Israel-Gaza War, Knesset

Ethics Committee Sanctions MK Vaturi for Calling Fellow MKs Nazi Terror Supporters

MK Vaturi will now be denied the right to speak at the Knesset plenum and in committee.

Getting off light. MK Vaturi. (Photo: Yonatan Zindel/Flash90)

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided today (Monday) that the right to speak at the plenum would be denied to MK Nissim Vaturi for 10 sessions as well as the right to speak at committees for 14 days.

The decision came following complaints filed against him for a number of posts on his X/Twitter account including from November 15, 2023 when the Ethics Committee decided the matter of MKs Ayman Khatib-Yassin and Aida Touma-Suleiman. Vaturi posted on Twitter/X that “I thank God for the privilege that fell in my lap to throw these two Hamas partners from the Knesset even if for a limited time. The next mission will be to throw them out for good!” and also called the MKs “supporters of Nazi terror,” and more.

Ethics Committee: “The statements are not part of the political freedom of speech of Knesset Members”

The Ethics Committee stated that members mentioned in the arguments for their decision that they’d already taken care in the past to draw a line between ideological and political statements directed at other MKs and which fall under political freedom of expression and statements meant to personally smear and harm MKs.

They also noted in that regard that Committee members referred to their explicit past reference to statements which imply acts of treason saying that these are “not part of the political freedom of speech of MKs.”

As to the publications of MK Vaturi, the Committee members wrote in their decision that “the connection MK Vaturi made between the MKs and Hamas terrorists, the worst of Israel’s enemies, is a serious and offensive accusation.” Members of the committee expressed their disgust and opposition towards MK Vaturi’s remarks and even expressed their displeasure at his using the committee’s decision as a means to bash MKs.

In light of this, and due to the previous violations of the ethics rules by MK Vaturi, the committee decided unanimously to sanction him and deny his right to receive the right to speak in the plenum for a period of 10 meetings, as well as the right to speak in Knesset committees for a period of 14 days. Committee members also clarified in their decision that consequently, MK Vaturi may not stand in for the Knesset Chairman during plenum meetings.

MK Aida Touma-Suleiman. (Photo: Yonatan Zindel/Flash90)

The Ethics Committee also published an additional decision in the matter of MK Aida Touma Suleiman, regarding a complaint filed against her due to a clip she published on her Twitter account on November 15. In the clip, she criticized the committee’s decision on her case that day claiming that it was meant to silence those who criticize the Swords of Iron War.

Committee members justified the decision by saying that “the committee is sorry that according to MK Touma-Suleiman, the Ethics Committee is trying to silence critical views and that she does not accept the arguments for its decision. However, as part of the political freedom of speech of MKs, they may appeal, protest, dispute, and criticize the various decisions and actions of governmental institutions, other official bodies, and the Knesset Ethics Committee. This right stands for MKs even when their statement is outrageous and even when it does not faithfully represent reality.”

In light of this, the committee members decided to reject the complaint, as the clip does fall under the political freedom of speech granted all MKs.

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