Firebrand Likud MK Tally Gotliv accused Regional Cooperation Minister David Amsalem of drinking on the job, after he reportedly tried to muzzle her during a faction meeting-cum-rhubarb Monday.
The dispute between the pair, both known for unbridled outbursts, was described later by observers as among the least decorous in the annals of the quarrelsome Knesset.
According to sources quoted in Hebrew media reports, the foofaraw first broke out during the Likud faction’s weekly gathering in the Knesset, as Amsalem told Gotliv, “Stop disturbing people. You aren’t letting anyone speak.”
Gotliv reportedly shot back, “Don’t talk to me. We can smell the vodka you’ve been drinking from here.”
Amsalem was said to then approach Gotliv and ask her to smell his breath.
He later claimed that he has never consumed vodka and detailed that on Monday he had only had an espresso and instant coffee.
The two continued to snipe at each other, before taking the ruction to the much more public arena of the Knesset plenum for all to see.
Gotliv, taking to the podium, revealed that during the earlier meeting “a minister, Dudi [David] Amsalem, with unimaginable misogyny, shouts at me that he will see me thrown out of the party and that I should shut up.”
Amsalem, taking up the gauntlet, and the podium, responded that in a democratic party such as the Likud, everyone can say what they want, “it just needs respectfulness.”
“Ms. Gotliv, as usual, doesn’t let anyone else speak, shrieks, and makes things up,” he said.
He went on to say that Gotliv’s behavior in general has “caused a lot of damage to Likud and inappropriate discourse that bothers all the faction members.”
Gotliv’s claim that a prominent anti-government protest leader was tied to Hamas terrorists earned her a public rebuke from the Shin Bet last month and a libel suit.
Fellow Likud member MK Ofir Akunis lamented the incident, saying in a statement the behavior in faction meetings “does not in any way reflect the Likud way. They harm the movement and give it and the political system a bad name as a whole. This cannot continue.”