‘Muezzin Bill’ Passes Preliminary Reading in the Knesset

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The Knesset passed a preliminary reading of the “Muezzin bill” – which seeks to impose limits on the Muslim call to prayer in Israel – on Wednesday, with several Palestinian Knesset members being removed from the plenum, Maan News reports.

The bill passed the reading with 55 votes in favor and 48 against. During the reading, the plenum devolved into chaos.
Palestinian MK Zuheir Bahloul, a member of the center-left Zionist Union party called the bill “a declaration of war…between sanity and racism,” against Israel’s Palestinian minority.
MK Ayman Odeh of the Joint List – the political bloc representing parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Knesset – was escorted out of the plenum after he stood up and ripped a copy of the bill into shreds.
MK Robert Ilatov of the Yisrael Beiteinu party shouted at Joint List MK Usama Saadi to “go back to Saudi Arabia!” The two men engaged in a shouting match which resulted in Saadi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, being removed from the room.
MK Ahmad Tibi, also of the Joint list, was also removed while giving a speech during the debate.
“Instead of honoring their customs and traditions, this is what we do? Shame,” Zehava Galon, chair of the left-wing Meretz party, said, calling the debate and the bill a “fiasco.”
The author of the bill, MK Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party, defended the legislation by claiming that the bill was not intended to violate religious freedoms, but rather “to benefit students and drivers, as well as the sleep cycles of citizens,” who the bill says “suffer regularly and daily from the noise caused by the call of the muezzin from mosques.”
The Muslim call to prayer – also known as the adhan – is broadcast five times a day from mosques or Islamic centers. Read more at Maan News.

{Matzav.com Israel News}

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