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Catcall

MK booted for meowing, brandishing cat doll during budget vote

Knesset ushers confiscate stuffed animal from Shas opposition lawmaker Moshe Abutbul, who is protesting coalition’s allocation of NIS 12 million to neuter stray felines

Shas MK Moshe Abutbul is escorted out of the Knesset on November 3, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Shas MK Moshe Abutbul is escorted out of the Knesset on November 3, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

An opposition Knesset member was removed Wednesday from the plenum during marathon state budget proceedings after meowing like a cat and pulling out a stuffed doll of a feline.

In video from the plenum, a “meow” can be heard several times as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed MKs ahead of the final votes on the budget.

The culprit was not a cat on the loose in the Knesset, however, but MK Moshe Abutbul, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.

Abutbul later brandished a cat doll, which was confiscated by Knesset ushers. He was then escorted out of the plenum.

The parliament’s rules state that MKs “shall not exhibit any object in the Knesset plenum, and shall not make use of an object or caption for the purpose of expressing his position”

The stunt was in an apparent reference to a provision in the state budget designating NIS 12 million ($3.8 million) to neuter stray cats, which has been ridiculed by the opposition.

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