“Ghattas Law”: New Bill Seeks to Revoke Salaries and Pensions of MKs Convicted of Harming State Security

On Tuesday Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev submitted a bill that seeks to revoke the salaries and retirement benefits of elected officials convicted of security-related offenses.

The bill comes in light of the recent episode surrounding Balad MK Basel Ghattas, who was charged with smuggling cellphones to security prisoners and subsequently signed a plea bargain to serve two years in jail and resign his Knesset seat.

A similar law passed in 2011 aimed to strip ex-MK Azmi Bishara of his pension after he was charged with relaying sensitive information to Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. However, the “Azmi Bishara Law” only applies to prison sentences of 10 years or higher.

As an amendment to the Penal Code the new bill seeks to revoke the benefits of all elected officials convicted of security-related offenses, which would include MK Ghattas. According to the bill, the revoked benefits would include all pension funds, retirement stipends, severance payments and more.

The bill’s sponsor MK Moti Yogev said: “It is inconceivable that the Israeli public should pay from its own pocket the pensions of MKs convicted of supporting terror and harming Israel’s security.”

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg, who was involved in formulating the bill, said that MK Ghattas is merely the newest member of a long line of Balad Party members seeking to harm the security of Israel.

“The bill aims to revoke the salaries and retirement benefits of elected officials who work against the State of Israel and its citizens,” said Peleg. “The reality in which elected officials violate laws that endanger the security of the state on the one hand, and continue to receive benefits at the expense of the taxpayer on the other hand, cannot continue.”

Peleg added: “All members of Knesset, regardless of religion or ideological affiliation, are expected to uphold the law and not act as a fifth column. This is another step towards ending the phenomenon wherein the state funds those seeking to destroy it.”