The Inappropriations Law determines which of the rude items in the annual budget will receive funding, from how-to classes on sexual harassment for Knesset members and their aides, to a gallery of obscene artwork lining the halls of the Supreme Court.
The legislation comes on the heels of a law barring the use of the term “Nazi” to refer to fellow Israelis, for which the new Inappropriations Law allocates no funding. Instead, it provides 4 million shekels to erect a sculpture of a raised middle finger, to be installed at the Western Wall Plaza, one of the holiest sites in Judaism. Similarly, the bill earmarks 200,000 shekels to subsidize marker and paint users who wish to deface school property with unflattering references to faculty and other students.
As expected, fierce confrontations erupted in the Assembly over the law, which seeks to prioritize the many competing interests included in the budget, but for which limited funding is available. Ministers fought to have their respective ministries’ pet rudeness initiatives retained, and some inevitably fell short. Such failures carry a double sting this year, as the allocation for vitriol directed at the Inapproprations Committee was not part of the package that emerged from the committee, effectively depriving those officials of an important avenue through which to belittle their colleagues.
However, myriad other vehicles for such expression were nevertheless approved, notably an allocation for an outside expert to provide daily verbal abuse at the start of each Knesset session. The law will finance the use of an insultant to provide insulting, in order to set the tone for the day’s proceedings and facilitate the maintenance of the kind of discourse for which the Knesset has become famous.
The bill’s sponsors, Ivana Pissyouoff of the Mecharef-Megaddef party, expressed her satisfaction at the law’s passage. “It’s about &^%$ time these people got off their derrières and did somrthing goddamn useful,” she told reporters while dressed in a clown suit.
Earlier, the Knesset approved the Misappropriations Law, which assigned specific government officials to each scheduled instance of embezzlement, fraud, and breach of trust.