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MKs exclude themselves from showing Green Pass at Knesset; staff said furious

Due to their parliamentary immunity, lawmakers cannot be prevented from entering the building; Yamina MK calls on Knesset speaker and director to find a solution

View of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, on August 13,2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
View of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, on August 13,2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Knesset employees slammed a government decision that exempts MKs and ministers from presenting the so-called Green Pass upon entering the Israeli parliament, according to a Saturday television report.

The Green Pass document held by those who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 is not required from MKs due to their parliamentary immunity, Channel 12 news reported. The policy has angered other parliamentary workers, who are required to abide by the health rules.

“Knesset members walk around the building nonstop, and no one has the courage to ask them if they are vaccinated or not,” an employee was cited as saying by the network.

Workers said the Knesset members should set a personal example, as they are the ones deciding the country’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Earlier this month, the Finance Committee convened to discuss extending the Green Pass requirement on the Knesset, but ultimately decided it would not apply to MKs, the report said.

Following Saturday’s TV report, some lawmakers voiced support for applying the vaccination rules to themselves, while others doubled down on their opposition.

Illustrative image: A woman shows her green pass as she arrives to watch a play at the Khan theater in Jerusalem, on February 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“Totally agree. There is no reason not to present a vaccine certificate or one valid test every few days at the entrance to the Knesset. I trust Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy, and my friend, Knesset Director General Gil Segal, will take care of finding a solution,” Yamina MK Nir Orbach tweeted.

“As Knesset members, we have the responsibility to get vaccinated and set a personal example,” Likud MK Shlomo Karhi said.

Yesh Atid MK Merav Ben-Ari said that MKs have “no issue showing their Green Pass, they do so everywhere in the country,” but said that allowing any MK to enter the Knesset is a law dating back to the 1950s. Responding to a Twitter user, Ben Ari said if she would be required to present a Green Pass at the Knesset, she would do so.

Under the current Green Pass rules, entry to certain businesses and events is limited to those with proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19, or a negative test result.

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