A brouhaha erupted in the Knesset on Tuesday, June 27, when lawmaker Sharren Haskel (National Unity) was prevented from addressing the plenum from the main podium while carrying her baby in a Snuggy.
Deputy Knesset Speaker Uriel Buso of Shas apologetically told Haskel that according to Knesset rules, only MKs could stand at the podium. “It’s nothing personal,” he said, after checking with the Israeli parliament’s legal adviser.
Haskel said that she only needed 60 seconds to introduce a new bill. Buso said even if it was for only one second, the rules had to be followed.
Appearing on Ynet the next day, Haskel described”the feeling of pain and humiliation” at being forced to step down. She said she couldn’t present her bill until the end of the day.
“Its not only me. It’s a situation in which millions of mothers in the State of Israel face every day. They force us to choose between career and parenthood,” said Haskel.
“We, the Knesset, are meant to be a model for imitation. They look at us to give some kind of personal example,” she added. “My whole purpose was to normalize this issue. To show people, their bosses, directors that it’s possible to do this.”
After an outpouring of support from other lawmakers and the public, an effort is underway to change the bylaw.