Knesset Rule Change: Remove Immediately MK Disrupting Foreign Visitor’s Speech

German Bundestag President Lammert addresses the Knesset.

The Knesset on Monday approved an amendment to the Rules of Procedure, according to which the chairperson of a plenary debate will be authorized to immediately remove from the hall an MK who disrupts the speech of a foreign dignitary, without having to call them to order three times, as is the protocol in normal debates.

Forty-four MKs voted in favor of the change, 20 opposed it.

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The issue was debated last February by the House Committee, headed by MK Yoav Kisch (Likud), after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein had complained about the absence of MKs from plenary sessions and their inappropriate conduct during special assemblies at the Plenum.

“Often times I found myself asking foreign presidents not to speak at the Knesset for fear of a disgraceful outburst,” Speaker Edelstein said.

The issue was revisited by the House Committee in May, when Speaker Edelstein noted that the White House’s preference was for President Donald Trump to deliver his speech in the Knesset during his visit to Israel, “but it was made clear to his staff that it could not be guaranteed that his speech would not be interrupted, so the item was removed from the agenda.”

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