On the eve of Israeli Independence Day, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was accused of politicizing his parliamentary office for refusing to allow an event marking “50 years of occupation.”
The Arab Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman was denied permission to use a Knesset lecture hall for the venue of the protest, though Edelstein said she could have it in her faction’s meeting room.
“I was sorry to hear about your defiant initiative, which causes unnecessary tension and rifts in the nation, especially at such a sensitive and special time on the Israeli calendar,” Edelstein wrote to the MK in reply to her request to reserve the hall for the event.
Touma-Sliman then took her case to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, appealing to them to intervene and force Edelstein to grant her request.
“Edelstein is running the Knesset as his personal Likud campaign headquarters and not the home of the elected representatives of the people,” she said. “At a time when the entire world sees the continuation of the occupation as the main obstacle to regional peace, the Knesset speaker opted to silence them.”