Knesset Votes Not to Remove MK Cassif From Office

By Aryeh Stern

MK Ofer Cassif attends a House Committee meeting on the request to remove him from office, at the Knesset, on Jan. 30. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

​In its sitting on Monday, the Knesset voted not to approve the motion proposed by the House Committee on the termination of the membership of MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash-Ta’al) in the Knesset, at the request of MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu). In the vote, 85 MKs supported the motion, versus 11 who opposed it. A majority of 90 MKs was required to pass the motion.

In the debate, House Committee Chair MK Ofir Katz (Likud) said, “The House Committee debated the request for two lengthy meetings, during which the MKs listened carefully to the positions of the attorney general’s representative and the Knesset legal advisor. The House Committee’s motion was passed after the MKs heard all the positions, read all the documents laid before them, and weighed the legal positions. The conclusion was unequivocal — signing a petition against the State of Israel constitutes support for the armed struggle of Hamas.

“Ofer Cassif is a supporter of terrorism, a person who praises terrorists and gives legitimacy to harming IDF soldiers, and undermines the legitimacy of the State of Israel. Every minute that he serves in Israel’s Knesset is a disgrace to us as a parliament and to us as the State of Israel. The act he committed during a war that is so difficult and painful — an act for the success of which Hamas prayed — is a betrayal of the State of Israel, and is support for a terrorist organization and its goals,” said Katz.

Forer, who initiated the request for Cassif’s removal from office, said, “As far as Ofer Cassif is concerned, our soldiers are war criminals. From his standpoint, the members of the War Cabinet are war criminals. That is why we are here to say — no more. No one will sit here in Israel’s Knesset in order to act against it.

“[Retired] Supreme Court Justice Barak said in his opinion at The Hague that if the lawsuit submitted by South Africa were to be accepted, the State of Israel would not be able to defend itself. What we are doing now is defending the State of Israel. MK Cassif did not even express remorse, although he was given opportunity after opportunity, including this opportunity.

“I want to appeal to the MKs — you were elected to make decisions, and you will have to vote according to what you think, not what someone else will think in the Supreme Court. Vote for the IDF soldiers, vote for our soldiers who are on the front lines now, risking their lives, while someone sits here in the Knesset and claims that they are war criminals while they are defending us,” said Forer.

Cassif said, “This request for termination of membership in the Knesset is based on a blatant lie – that I support the armed struggle of Hamas. Nothing could be further from the truth. No lie is more repulsive than this one. Behind the lie on which the request for termination is based is clear malicious intent – political persecution and the silencing of any critical voice, in general, and particularly that of the Arab citizens and their representatives in the Knesset, with the ultimate goal being their complete exclusion from the public and parliamentary discourse.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!