Skip to main content

Knesset bill threatens Israeli-Arab representation

In an interview with Al-Monitor, right-wing Knesset member David Rotem defended the governability bill designed to strengthen the government and its prime minister, even if it put him on a collision course with the Arab Knesset members fearing the rise of an electoral threshold.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman gestures as he speaks at a conference for young members of his Yisrael Beiteinu party in Tel Aviv December 13, 2012. Lieberman said on Thursday he need not resign after the Justice Ministry decided to indict him for fraud and breach of trust, less severe charges than were originally considered. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3BJKC
Read in 

For years, relations have been tense between veteran chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee David Rotem of Yisrael Beitenu Party, and the Arab Knesset members. Periodically, this charged relationship becomes heated and the arguments become high-pitched. Rotem, resident of the Efrat settlement in the Judea area, believes that the Arab Knesset members are leading double lives: On the one hand, they are citizens of the State of Israel and members of its parliament, while on the other hand they are emissaries of the Palestinians and their positions.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, chairman of his party, has also often expressed this stance in recent years. For Liberman, Rotem is an important vehicle for realizing the party’s ideological agenda via one of the most important committees of the Knesset. This is Rotem’s second consecutive term of office as head of the committee.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.