Smoking at the Knesset’s Diner

The diner of the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) has become choke-full of cigarette smoke. Knesset members, and visitor, complained that the condition is so bad that it’s very hard to breathe, and to see, in there. That’s quite a lot of smoke. Or very lousy air conditioning. Maybe both.

Normal procedure for these cases is separate areas, one for those who want to stink and to poison themselves and the people around them smoke, and one for those who don’t. Many public restaurants does this (and some even realize they have to physically separate the areas, because smoke rudely refuses to stay on one side of an imaginary line).

But this is where our elected political leaders eat, so the normal solutions won’t do. Instead they decided to ban smoking in the diner. But not to ban it completely (a pity), but rather to ban smoking there for everyone except members of the Knesset.

Knesset members can smoke freely in the area. Any other officials, visitor, and guests cannot. If during a business discussion two smokers will get into the diner, the non-member will be asked to put out his  cigarette or get out, and the Knesset member will be allowed to continue smoking…

Nobody seems to happy about it. The diner remains a smoker’s area, but there’s a blatant discrimination between Knesset members and the other people there. Even smoking Knesset members don’t seem to like the idea.

I think in the spirit of equality they should ban smoking there completely. But nobody asked me. Probably they’ll just return to the free smoking regime. Easier to do shady political dealing when no-one can see you for the smoke…

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