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Giggles ‘penetrate’ parliament

Giggling Israeli Education Minister, Shai Piron.

Giggling Israeli Education Minister, Shai Piron.

JERUSALEM — A reference to “penetration” in a speech to parliament caused Israel’s education minister to burst into a laughing fit that went viral today on Israeli websites.

Shai Piron, who is also a rabbi, could not get past the first sentence of his address, on a proposed law against smuggling cell phones into Israel’s prisons, before beginning to chuckle.

“Mr. Chairman, distinguished parliament, the aim of this legislation is to deal with a serious phenomenon – the penetration of prohibited objects into prisons,” he said during a late night session yesterday broadcast on the official Knesset TV channel.

He briefly recovered but broke down again over the perceived sexual innuendo when the word “penetration” came up in the text for a second time. Legislators in the hall joined in the giggling.

Struggling to continue, Piron wiped tears from his eyes, took a sip of water – and finally went back to his seat, unable to read on.

He later explained to reporters that he had been caught off-guard by the phrasing in the speech, which he delivered at the last minute after a cabinet colleague was called away. (Reuters)

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