Chaos in the Knesset: MK forcibly removed after calling for ‘revolt’

Cassif said that his call for a civilian uprising was not out of bounds for Knesset speeches and refused orders to leave the plenum.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

An MK from the Arab Joint List party with a long history of controversial remarks called on the citizens of Israel to rebel en masse against the current Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was forcibly removed from the Knesset plenum.

Ofer Cassif, the sole Jewish member of the Joint List, was interrupted by the deputy speaker of the Knesset, Nissim Vaturi, during a fiery speech on Tuesday in which he urged people to “revolt against this criminal fascist dictatorship.”

Vaturi said that Cassif had violated the standards of the Knesset with his remarks and demanded that he step down from the podium.

Cassif said that his call for a civilian uprising was not out of bounds for Knesset speeches and refused to leave the plenum.

Chaos ensued, as Vaturi then ordered the Knesset guards to forcibly remove Cassif from the podium. The MK refused to budge.

“No, I won’t go,” Cassif defiantly yelled at Vaturi.

MK Almog Cohen of Otzma Yehudit then heckled Cassif, yelling at him in Arabic to leave and calling him a traitor.

“You don’t have the right to remove him!” Cassif’s party colleague, MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, was heard shouting at Vaturi.

Eventually, the guards succeeded in dragging Cassif out of the space as he physically resisted them and even lunged in Vaturi’s direction.

Vaturi posted a clip of the incident on Twitter shortly afterwards, saying that “on my watch, I will not allow the Knesset platform to be used to harm the State of Israel or its symbols.”

Cassif responded with his own Twitter post, saying that Vaturi “doesn’t know the ABCs of the Knesset rules” and that “fascism is already here.”

MK Merav Ben Ari of opposition leader Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party – who  previously clashed with Cassif after he called her a “chicken” – came to the Joint List lawmaker’s defense.

In a meeting of the Knesset’s Constitution and Law Committee, she called for an investigation into the incident, saying that Cassif’s remarks did not violate Knesset standards and that his speech was protected under the entity’s statutes.

“Maintaining freedom of speech is a basic principle in democracy,” she said, addressing Vaturi. “You are breaking all the rules.”