Knesset Acts to Plug Leaks


The Knesset House Committee has passed measures aimed at plugging leaks, the unauthorized divulgence of confidential or classified information obtained by MK’s in the course of their parliamentary work, The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday.

The new rules were reportedly unrelated to the current firestorm over alleged White House leaks to Russia of highly sensitive information provided by Israeli intelligence sources. The House Committee decision was the culmination of discussion over some months and was already on its agenda before the White House story broke.

From now on it will be considered an ethics violation for Knesset members to reveal secret or top secret information they are privy to as parliamentarians.

Repeated ethics violations could lead to an MK being suspended from the Knesset and his or her salary being docked.

In addition, MK’s will be asked to sign a declaration that they will “keep the confidentiality of the secret information [they] will be exposed to in the framework of [their] activities in this committee and its subcommittees.”

Although their parliamentary immunity prevents the declaration from having any binding legal effect, it is hoped that it will serve as a reminder of their moral obligations.