Tuesday’s session lasted about two hours. Two bills were discussed. A bill that would prohibit advertisements that offer prostitution services passed its preliminary reading. Another anti-importing bill, this time one that would prohibit importing Israeli flags, passed its first reading. MK Mofaz was named the new Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman. Attendance was light following the long seven and a half hour session that ended after 11:30 PM the night before.
- House Committee Chairman MK Levin (Likud) informed the plenum that MK Mofaz (Kadima) will replace suspended MK Hanegbi (Kadima) as the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman. He expressed regret to the other candidate for the position, MK Eldad (N.U.), and told him that it must remain a Kadima position. He also announced that MK Cabel (Labor) will replace retired MK Pines-Paz (Labor) in the Justice Committee. Speaker Rivlin was surprised that it took a year to name a replacement. Levin concluded by revealing the House Committee decisions on the proper committee destination for the bills and motions that were in question.
- 13 MKs discussed various topics in the “One Minute Speech” segment of the day. The hottest topic was International “Struggle against Violence against Women Day”.
- A motion on International “Struggle against Violence against Women Day” was discussed by eight speakers.
Two Amendments to the Penal Code Bill
MK Zuaretz (Kadima) explained that her amendment would prohibit advertisements that offer prostitution services. She blamed society for causing violence against women. She criticized Tel Aviv and Eilat as cities that have an overflow of prostitution service advertisements and said that the time has come to outlaw these disgusting things. She noted that local papers have started placing these ads in their papers. She revealed that this bill will place a fine on any publication that advertises these “services” and will send those who bought the ad to jail for a sentence ranging between six months to seven years, depending on the type of violation. She stated that prostitution makes men look at women as objects and pieces of meat.
MK Khenin (Hadash) stated that his identical amendment will end the suffering of many women. He claimed that the bill does not harm freedom of expression because in most cases the freedom of one person is traded for the freedom of another.
Deputy Minister of Women Affairs Gamliel (Likud) expressed government support for the bill.
Both amendments passed their preliminary readings by identical 16-0 votes. The House Committee will decide which committee will prepare the bill for its first reading.
Amendment to the Flag, Emblem and National Anthem Bill
MK Yacimovich (Labor) explained that the amendment would prohibit the acquisition and importing of Israeli flags from other countries. She said it saddened her that many Chinese children die producing 95% of the flags with which we celebrate our Independence Day. She criticized Bank Hapoalim for their annual “Zionist” Israeli flag drive on Independence Day during which they choose Chinese-made flags because they are cheaper. She responded that it was the opposite of Zionist.
MK Zeev (Shas) said that importing goods from China or other countries is a dangerous thing and it is better to do everything in house. He said that he supported this bill because most of the public will choose the cheaper option even if that means choosing the Chinese option over the Israeli one.
The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.