MKs dispute in Knesset after Muezzin law passes preliminary reading

The end of the Knesset debate in which the Muezzin Law passed the preliminary reading turned into a conflict between right-wing Knesset members and Arab Knesset members. MK Robert Ilatov called for MK Osama Saadi to “return to Saudi Arabia.” Joint Arab List Leader Ayman Odeh ripped the bill.
Ayman Odeh during the Knesset’s Muezzin Law debate Photo Credit: The Knesset Channel/Channel 2 News

The Muezzin Law, a bill that has caused much controversy regarding noise prevention, passed the preliminary hearing today (Wednesday) following a heated Knesset debate on the matter. Conflicts broke out between right-wing Knesset members and Arab Knesset members as they threatened and yelled profanities at each other and even tore documents to pieces. MK Osama Saadi (Joint Arab List) was removed from the Knesset floor after MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beiteinu) shouted for him “to go back to Saudi Arabia,” to which Saadi yelled in return. Shortly after, MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List) was also removed from the Knesset while in the middle of a speech.

MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) stated in a speech that the bill is a war declaration between those who are enlightened and those who remain in the dark and is a war on racism. “Sheikhs and rabbis confronted one another in this building and said that they oppose the law,” said Bahloul. “Once again, Netanyahu is adopting, as usual, the inciting fire against the Arab minority instead of looking the entire Israeli public directly in the eyes and giving them answers about his embarrassing affairs.”

While MK Moti Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi) presented the bill, which passed with a majority vote of 55 in favor and 48 opposed, Knesset members from the opposition interrupted him several times. “Judaism existed before you and will also exist after you,” MK Ilatov shouted at the Joint Arab List Knesset members. In response, Knesset Deputy Speaker Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas) yelled at Ilatov: “Don’t add oil to the flames.”

Afterwards, Joint Arab List Leader Ayman Odeh stood up and ripped the papers upon which the bill was written into pieces.

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