Knesset Vote today on the “Suspension Law”

‫Prior to a vote scheduled in the Knesset today on the proposed “Basic Law: The Knesset (Suspension of Members of Knesset)”, ACRI warns that the bill is an extreme and dangerous act against Arab members of Knesset. The proposed bill grants powers to members of Knesset to suspend or depose serving MKs for political reasons, in a manner which undermines the foundations of democracy. The bill violates the right to vote and to be elected, the right to political representation and the freedom of speech.


It should be noted that the existing law already permits grounds for disqualifying a list or a candidate from participating in elections. Therefore, there is no reason to grant powers to the Knesset Committee – which is a political body, whose members have electoral considerations – for the purpose of suspending or deposing members of Knesset. This would greatly harm the representation of a variety of opinions in parliament‫.


MKs should remember that the freedom of expression is expressed precisely through respecting and being inclusive of positions that are considered extreme, and by defending the freedom of speech of others; maintaining their legitimacy; and avoiding their exclusion and de-legitimization.


Today this law is being promoted to harm the Arab MKs, whose statements and actions do not find favor with the political majority. Tomorrow the law may harm other MKs who express opposing positions to that of the ruling consensus‫.


We urge the government and members of Knesset to protect Israel’s democracy and to protect one of the most basic rights of individuals in Israel – the freedom to vote and to be elected. It is essential to secure political representation – even in the presence of ideological disagreements and different worldviews.


Please click here to access ACRI’S Position Paper on the proposed law in English.

To read an article in Hebrew by Debbie Gild-Hayo, Director of Policy Advocacy, please click here.



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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties

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