Canada, the
lower house can expel a member due to misconduct," he continued.
The prime minister explained that Israel is simply looking at the processes and
powers that already exist in other democracies, policies that are now being
described as anti-democratic now that Israel is looking to adopt them.
"We will not be deterred and we will pass this elementary thing," declared
Netanyahu. "As members of Knesset stand in a moment of silence for the
murderers of children, we will behave as they would in the United Kingdom,
Canada and the United States if they were standing in memory of John the
Jihadist or in the memory of other killers."
Netanyahu initiated the bill to suspend MKs after Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi
and Basel Ghattas, MKs from Balad, one of the parties making up the Joint List,
met with 10 families of terrorists who killed Israelis and whose bodies are being
held by the police who say the families have rejected demands to hold a modest
funeral to avoid violence. The three lawmakers stood in a moment of silence for
Palestinian “martyrs,” and a Balad Facebook page identified one of the
terrorists, who killed three Israelis, as a “martyr.” One of the bodies was
released Monday.
However, the Balad MKs’ meeting with terrorists’ families could not be used to
remove them from office, as the bill states that it can only apply to actions
taken after it passes into law.
The candidate for suspension would have a chance to defend him or herself
before the House Committee. If the panel rejects the punishment, its decision
will be final. If not, the committee must determine the length of the suspension,
which can be until the end of the MK’s term.

Suspended MKs will be able to challenge the punishment in the Supreme Court.