The Knesset Ethics Committee banned MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) from taking part in parliamentary debate for two weeks, as a slap on the wrist for handcuffing himself to a Knesset podium earlier this year.
The committee handed out the punishment on Wednesday after deciding that Porush broke the Knesset’s ethical code, which requires respectful behavior toward the body and its members.
Porush handcuffed himself to the microphone atop the podium in the main hall of the Knesset in July, during the first reading of a bill that would significantly increase the enlistment of ultra-Orthodox Israelis in the IDF and national service.
It took ushers several minutes to extricate Porush from his restraints, holding up proceedings. Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein upbraided Porush at the time and promised he would be dealt with by the Ethics Committee.
The bill, which had been bitterly opposed by portions of the ultra-Orthodox community, passed its first reading.
Community leaders fear enlistment in the army will make it harder for the Haredim to keep a strict interpretation of Jewish law and will cause spiritually perilous mixing with the secular population.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews could long claim an exemption from service under the Tal Law, which granted open-ended deferments for yeshiva students. But the High Court of Justice declared that law unconstitutional last year, setting politicians and military brass scrambling to come up with a solution for drafting Haredim into the army.