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Inter-Parliamentary Union petitioned over Israel’s ‘violations of Arab MKs’ rights’

Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a Knesset session [Prime Minister of Israel/Flickr]
Israeli Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech during a Knesset session [Prime Minister of Israel/Flickr]

Legal rights group Adalah has appealed to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) over what it calls “key violations” of the rights of Arab Members of Knesset.

According to a statement issued yesterday by Adalah: “Arab members of Israeli parliament are currently facing three key violations of their rights as publicly-elected representatives.”

The first example given was the decision by the Knesset Ethics Committee to bar MK Dr. Yousef Jabareen “from participating in lectures in the US due to the political views of sponsor organisation Jewish Voice for Peace which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement”.

According to Adalah, “this amendment to the Code of Ethics constitutes an exceptional precedent that is being used to overtly and improperly restrict the political freedom of expression and movement of a member of Knesset, unjustly burdening Arab MKs.”

A second example cited was the Knesset Presidium’s decision “to ban proposed legislation Basic Law: Country of all its Citizens from being brought to a vote”.

Read: Knesset blocks bill defining Israel as ‘country of all citizens’

“The bill authored was with the intention of permanently enshrining the principle of equal citizenship for every Israeli citizen within the law.”

Adalah has urged IPU “to intervene in this matter in order to allow the proposed Basic Law: Country of all its Citizens to proceed through the appropriate legislative process.”

The final example given was the Israeli Supreme Court’s “decision to uphold the discriminatory Expulsion of MKs Law”, which “permits a majority of 90 Knesset members to forcibly expel a fellow MK from office”.

According to Adalah, “it will allow the Knesset to silence the voices of many Arab citizens based upon the disapproval of the majority, regardless of the legality of the statements or actions themselves.”

The IPU is a global inter-parliamentary institution of 178 member parliaments aimed at “protect[ing] and build[ing] global democracy through political dialogue and concrete action”.

Read: Israel bill to compensate ‘terror victims’ using Palestinian money passed by Knesset

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