“Expulsion of MKs” Law - Amendment No. 44 to Basic Law: Knesset

Civil and Political RightsPolitical Participation

This law allows a majority of 90 Knesset Members (MKs) to oust a serving MK on the following three grounds, as enumerated in Section 7A of the Basic Law: The Knesset: (1) denial of the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; (2) incitement to racism; and (3) support for armed struggle of an enemy state or a terrorist organization against Israel.

It therefore allows an elected representative to be suspended by their peers on ideological grounds. In case of a criminal offense, standing MKs can already be expelled from the Knesset for a conviction with moral turpitude under existing provisions of the Basic Law: The Knesset.

The bill constitutes an additional legal tool for the Israeli Jewish majority in the Knesset to further delegitimize and marginalize the elected political representatives of the Palestinian minority in Israel. It provides a mechanism for the majority to oust Arab MKs and political lists on the basis of purely political/ideological considerations, despite the clear conflict of interest entailed in MKs voting to unseat their political rivals.

The bill came in direct response to a recent visit by three Arab MKs to the family members of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces while allegedly carrying out attacks, as part of efforts to secure the return their bodies, which are being withheld by Israel, to their families.

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