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Israel government working on Bill to enable expulsion of Arab MKs

January 25, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (L) holds weekly cabinet meeting at The Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem, on January 3, 2023. [Israeli Government Press Office – Anadolu Agency]

The new Israeli coalition government is working on a Bill submission that could enable the expulsion of Arab-led parties out of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), reported The Times of Israel.

Under the Bill, drawn up by Head of the coalition government and Knesset Committee Chairman, Ofir Katz, of the Likud Party, MKs expressing solidarity with Palestinian victims will result in being banned from the Knesset.

In response, MK Ayman Odeh, leader of Hadash-Ta’al Party, criticised the plan on Twitter, saying “the struggle for democracy needs to be a struggle for democracy for all”.

“We, the Arabs, cannot block the fascists by ourselves, but without us, the democratic Jews [also] can’t,” he added.

Moreover, due to fears of the Israeli High Court’s possible rejection of the Bill, the lawmakers are waiting for the approval of a legislation that will undermine the authority of the country’s judicial system.

That legislation, known as the override clause, is a key part of a planned judicial overhaul that will allow the far-right government to overrule decisions by the Supreme Court and pass it into law with a 61-MK majority.

Proposed by Justice Minister, Yariv Levin, the planned reform, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

Last Saturday, around 80,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv in protest of the government’s plan to overhaul the judicial system.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, defended the controversial reform, saying he has a mandate from millions of voters to carry out the changes.

Netanyahu’s government was sworn in on 29 December, following elections in November which gave his right-wing bloc a simple majority to form a new government.

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