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Knesset speaker uses role to accuse Gantz of ‘holding the Knesset by the throat’

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin in the Knesset plenum, October 21, 2020 (Shmulik Grossman/Knesset)
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin in the Knesset plenum, October 21, 2020 (Shmulik Grossman/Knesset)

In a rare occurrence, Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) uses his position to rebuke Defense Minister Benny Gantz for issuing an ultimatum according to which he’d only support extending the current lockdown if the Knesset convenes beforehand to approve a law bill doubling fines for lockdown violations.

With Gantz standing next to him ahead of his five-minute speech before the final votes on the fine-increasing bill, Levin tells him he “failed miserably in safeguarding the Knesset’s status.”

“There has never been a situation where such an ultimatum has been made during a Knesset hiatus,” he says, accusing Gantz of “holding Israeli citizens and the Knesset by the throat.”

Gantz responds by saying he understands the “shaming speech you just made, which the Knesset speaker is expected not to make. For over two months, this bill has been ready at the cabinet and you didn’t ensure it goes up on time, and that’s a shame.”

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