‘Humiliating and terrible’: MK brings her baby to the Knesset, ordered to leave speaker’s platform

Female lawmaker who brought her baby to work runs afoul of parliamentary regulations, is ordered to step down from plenum dais.

By World Israel News Staff

A female lawmaker in Israel who brought her baby daughter to work was ordered to step down from the speaker’s dais Wednesday, after she ran afoul of a parliamentary bylaw.

MK Sharren Haskel (National Unity Party) ascended the dais Wednesday morning to address the Knesset plenum and present a new bill for its first reading,but was barred from doing so because she was carrying her child.

Under the Knesset’s bylaws, only MKs or speakers recognized by the Knesset for making an address my stand at the plenum dais.

Deputy Knesset Speaker Uriel Busso (Shas), who oversaw the hearing, consulted with the Knesset’s legal adviser on the matter. The adviser ruled that the bylaw’s limit to who may stand at the dais extends to children.

“It’s nothing personal,” MK Busso said, instructing Haskel to step down from the dais.

Haskel asked that she be allowed to speak briefly at the dais, insisting that she would not need more than 60 seconds to address the Knesset.

Busso, under the directive of the Knesset’s legal adviser, remained firm, however, stating that under the parliamentary regulations, she could not stand with her daughter at the speaker’s dais.

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After the incident, Haskel told Yediot Aharanoth that she suffered “pain and humiliation” when she was ordered to step down. In a statement released later Wednesday, she accused the Knesset of unfairly singling out mothers with its regulations.

“It’s sad that the Knesset Speaker, who has two young children at home, chooses to prevent a woman with children from going up to the podium and presenting the bill like any member of the Knesset.”

“I don’t bring my daughter to work in order to provoke or get likes, but because I am a mother and I want to combine my motherhood with my career like every mother in the State of Israel.”

“From the first day, this is something that I insist on, to go around with her proudly and without shame, not to hide her or to be ashamed of my motherhood but to prove to all women that it’s possible and needed to make motherhood normal everywhere, even in the Knesset,” she added.

“In fact, there is no provision in the statutes that prevents a woman from speaking in the plenary with a baby, this is at the sole discretion of the Knesset Speaker, who today made a sad decision, and the truth is humiliating and terrible for me as a mother. What they have understood in other parliaments will apparently take a long time in Israel.”