Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Mansour Abbas Becomes Speaker of Israeli Knesset for 5 Days

Mansour Abbas Becomes Speaker of Israeli Knesset for 5 Days

Tuesday, 22 March, 2022 - 09:00
Mansour Abbas. (AP)

Amid strong opposition from the Israeli extreme right, the Knesset Committee appointed alternately MPs Mansour Abbas and Zvi Hauser as speakers from March 22 until April 4, because Speaker Mickey Levy will be traveling abroad.

Abbas is currently Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and leader of the United Arab List. He was appointed as the chair of Special Committee on Arab Society Affairs in the Knesset on April 27, 2021.

Under Israeli law, when the Israeli president is abroad, the speaker serves as acting president of the state.

On Monday, a number of right-wing deputies protested Abbas’s appointment.

MP Itamar Ben Gvir criticized the decision and described it as “dangerous.”

He said: “Imagine that the Arab Speaker of the Knesset will replace, by law, the Jewish president if the latter is absent.”

“Some people in the Knesset presidency have gone crazy, and we must act immediately,” he said.

Last week, Levy requested the Knesset Committee to approve the appointment of his two deputies as his replacements while he travels abroad for two weeks starting Tuesday.

Editor Picks