Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Plumbing of Israeli Democracy: Tibi Wings It

Here's a hilarious snippet from the Knesset. MK Ahmad Tibi is presiding over a mostly empty chamber, in his capacity as Deputy Speaker. Then it's his turn to speak as a regular MK, but alas, he can't stop presiding since there's no other Deputy Speaker around. Here's the ensuing discussion:
-MK Tibi requests permission of the Deputy Speaker Tibi to address the chamber, in a unique case, from the Speaker's chair.
-Deputy Speaker Tibi authorizes MK Tibi to speak from the Speaker's Chair.
-MK Tibi requests the chamber to listen to his words as if they were being said from the lectern, even tho they aren't.
-Justice Minister Yaacov Neeman: Isn't your honor in conflict of interest?
MK Tibi (or is it Deputy Speaker Tibi? Hard to tell): Yes, I am. We considered adjourning the session, but that would cause a delay, and since there's a semi-final game (this was two week ago) and we wouldn't wish anyone to get home too late we've chosen this option.
-MK Tibi begins his speech: Honorable Speaker, that's me, Honorable Minister, Honorable Chamber....
-MK Nachman Shai (grinning): Time! You have to allocate yourself time (points at the clock).
-Deputy Speaker Tibi: You're right. I'll call myself to order if I speak longer than permitted.


Moomin said...

An Afghan's trip to Israel: http://horsesanddefinitions.blogspot.com/2010/07/innocent-abroad.html

RK said...

That was hilarious.

Anonymous said...



By the way, how are Deputy Speakers of the Knesset chosen? I would have assumed that they would be members of the governing coalition but, clearly, that is not the case.


Anonymous said...

ROFL. Reminds me of the court seen in Woody Allen's "Bananas"


Barry Meislin said...

Nice to see that this loathsome character has a sense of humor.

(If one were a flaming optimist, one might be tempted to say that there is still hope....)

Anonymous said...


It's Monty Python's Flying Knesset.

Yaacov said...


Knesset positions are divided by a combination of coalition negotiations and proportional representation. A number of committees must be run by the opposition. Representation in them all is a matter of proportion. There are something like 8-20 deputy speakers, most from the coalition but some from the opposition. And then there's the weird situation of the current foreign and security committee -one of the most important of them all, along with finances - which is headed by Zachi Hanegbi of Kadima (the opposition), because Ehud Barak couldn't find any of his own MKs whom he trusted, to head it. I spoof you not.