One would be hard pressed to call the 16th knesset lazy. Unilateral disengagement. 348 new laws, including a euthanasia law. How about other adjectives? According to house Speaker Reuven Rivlin:

The 16th Knesset was undoubtedly the most vilified Knesset in the history of the state.

Those are some pretty harsh words!

Rivlin refused to mention any MKs he was admonishing by name. However, he did claim that 40 MKs have been involved in affairs that they should be ashamed of. Presumably, however, he was referrring at least in part to the various members of knesset under probe for such antics as double voting, bribery, illegal appointments and illegal party funding. The list, which you can find at includes some names you may recognize:

Ariel Sharon (bribery), Omri Sharon (money laundering for his pop), Nomi Blumenthal (bribery and illegal use of funds), Yehiel Hazan and Michael Gorlovsky (double voting [voting in place of absent likud members]), Yair Peretz (oddly, for plagarism of a thesis while he was getting his Burlington College degree), Shlomo Benizri (bribery), (bribery, fraud, breach of trust), Ahmed Tibi (illegal travel to Lebanon), Tzahi Hanegbi ((illegal political appointments).

Quite a few of these are Kadima members, but that hasn’t stopped Israeli’s from loving the (villified) fat man Ariel. His stroke seems to have not fazed Israeli voters at all, as polls indicated Kadima was in as good shape as before.

Nonetheless, Rivlin did commend 80MKs for doing an excellent job, including special praise for Likud whip, MK Gideon Sa’ar. Rivlin’s advice to the public (who he also apparently blamed for the scourge of a knesset?): vote better.

In related news, a statistical report was released that detailed various cute facts about this knesset. MK Abdulmalik Dehamshe held two titles: most speeches given (553) and most parliamentary questions submitted (85). MK Mohammed Barakeh initiated the most motions for the agenda (77). This knesset enjoyed 250 no confidence motions and 3459 parliamentary questions were submitted. See Ha’aretz for details.

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  • Perhaps someone who’s more familiar with the Israeli politcial system can answer this for me, but how can the public “vote better” if they’re essentially voting for lists over which they have little control?

  • The word translated as “vilified” is “mushmetzet” in the original Hebrew.

    Same root as “shmutz” (unless that’s from some German word).

    “Shemetz” is a stain.

    This suits the public perception that Sharon is running a cronyocracy, and that dirty politics rule more than ever.

    Muffti – I’m glad you’re worried about our electoral system. I hope you’ll have the consistency to worry when decisions that you like/are PC get pushed through in a rotten, stinky, undemocratic way – like the voting on both Oslos and the disengagement, in all of which the Israeli public was baited-and-switched – or simply ignored by pork-fed pols with no direct obligation to Israeli voters (because instead of MPs by district, we have the list system).

    None of these momentous and ultimately disastrous votes ever passed a truly democratic referendum, nor would they have passed had Israelis been allowed such a referendum.

  • “Vilified” my foot! True, it is difficult to establish precisely where this bunch was worse/better than its predecessors, but ‘vilified’ implies external persecution. Poor lambs indeed.

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