Archive for June, 2012


The Knesset’s Wednesday session lasted about five hours. Nine bills were discussed. Four bills were advanced after passing their preliminary readings, three bills were turned into motions, and two bills were withdrawn before the vote to avoid defeat. The highlight bill of the day for Jerusalem readers will be the new appeals committee for light rail fines. Other interesting bills were discussed during the jam-packed day.

Non-Bills Summary

  • Interior Minister Yishai (Shas), Communications Minister Kahlon (Likud), Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) and Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch (Y.B.) answered urgent queries at the beginning of the session.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced his committee’s suggestion of MK Shemtov (Y.B.) as Deputy Speaker to fill the spot of MK Levi-Abekasis, who resigned earlier in the day. It was approved 28-0.
  • Six motions were discussed. Four motions were sent for further discussion in committee by the votes 11-0, 8-0, 5-0 and 7-0. One motion was defeated 6-48, and one motion was not voted on.

Bills Summary

Amendments to the Illegal Residence Bill

Speaker Rivlin asked House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) how his committee can allow this bill to get a shortcut that saves it 45 days if the government decided to withdraw their support for the bill. Levin responded that his committee and Akunis didn’t know the government changed their mind and that he should take the issue up with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Deputy Prime Minister Mofaz.

MK Akunis (Likud) slammed Mofaz and Kadima for trying to torpedo his bill. He quoted former Prime Minister Begin in his opening Knesset address in June 1977 when he invited all Vietnamese refugees to Israel. He said that 70,000 illegal immigrants are not refugees. He said that these illegals have flooded Tel Aviv, Eilat, Arad, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Netanya and Haifa. He said that he is for human rights but asked where the rights of the citizens of southern Tel Aviv are. He stressed that the Knesset was elected by them and not by the illegals. He said true social justice is taking care of our poor, not illegals. He said that these illegals live in the weakest communities and take away the communities’ jobs. He explained his amendment would toughen the restrictions that prohibit assisting the illegals by toughening punishment for those who house, employ or transport them within Israel’s borders. He said that he wishes that the courts never need to try someone but expressed the importance of it none the less. He noted the illegal housing of Bedouins in the Negev that isn’t being demolished when the Ulpana is.  He praised the government for building the fence by investing two billion shekels and assured Israelis that the 170 Kilometer fence will be completed by this fall. He praised the soldiers who do their job protecting us. He said that these illegals must be returned healthy and whole to their countries after the fence is completed. He noted his meeting with the Eritrean ambassador who assured him that every illegal can be sent back to his home without any harm coming to them.  Akunis withdrew the bill to avoid defeat.

Motion/Amendment to the Penal Code

MK Zeev (Shas) explained his amendment would prohibit disrobing or being naked in all public places with the exception of beaches with a punishment of one year of jail time. He slammed the actor Tonic Spencer for creating the naked culture in Israel. He said that this is not Sdom and Gemorah and being naked in public is simply not acceptable. He made it clear that he is not talking about partial nudity but rather full nudity. He said public pornography is not acceptable. He spent ten minutes stressing this point. He concluded by asking why many places in the United States have stronger laws on these matters than Israel.

Justice Minister Neeman said the new crime of being naked in public and the one year jail time is excessive and the government expresses their opposition to the bill. He noted that current law prohibits nudity in public in certain cases. He added that the bill isn’t written in proper legal language and is too broad. He said he would allow the matter to be discussed in committee as a motion and Zeev agreed to do so.

MK Khenin (Hadash) opposed the motion on the grounds that nudity is a democratic right of artistic expression and a Knesset discussion is problematic.

MK Horowitz (Meretz) opposed the motion on the grounds that a Knesset discussion on the topic of outlawing nudity has no place in a democratic system.

MK Zeev asked that the motion be sent to the Women’s Rights Committee.

The motion passed 12-7 and was sent to the Women’s Rights Committee.

Amendment to the National Health Insurance Bill

MK Sheetrit (Kadima) explained that the amendment will force the kupot cholim to send the ‘17 transfer form’ directly to hospitals or other medical providers instead of expecting the patient to deal with the paper work. He noted that his bill was defeated a year ago but he decided to try again. He read out a Bar Ilan University professor’s problems with the 17 transfer form. He told a personal story of how a problematic 17 transfer lead to a friend getting diagnosed with cancer a month later than he should have.

Deputy Health Minister Litzman (U.T.J.) expressed government support for the bill. He said that this situation should be resolved by January 1, 2013, and if it is not then this bill can be advanced further.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 29-0 and was sent to the Health Committee.

Establishing a Database Regarding the Product Prices in Chain Stores Bill

MK Shama (Likud) explained his original bill would create a national digital database that lists the prices of food, pharmacy and gasoline in chain stores. He said this free market bill will increase competition and lower prices. He said the ability to find the cheapest price on any product will help the weakest sectors in Israeli society.

Industry and Trade Minister Simhon (Independence) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary 16-0 and was sent to the House Committee to determine which committee will prepare the bill for its first reading.

Two Amendments to the Railways Ordinance Bill

MK Rotem (Y.B.) explained his amendment would reduce the fine for driving without a local train ticket and create an appeals committee. He said Jerusalem light rail passengers are dealing with problematic issues.

MK Maklev (U.T.J.) slammed Citipass for excessively slapping fines on people. He said the absence of an appeals system is not democratic, especially since it is a private company and not the police or a local city official.

Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) expressed government support for both bills.

The first bill passed its preliminary reading 26-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

The second bill passed its preliminary reading 27-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Motion/Amendment to the Local Authorities Bill

MK Cabel (Labor) explained the amendment would create sheltered apartments for people who are thrown out of their homes for not paying their mortgages. He noted the loophole in Israeli law that protects the homeless but not someone who lost their home because of not being able to make payments. He stressed that a former apartment owner is not eligible to receive help from the Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) expressed government opposition to the bill due to financial restraints but asked Cabel to turn the bill into a motion so that they can have an intensive discussion in committee to elaborate on the sensitive issue. Cabel agreed.

The motion passed 27-0 and was sent to the Welfare Committee.

Motion/Amendment to the Students’ Rights Bill

MK Barakeh (Hadash) explained his amendment would prohibit placing a conditional fee as part of an entry process to learning at a state school. He said that public school should be free and he cannot understand how the government can oppose his bill.

Deputy Education Minister Moses (U.T.J.) expressed government opposition to the bill because its provisions already exist in Israeli law. He noted the areas in Israeli law that deal with the five aspects of the bill. He stressed that no student can be turned away because of his parents’ inability to pay tuition. He noted the book borrowing program and the planned digital books program. MK Matalon (Y.B.) said this should be discussed in committee because the truth is very different than the law. MK Cabel also pressured Moses to allow a motion. Moses asked Barakeh to turn the bill into a motion to enable a committee discussion.

Barakeh responded that his bill should be passed to protect the children. He agreed to turn the bill into a motion.

The motion passed 26-0 and was sent to the Education Committee.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

MK Gal-On (Meretz) explained her amendment would prohibit tax deductions for people who make more than NIS 61,000 a month. She went on to slam those who make large salaries and save money twice through tax deductions. She blasted the capitalistic government and their anti-socialist policies that protect big companies and their managers. She said that the government should not be afraid of the social justice protests and should listen to their solutions. She decided to withdraw the bill until a later date to prevent defeat.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 13, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02883212.doc

The Knesset’s Tuesday session lasted about three hours. No bills were discussed. Three motions were discussed. After many debates on the topic in the Knesset plenum over the years this was the first time the Armenian Genocide’s Anniversary was marked with an official motion.

Non-Bills Summary

  • 21 MKs gave speeches in the one minute speech segment that opened the day. Most of the speeches were by MKs who wanted to  speak on the topics of the three motions of the day but were choosing to leave Knesset early.
  • A motion on the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was marked by speeches from Speaker Rivlin, Environment Minister Erdan (Likud) and ten MKs.
  • A motion on the Prime Minister’s decision to approve construction of 850 housing units in Judea and Samaria was discussed by  nine MKs and Minister Erdan. The motion will be discussed further in the plenum following an 11-0 vote.
  • A motion on the efforts to persuade the President of the United States during his meeting with President Peres to free Jonathan Pollard was discussed by MK Ben Ari (N.U.) and Minister Erdan.

Bills Summary

No Bills were discussed during Day 19.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 12, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02852412.doc

The Knesset’s Monday session lasted about three hours. Two bills were discussed. A bill on loosening the regulations on strengthening buildings against earthquakes became law after passing its third reading, and the emergency regulations in Judea and Samaria were advanced after passing their first readings. The government easily defeated two no-confidence motions.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Speaker Rivlin blasted the government for about ten minutes on how they constantly disrespect the Knesset. He said the Prime Minister’s decision to take seven ministers with him to Eilat on a Knesset day later this week was the last straw and he will not allow government bills to be brought to the Knesset next week. When he realized that no minister was in the room to answer the two no-confidence motions he became even angrier and told the opposition MKs that they can speak for an unlimited amount of time until a minister arrives.
  • Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled “The government’s impotence in the political, social and economic sectors” was defeated 14-63.
  • Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled “The government’s failure in dealing with the housing shortage and unemployment among teachers in the Arab sector” was defeated 14-61 with one MK abstaining.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced which disputed bills would be discussed in which committees.
  • MK Gilon (Meretz) announced the request of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee to split a bill into two. MK Bielski  (Kadima) also chose to speak. The request was approved 20-0.

Bills Summary

Amendment to Extend the Validity of the Emergency Regulations in Judea and Samaria Bill

Religious Services Minister Margi (Shas) explained the amendment would extend the current system of jurisdiction, offenses and legal assistance in place in Judea and Samaria for another five years until June 30, 2017.

MK Khenin (Hadash) said that the emergency regulations that have been in place since 1967 and extended every five years are obviously not temporary. He said the current set of laws are different for Jews and Arabs that live in the Wild West called Judea and Samaria. He said the conquering of Judea and Samaria 45 years ago was a mistake and voting against this bill will correct that mistake by ending Israeli rule over these areas. He called on creating a Palestinian state immediately along the 1967 borders.

MK Ariel (N.U.) asked the government how they can discriminate against Jews who live in Judea and Samaria while the Jews who live everywhere else receive full rights and benefits under law. He said that citizens that are taxed deserve equal rights. He stressed there is no such thing as taxation without full representation. He called on annexing Judea and Samaria today.

MK Zahalka (Balad) said the bill is not democratic because it determines the law over a group of people who did not vote for this parliament. He said this is the most anti-democratic bill this Knesset has passed. He noted that this bill includes Gaza which means that Israel has never ended their occupation of Gaza. He said this bill proves that Israel is trying to pretend that Gaza’s occupation is over when it makes sense to them, when the truth is that the occupation continues.

MK Katzeleh (N.U.) said that over 350,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria, 300,000 Jews live in eastern Jerusalem and 25,000 Jews live in the Golan. He said that it is only a matter of time before this bill stops being extended. He said that internal polls show 15-20 seats for a united faction of National Union with Jewish Home.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) read off letters his office received from citizens who are struggling with the African takeover of Southern Tel Aviv. He said that we are in a state of emergency with the African takeover of Israel and we need to have special provisions on the emergency regulations to include solving this African issue. He said that Israel is becoming a dangerous place and we must fight for our survival.

MK Zeev (Shas) said that the British Mandate is over and these emergency provisions are unnecessary, especially when it comes to Judea and Samaria. He said that a lot of the provisions make sense but they don’t need to be set on an emergency basis that needs to be extended every five years. He called on Netanyahu to fulfill his promise for the 800 houses in Judea and Samaria so that the Ulpana evacuation will have some meaning. He added that the government should evacuate the Arabs’ illegal buildings in eastern Jerusalem and not evacuate the Ulpana. He said in the name of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that there is no Jewish law that allows kicking Jews out of their homes even if a Palestinian really does own that land. He told the Knesset that his Rabbi asked him to deliver that message personally to Netanyahu and to the Knesset plenum.

MK Schneller (Kadima) said for this bill to be irrelevant we need to do one of three things: one is to annex everything, two is to give up on everything and the third is to make a deal with the Palestinians that falls somewhere in the middle. He said that in order to strike a deal the center-right will be needed to ensure that a majority of the country supports the agreement. He slammed the three leftist plans of compensation evacuation, the Talya Sasson outpost report, and the decision to go to the Supreme Court every time they want to evacuate a house. He said they have caused the exact opposite of their intention- the Jews in Judea and Samaria are now more ideological, have grabbed more hilltops and will see 10 houses built for every one destroyed by a Supreme Court order. He charged that it is the left that is holding up a deal and whoever really wants a deal needs to understand that they need a majority of Israelis to support it.

The extension of the bill passed its first reading 40-9 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Lands Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment would loosen the regulations on strengthening apartments and condominiums against earthquakes. He expressed hope that this will lead to more apartments receiving the necessary strengthening requirements that will save their homes from an earthquake and save lives.

MK Ariel asked why the bill is not going to apply to Judea and Samaria and demanded Cohen withdraw the bill back to committee. He said it is not fair that he is being discriminated against and might die of an earthquake because he lives in Judea and Samaria.

The bill passed its second reading 29-0.

The bill passed its third reading 17-0.

MK Azoulay (Shas) thanked the Knesset for approving his bill and Orlev, whose bill was merged into his.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 11, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02815012.doc

The Knesset’s Wednesday session lasted about six and a half hours. Eight bills were discussed. Five bills were advanced after passing their preliminary readings, one bill was withdrawn to prevent defeat, and two bills were defeated. MK Orlev’s “Outpost Bill” was defeated 22-69 with 29 MKs not present. The 18 coalition MKs who voted against the government position marked the highest number of rebel MKs against the government position since the government was formed back in 2009. MK Katzeleh chose to delay the vote on his outpost bill following Orlev’s defeat. Netanyahu’s senior coalition partners Kadima and Yisrael Beitenu argued over whether the Damaged from Birth Compensation Bill had government support or not, resulting in screaming between the two sides.

Non-Bills Summary

• Labor and Welfare Minister Kahlon (Likud), Hasbara Minister Edelstein (Likud) and Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch (Y.B.) answered urgent queries at the beginning of the session. • Nine motions were discussed on a wide variety of different topics. Seven motions were sent to committee after the following votes: 13-0, 10-0, 4-1, 8-0, 6-0, 6-0 and 2-0. One motion was defeated 1-2, and one motion was not voted on.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Wireless Telegraphy Ordinance Bill

MK Pinyan (Likud) explained his amendment would lower local radio broadcasting fees. He said it is unfair that local radio stations pay the same rate as national radio stations and this unfair situation must be corrected. He expressed hope this will help the existing struggling local radio stations and encourage more stations to start broadcasting.

Communications Minister Kahlon (Likud) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 26-0 and was sent to the House Committee to determine which committee will prepare the bill for its first reading.

Amendment to the Encouraging Strengthening Buildings against Earthquakes Bill

MK Cohen (Shas) explained his amendment would give tax breaks for the destruction of apartment buildings that would not survive an earthquake and cannot be fixed. He said the tax breaks would make it worthwhile to knock down these buildings and house the families in temporary housing until the new apartment is reconstructed.

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) expressed government support for the bill but stressed that it would not take effect until 2013 at the earliest.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 31-0 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Amendment to the Mandatory Tenders Bill

MK Khenin (Hadash) explained his amendment would prohibit government tender committees from contacting people who have been found guilty by a court of law of discriminating against certain people or groups. He said the government should not be hiring or talking to people who discriminate against people because of gender, race or any other reason. He agreed to withdraw his bill and postpone the vote on it expressing hope that the government will change their mind and support it at a later date.

Amendment to the House Redemption Bill

MK Gilon (Meretz) said that the settlement in Judea and Samaria was an old sin of the Labor party and must be corrected. He said that his argument is not with the settlers but with Prime Ministers Eshkol, Begin, Peres and others who put them there. He said that we must be fair with the residents of Judea and Samaria because they were sent there. He slammed the large amount of government money spent on settlements. He noted that David Ben-Gurion warned that settlements would become a big problem. He explained his amendment would allow these residents who live on the “wrong” side of the security fence to evacuate their homes, be compensated financially and be found new housing. Speaker Rivlin noted that he is talking about the most ideological settlers and that not one settler would accept that choice if presented with the option.

Minister Begin (Likud) said the settlement enterprise is alive and well. He noted that at the end of 2012 there will be 360,000 residents in Judea and Samaria, we will reach 400,000 in 2015-2016, and we will exceed 500,000 residents by 2020. He praised Meretz for making progress and accepting the settlement blocks. He agreed that certain residents want to leave and that some do leave, but that natural growth is occurring in virtually all settlements. He expressed his own personal opposition and the government’s opposition to the bill.

MK Gilon thanked Begin for correcting him on numbers and facts. He responded that Meretz does not believe in the settlement blocks but expected if his bill was written along government policy lines it would have a better chance of getting approved. He said that he loves Israel so much that he is willing to give up a large part of it. He stressed that this bill is not meant to determine that the security fence will be Israel’s new border.

The bill was defeated 10-65.

Protection of Land Held in Judea and Samaria Bill

MK Orlev (J.H.) noted that eight years ago today (June 6th) Prime Minister Sharon decided on his Disengagement Plan and today the Knesset will decide on yet another Disengagement. He asked those who oppose the bill if they realize that it is not about five buildings but about government policy towards all buildings that are in similar legal limbo. He slammed the excuse that the Hague international court should have any weight because the Hague is against all settlements. He noted a similar case where the Hague sided with Cyprus. He explained his bill will give a just solution to both Jews and Arabs, where all sides win. He asked the government if their policy is settlement or anti-settlement and suggested this vote will answer that. He asked why building up Beit El needs to come hand in hand with destroying the Ulpana and asked why Netanyahu could not have built up Beit El beforehand. He recalled the Likud ministers who messed up on a previous June 6th and reminded them they promised they would never mess up like that again. He slammed the Likud for trying to divorce the national religious and their long standing alliance that stood from 1976 until now. He warned Likud they are enabling leftist groups to use this case as legal precedent to evict 70,000 Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria. He slammed Netanyahu for calling on two states for two people and a building freeze that accomplished nothing. He said this bill proves that Prime Minister Netanyahu is still Defense Minister Barak’s soldier and not the other way around. He said that the national religious will not nominate Prime Minister Netanyahu for re-election to his premiership and instead will run together as a strong party to replace him. He warned Netanyahu that a joint National Union – Jewish Home party will get 12 seats because today will be the day the national religious leave the Likud. He slammed Netanyahu for preferring Mofaz and Kadima over his natural partners. He warned that defeating this bill will be the first crack in the coalition because he will ask his faction to leave the coalition over this. He called on the ministers to vote their conscience and not listen to Netanyahu.

Minister Begin said that the Jewish people’s right to their homeland is eternal and undeniable. He said that we are raising a deeply rooted third generation in the three settlement blocks of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley. He said that although we want to, we cannot live on every hilltop. MK Ben Ari (N.U.) heckled and was thrown out; Begin responded that the noise reminds him of Noah’s ark. He said that the 1979 Elon Moreh court decision that settlements should be on state land and not private Palestinian land is important and must be upheld. He said that this bill is not an unconstitutional Supreme Court bypass bill, stressing it is rather an attempt at solving the disagreements between the legislative and judicial branches of government on a particular issue. He stated the executive branch must follow the Supreme Court’s decisions even if they do not agree with them. He said another problem with the bill is that it would apply to the Palestinians and not the Jews in Judea and Samaria. He also rejected those who said this will help Judea and Samaria, stating this will harm the settlement enterprise more than it will help it. He warned that other nations would not approve of this bill. He said that this is a nonsense bill because the government and the right are on the same side. He also rejected that other settlements will be removed because of the falling of the Ulpana bill. He recalled his meeting the previous day with State Comptroller Committee Chairman Ariel (N.U.) that lasted two hours and thirty minutes where they tried to find the truth. He said when faced between two evils, one should choose the lesser evil. He said he has gotten two main messages from Likud voters: some said support this bill and follow your father’s way, while others said support this bill and don’t follow your father’s way.

Environment Minister Erdan (Likud) charged that Orlev is using the Ulpana residents for political profit and is lying to them. He told Orlev whoever parallels the disengagement to this bill is using people for political motives. He stated Netanyahu wants to strengthen the settlements and not weaken them. He told Orlev that he recalled the disengagement vote and who helped the cause and who didn’t. He told Orlev that the two of them know the real truth on how things went down and he has some nerve to say what he just said in his previous speech. He said that he and the government support the Supreme Court even if they don’t agree with them.

MK Orlev said he agrees in principle with Begin but disagrees with his methodology. He said that the battle is not over five houses but over 90,000 residents. He asked Begin to pick up the glove and support the bill since he agrees to take away the retroactive aspect of the bill. He warned Begin and the Likud that today will be remembered as the day they ended the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. He said that he remembers what day Erdan is talking about and reminded him that Erdan does not have interest in talking about that day any more than Orlev does. He told the government to bring their own solution or their own bill. He noted Levi Eshkol proposed the 1954 bill that was passed by the leftist government that accomplished the same thing between Jews and Arabs in Israel’s pre-1967 borders that this bill would do. He told his friends in the national religious camp that even if we lose this battle we cannot miss the lesson that we cannot listen to those who make false promises. He called on the MKs to vote their consciences and not listen to Netanyahu.

The bill was defeated 22-69.

The 22 MKs who voted for Outpost Bill:

Likud 9 – Elkin, Akunis, Danon, Hotovely, H. Katz, Levin, Pinyan, Regev and Rivlin. Shas 6 – Azoulay, Amsellem, Vaknin, Zeev, A. Cohen and Avraham Michaeli. NU 4 – Katzeleh, Ariel, Eldad and Ben Ari. UTJ 1 – Eichler YB 1 – Rotem JH 1 – Orlev

Absentees:

Likud 7- Edelstein, Gamliel, Y. Katz, Nass, Peled, Kara and Shalom YB 6 – Landau, Matalon, Anastassia Michaeli, Miller, Kirshenbaum and Shemtov Shas 5 – Atias, Yishai, Y. Cohen, Margi and Nahari. Kadima 3- Zellner, Shamalov Berkovich and Schneller. UTJ 2- Litzman and Moses JH 2- Hershkowitz and Orbach 4 Arabs The rest voted against the bill.

MK Katzeleh (N.U.) decided to withdraw his similar bill from the agenda to avoid defeat.

Damaged from Birth Compensation Bill

MK Sheetrit (Kadima) explained his amendment is a social justice bill that is co-sponsored by 20 MKs. He said that 2.3% of babies are born with a birth defect and the current system of suing the doctors who might have caused the birth defect takes a lot of money and lasts between 7-10 years. He noted physicians’ insurance premiums rose from 10.9 million shekels in 1991 to 41.9 million shekels because of malpractice suits. He said that doctors advise on abortion during risky pregnancies when it is known there is a high chance for a birth defect and 4,000-5,000 abortions are done each year because of fear of malpractice. He said that his amendment will abolish civil suits on birth defect law suits and distribute the 41.9 million shekels to every baby born with a birth defect.

MK Levi-Abekasis (Y.B.) opposed the bill on the grounds that it will harm the rights of the unborn children. She said when someone who goes through all of the right steps and the doctor screws up, that doctor should pay. She expressed government opposition to the bill because the Yisrael Beitenu party appealed the original government support. She told Sheetrit to postpone his bill for a week or oppose his own bill. She slammed the bill and asked how the government can take away the basic right of a person to sue someone who did something wrong to them. She asked Sheetrit why he is protecting bad doctors.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 16-9-1 and was sent to the Health Committee.

MKs Sheetrit and Levi-Abekasis screamed at each other after the vote for several minutes before Deputy Speaker Edery (Kadima) regained silence.

Amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Bill

MK Bibi (Kadima) explained his amendment would force the government to take every illegal immigrant or infiltrator for identification purposes. He said we need the finger prints, DNA and photographs of all of these illegals so that we can charge them with crimes and keep them in jail. He said the illegal Africans that started coming in 2005 have topped 60,000. He noted that the Bedouins drive them from the Egyptian – Sudanese border all the way until 2 kilometers from the Israeli border. He said that these people do not walk across Africa, they are driven. He said that this is not just an African issue now because we are finding illegals from China and Turkey as well. He called on the government to finish the fence. He stressed the 160 KM fence is not long enough. He said we can create within a month a camp with 20,000 places for illegals. He noted the Geneva Convention states that refugee status is only given to people who cross one border, not two borders. He said there are only 3-4 legal refugees in Israel and all the others must be sent back in a humanitarian way. He said the OZ unit that deals with illegals only has 100 employees and its numbers must be increased. He slammed the government for making the Israeli tax payers fund the medical bills of these illegals. He said if these guys commit crimes we need to know who they are so we can put them away.

Deputy Prime Minister Ya’alon (Likud) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 12-1 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Amendment to the Income Support Bill

MK Elkin (Likud) explained the amendment would eliminate the retroactive denial of income support due to visits abroad. He said that if someone exceeds the 72-day limit for being overseas they are retroactively not given their income support for the whole time they were away. He stated his bill would change the situation so that if someone is out of the country for 75 days, they will only be penalized for three days. He said this bill will cost five million shekels annually.

Labor and Welfare Minister Kahlon expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 15-0 and was sent to the Welfare Committee. ________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 6, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02754112.doc

The Knesset’s Tuesday session lasted about two hours and fifteen minutes. Four bills were discussed. Two bills were advanced after passing their first readings, and two bills were withdrawn to avoid defeat. The highlight bill of the day will, if passed, enforce jail time for employers who illegally employ minors.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • 16 MKs spoke during the one minute speech segment that opened the day.
  • A motion marking International Environment Day was discussed by 5 MKs and Environment Minister Erdan (Likud).

 

Bills Summary 

Amendment to the Mandatory Tenders Bill

MK Horowitz (Meretz) spoke a little bit about International Environment Day before getting to the bill. He explained the amendment would create a government policy of recycling preference by encouraging and subsidizing goods and corporations that have the green standard. All goods can apply to the green standard and the government will test them to see if they comply with the plan.  He pointed out that recycled toilet paper is already cheaper than regular toilet paper, and this bill will make it even cheaper. He stated that there will be many green standard products on the shelves and they will be cheaper. He pointed out that the government wants to support his bill but asked him to delay the vote on the bill until they can work a few things out. He noted that recycled paper for government machines will save 50 trees per copy machine every seven years.

Amendment to the Mandatory Tenders Bill

Appropriations Committee Chairman Gafni (U.T.J.) explained the amendment would grant a financial preference for recyclable tires. He went on to list his many environmental accomplishments over the years and told a few old stories. He pointed out that the government wants to support his bill but asked him to delay the vote on the bill until they can work a few things out.

Amendment to the Youth Labor Bill

State Comptroller Committee Chairman Ariel (N.U.) explained the amendment would allow government inspectors to increase the punishment against store owners who illegally hire minors from a fine to a prison sentence.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) said that there are no minors who work today since today’s youth refuse to work. He said those who want to work don’t have jobs because of the illegal immigrants who take their jobs.

MK Zeev (Shas) said our youth are in bad shape and prayed for the youth who he said will be ripped away from their homes in the Ulpana in the middle of the night. He slammed Israel for leading the charge in taking youth away from their parents compared to all other nations. He concluded by attacking the slutty television shows.

The bill passed its first reading 7-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the Prison Ordinance Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment will allow the Interior Committee Chairman to conduct official visits to all Israeli jails even if they are unannounced.

MK Zeev said that all MKs should be allowed to visit any prisoner at any jail at any time. He said that MKs are allowed to go anywhere except for security or military buildings and jails should be removed from that list. He said the idea that he needs to send them a letter a week in advance with three dates makes him wonder what his rights are as an MK in the first place. He said he will object to the bill if it isn’t extended to include all MKs. He said he is really insulted that judges get more rights than MKs. Deputy Speaker Majadele (Labor) said he will back MK Zeev’s fight for MK rights.

The bill passed its first reading 5-0 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 5, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02719312.doc

The Knesset’s Monday session lasted about two and a half hours. Three bills were discussed. Two bills became law after passing their third readings, and one bill was advanced after passing its first reading. The interesting bill of the day places counterfeit alcoholic beverages under government supervision to ensure the public’s health.

Non-Bills Summary

  • Speaker Rivlin opened the session by informing the MKs that the new seating chart has officially taken effect. He explained the large 94-MK coalition will sit at the government wing and the right and center wings of the plenum, while the small 26-MK opposition will be restricted to the left wing of the plenum. He also switched the order of the no-confidence motions because Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch (Y.B.) was missing.
  • Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion tilted ‘The planned brutal cuts in state budget and the increase in VAT’ was defeated 13-61.
  • Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘the government and police’s responsibility in the increase of violence in the Arab population’ was defeated 14-61.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance Bill

Finance Committee Chairman Shama (Likud) explained the amendment will push off the reform of the “sherut” taxi cabs until December 31, 2013, with the ability to push off the reform again for another year if approved by the Finance Committee and Transportation Minister.

The bill passed its second reading 20-0.

The bill passed its third reading 23-0.

Amendment to the Law and Administration Ordinance Bill

House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) explained that this amendment is the latest in a series of updates to the Law and Administration rules to meet the new Knesset protocol guidelines. He stated that there is a lot of cleanup involved in this amendment by erasing outdated paragraphs and provisions.

The bill passed its second reading 20-0.

The bill passed its third reading 18-0.

Struggle against Forging Intoxicating Liquors Bill

MK Kirshenbaum (Y.B.) explained that the amendment would place counterfeit alcohol under increased government supervision to ensure that forged intoxicated liquids don’t harm the public’s health. She said most counterfeit alcohol is imported and is cheaper than alcohol so it harms the health of the poorest and weakest populations.

MK Zeev (Shas) said he doesn’t know of any alcoholic drink that isn’t fake. He slammed today’s youth that celebrate every event in their lives with a lot of alcohol and said there is more to life than drinking. He slammed the fake medications coming out of Africa as well as the drinking culture. He noted that minors who drink are at risk of serious brain damage.

The bill passed its first reading 21-0 and was sent to the Health Committee.

________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 4, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02690212.doc

The Knesset’s Wednesday session lasted about five hours. Six bills were discussed. Two bills were advanced after passing their preliminary readings, two bills avoided defeat by being turned into motions, and two bills were defeated. The bills advanced place term limits on the President of the Sharia Court of Appeal and merge the five Israeli medical exams into one standardized test that will allow Israeli medical students to graduate six months earlier. The last round of changes to the Knesset protocols was approved, completing a three year plan of protocol changes.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Deputy Health Minister Litzman (U.T.J.), Deputy Education Minister Moses (U.T.J.) and Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon (Y.B.) answered urgent queries at the beginning of the Knesset session.
  • Speaker Rivlin gave a warm speech greeting the President of the Czech Republic’s parliament.
  • Two of the six motions discussed were sent to committee for further discussion by the votes 8-0 and 4-0. One motion was defeated 4-55, and three motions were not voted on.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced this is a special day because it involves the last round of updates to the official Knesset rules and protocols book. He explained the biggest change of the last round would be prohibiting committee votes while the plenum is in session. He said he is proud to present the changes to a vote after dozens of committee meetings over the last three years. It was approved 27-0 with one MK abstaining.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Qadis Bill

MK Majadele (Labor) explained the amendment shortens the term of office for the President of the Sharia Court of Appeal to seven years. He said the current President has been in office 18 years. He asked how every single position in Israeli democracy needs to be elected or has a term limit except for this one.

Justice Minister Neeman expressed his personal and government support for the bill. He said that there are cases where retroactive legislation is needed to correct a wrong and this is one of them.

MK Tibi (R.T.) said he supports limiting terms of high-level government officials but he stressed his opposition to retroactive and personal bills. He said that this is a way for the government to kick out a great man of integrity who was going to resign in a year anyway. He said that this is a personal political vendetta by the government against an esteemed and popular Muslim judge. He called on Justice Minister Neeman to use common sense, call the judge, have a conversation and abolish the retroactive clause of the bill.

MK Majadele rejected Tibi’s claims, noting that the original bill was also a personal bill meant to allow the judge to sit in the President’s chair for 18 years. He said that there is no place in a democracy for a dictatorship.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 35-10 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Students’ Rights Bill

MK Eldad (N.U.) explained the amendment would merge into one test the five final exams medical students take after they finish medical school in order to get their medical license. He noted 23 countries have abandoned the six month multi-test system and moved to a standard test.

Education Minister Sa’ar (Likud) expressed government support for the bill. He said that this bill will allow medical students to graduate six months earlier, which will help Israel’s doctor shortage.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 24-1 and was sent to the Education Committee.

Motion/Amendment to the Planning and Building Bill

MK El-Sana (R.T.) explained the amendment would fund programs to legalize the illegal Bedouin communities in the Negev. He said that these citizens are looked upon as second class. He noted that some of these illegal settlements have between 1,000 to 2,000 residents each. He charged that the government’s committee on solving the problem is not showing results. He asked why dealing with a few hundred Jews in Migron and Ulpana is more important than thousands of Arabs. He said there is plenty of room for compromise since 8% of Israel’s population lives in the Negev, which makes up 60% of the country’s land mass.

Minister Begin (Likud) expressed government opposition to the bill. He agreed with El-Sana that there is a big problem but disagreed that this is the solution. He noted that over time the government has helped resettle and legalize the Negev Bedouins and less than a third of the Bedouins are still up in the air. He asked for El-Sana’s cooperation in helping him help the people that are left. He stated that those who do not wish to compromise will never find a real solution. He said the government does not even know how many people live in these Bedouin towns, estimating it is between 70,000 and 90,000 people. He said he has met personally with 500 Bedouins to hear their side and asked El-Sana to continue that dialogue by turning the bill into a motion.

MK El-Sana asked Begin what solution he offers the Bedouins in the meantime before a final solution is agreed upon. He agreed to turn the bill into a motion and discuss the matter in committee.

The motion passed 39-2-1 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Motion/Amendment to the Planning and Building Bill

MK Swaid (Hadash) explained his amendment would grant tax exemption eligibility on real estate and government assistance for young couples seeking housing. He said that this will bring down the prices of housing for young couples and make housing attainable. He stated the government should adopt more of a socialist housing model that will ensure housing for everyone.

Interior Minister Yishai (Shas) expressed government opposition to the bill on the grounds of financial constraints. He agreed the principle of the bill is very positive and asked Swaid to agree to turn the bill into a motion in order to discuss the issue in committee. Swaid agreed.

The motion passed 24-0 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Amendment to the Social Security Bill

MK Gilon (Meretz) explained his amendment would grant certain benefits to disabled citizens who are reaching the age of retirement. He said that disabled people who are old suffer from two problems and they should receive double compensation from the government. He said his amendment would allow double welfare for disabled senior citizens from the age of 65. He said that as a socialist he supports high taxes and stressed that is the only way to maintain a welfare state. He stated that if a citizen is handicapped he should have all of his needs provided by the government and an NIS 10,000 monthly salary.

Labor and Welfare Minister Kahlon (Likud) expressed government opposition to the bill on the grounds of financial constraints. He said that handicapped people who cannot work receive NIS 4,000 a month until they reach the age of retirement at 67 and then they are entitled to an NIS 4,200 senior citizen monthly welfare payment. He said the government cannot afford to give senior citizens a two-year double welfare payment since it would cost hundreds of millions of shekels.

MK Gilon said the argument is who is paying what and who is receiving what. He said the government’s priorities are messed up and should be corrected. He told the government to stop trying to help the rich and to start helping the poor, adding that is true equality.

The bill was defeated 20-40.

Reward Soldiers in Regular Service Bill

Minister Begin responded to Peretz’s bill that would give soldiers minimum wage salaries in the last third of their military service. He said that the government opposes the bill because of financial constraints. He agreed that soldiers deserve that money but said the government cannot afford the billions of shekels needed to fund the program. He did stress that the government is working on their own bill that will increase the financial compensation to soldiers but will not go as far as this bill.

MK Peretz (Labor) asked Kadima, whose MKs are co-sponsors, in the name of deceased co-sponsor Kadima MK Gideon Ezra, to support the bill they gave their signature to. He slammed the government for lying to him and delaying the bill for two weeks when they knew they weren’t going to support the bill. He refused to wait for the government bill because he said that the government can’t be trusted and they will never present the bill. He warned Kadima that if they vote against the bill they will be punished since this will be an election year.

The bill was defeated 15-30.

________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s May 30, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02618812.doc

The Knesset’s session Tuesday lasted about and three a half hours. Six bills were discussed. Four bills became law after passing their third readings, and two bills were advanced after passing their first readings. There was no session on Monday because of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, so Monday’s agenda was postponed to Tuesday. About half of the MKs did not show up, and most of them left before the motion marking Military Reserves Day took place. Speaker Rivlin expressed his displeasure that a day that is meant to merge two days could have such a light agenda and attendance.

Non-Bills Summary

  • Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The government’s failure in the political, economic and social sectors’ was defeated 13-50.
  • Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The inability of the Netanyahu government in the social, political and economic sectors’ was defeated 13-53.
  • A motion on Military Reserves Recognition Day was discussed by Speaker Rivlin, five MKs, Deputy Minister Kara (Likud) and Minister Mofaz (Likud).

Bills Summary

Temporary Amendment to the Clean Air Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment shortens the approval process for polluting factories that deal with natural gas for a one year period. He said that this will pave the way for natural gas from Israel’s shores to be used for Israel as soon as possible in order to lower electricity prices.

MK Khenin (Hadash) objected to the bill on the grounds that this will allow pollution since the short appeal time will make it impossible to prevent the new factories for natural gas from being built. He said it is worth having a short term spike in electricity rates to preserve the environment as opposed to ruining the environment so we can save a few shekels. He quoted Rahm Emanuel to prove his point. He stressed the importance of keeping mother earth healthy for the next generations.

The bills paragraphs passed their second readings 19-1 and 20-2.

The bills objections were defeated 2-17 and 2-17.

The bill passed its third reading 21-1.

Amendment to the Jewish Religious Services Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen explained the amendment would allow the selling of burial plots for people who are still alive in private cemeteries. He said that the amendment will also regulate the Berket cemetery and its 330,000 burial plots. He noted that there will be a cap on the price of burial plots as well as discounts for two burial plots next to each other for couples.

The bill passed its second reading 14-0.

The bill passed its third reading 14-0.

Amendment to the Sports Bill

MK Pinyan (Likud) explained the amendment would require sports teams to insure all of their players and to release or trade players within a year of their request. He said it is important that all players are covered and have the ability to move from team to team.

The bill passed its second reading 12-0.

The bill passed its third reading 13-0.

MK Tirosh (Kadima) thanked Chairman Miller (Y.B.) for helping her advance and pass her bill. She slammed the sports unions for fighting against this bill by trying to preserve the teams’ rights to keep players under contract but on the bench. She expressed pride that the government and Knesset refused to give in to last minute pressure and passed the law.

Amendment to the Supervision of Dogs Bill

Finance Committee Chairman Shama (Likud) praised MK Cabel (Labor) for his impressive second place finish in the Histadrut workers union chairmanship race. He explained the amendment will raise the price of non-neutered dogs’ registry cards to NIS 300 more than those for neutered dogs. He thanked everyone for helping with this bill.

The bill passed its second reading 9-0.

The bill passed its third reading 9-0.

Amendment to the Benefits for Soldiers and Their Families Bill

MK Matalon (Y.B.) explained the amendment would extend the period of time soldiers who are injured while on vacation are entitled to full benefits from 14 days to 21 days.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) supported and praised the bill. He said that as someone who was injured in active duty, there are a lot of ways the country can improve on taking care of their injured. He told his personal story in tears of how he was left in the middle of nowhere with bullet shards in his shoulder and arm and the cab they ordered him didn’t come. He went on to call on the government to finish building the fence and kick out all of the illegal immigrants.

The bill passed its first reading 13-0 and was sent to the Welfare Committee.

MK Tirosh realized that she forgot to thank her parliamentary assistant for helping her with her bill.

Amendment to the Computer Bill

MK Avraham Balila (Kadima) explained the amendment would extend the ban on software aimed at violating someone’s privacy or eavesdropping on cell phones and the internet. She noted this bill would also allow Israel to meet their requirements as expected from the state when they signed an international agreement against cybercrimes.

MK Ben Ari said this is an important bill and expressed his support. He told the politicians that they should be condemning the violence of the illegal immigrants and not the violence of the victims of the illegal immigrants. He demanded the 80,000 to 120,000 illegal immigrants be deported. He said the danger of nuclear Iran is more dangerous than Sudan and Eritrea.

The bill passed its first reading 9-0 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s May 29, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02590212.doc

The Knesset’s Wednesday session lasted about eight and a half hours. Ten bills were discussed. Five bills were advanced after passing their preliminary readings. Three bills were withdrawn to avoid defeat, one bill was turned into a motion, and one was defeated. The Outpost Bill was the last bill on the agenda and the debate was among this term’s hottest. MK Katzeleh went red in the face, his body shook, and he almost fell to the floor as he screamed at the government ministers who had flipflopped in their decision on how to vote at the last minute. Prime Minister Netanyahu got involved in the heated debate, and eventually the vote was delayed for two weeks.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Justice Minister Neeman, Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) and Education Minister Sa’ar (Likud) answered urgent queries at the beginning of the session.
  • Six of the nine motions discussed were sent to committee by the votes 5-0, 4-0, 5-0, 11-0, 8-0 and 4-0. Two motions were defeated 6-7 and 2-2. One motion was not voted on.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced which committees would discuss which bills. The committee’s decision was approved 9-0.

 

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Railways Ordinance Bill

MK Maklev (U.T.J.) explained his amendment will reduce the fines for riding without a local train ticket. He said that thousands of people have complained to his office about getting tickets unjustifiably. He explained that even people with free monthly passes were given fines. He blasted the light rail company Citipass for fining people when they knew they were wrong. He slammed Citipass for fining people who paid but had their spouse’s bus card. He noted problems with signage, machines and transfers from Egged. He spent ten minutes giving examples of people being arrested because they didn’t have identification on them, turning them into criminals. He said an NIS 180 fine is unacceptable. He thanked Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) for supporting the bill but slammed the finance ministry for opposing his bill that would lower fines. He slammed Citipass for giving fines to mothers with strollers. He criticized the government for opposing his bill and decided to postpone the vote on his bill to a later date.

Amendment to the Knesset Bill

MK Naffaa (Balad) explained his amendment would regulate party funding distribution in the case of a faction of three MKs where one MK wants to withdraw and the other two MKs deny the third MK the right to split. He slammed Balad for taking him out of their party and not giving him his MK rights. He stressed this bill will fix his personal problem. He said it is ethically wrong to use an MK for his money but refuse to give him parliamentary tools. He decided to postpone the vote on his bill to a later date.

Motion/Amendment to the Interference with Elections Prohibition Bill

MK Solodkin (Kadima) explained her amendment would punish those who prohibit ultra-orthodox women from voting in elections. She brought up a case in the ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem where women were not allowed to vote in the local neighborhood elections. She said that the punishment for this offence would be between two and three years. She expressed disappointment that the government opposed the bill and agreed to turn the bill into a motion.

Religious Services Minister Margi (Shas) expressed government opposition to the bill on the grounds that the punishment is too severe. He agreed to discuss the bill in committee as a motion.

The motion passed 15-0 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Two Amendments to the Independence Day Bill

MK Shemtov (Y.B.) explained the amendment would change the date of Independence Day to the Thursday closest to the 4th of Iyar instead of on the 4th of Iyar itself.

MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima) explained his similar bill would accomplish the same thing. He noted that he has tried to get this bill passed since his election to Knesset in 2006. He said the long weekend will be a great idea.

Tourism Minister Misezhnikov (Y.B.) expressed government support for the bill. He noted that in most years Independence Day has not been celebrated on the 4th of Iyar.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) opposed the bill and told the MKs supporting the bill they should be ashamed of themselves. He said Independence Day is not about the long weekend and parties and stressed it is about the holiness of the day.

MK Zeev (Shas) opposed the bill and asked when he is supposed to say Hallel- on the 4th of Iyar or on the Thursday. He said that the 4th of Iyar is a symbol and should not be moved. He stated this change is not what the public wants and religious people will be very angry if this bill passes. He said it is not up to the Knesset to change holidays, even if it is a national holiday and not a religious one.

MK Shemtov responded that the 4th of Iyar is holy but the people’s wishes need to be taken into account.

The first bill passed its preliminary reading 35-4 and was sent to the Culture Committee.

The second bill passed its preliminary reading 35-4 and was sent to the Culture Committee.

Amendment to the Transport Ordinance Bill

MK Bielski (Kadima) explained the amendment would regulate the issue of bicycles on highways. He stated that 15 bicycle riders are killed every year and 80 are injured seriously among the 300 bicycle injuries a year. He said the long list of regulations would allow bicycles on highways during certain hours.

Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) expressed government support for the bill but noted that some of the regulations written in the bill need to be changed.

MK Yoel Hasson opposed the bill and slammed the restrictions on the bicycle riders. He said that overall this bill will reduce the number of bicycle riders because of the restrictions on using headphones. He said that he will fight for cyclist rights.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 25-0 with 3 MKs abstaining and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Amendment to the Plant Protection Bill

MK Molla (Kadima) explained his amendment would exempt certain provisions of the bill for teff grains. He said that teff grains are a popular Ethiopian food and this bill will make importing easier for an important food that is not grown in Israel. He said it is a healthy food and the government should help out here.

Agriculture Minister Noked (Independence) expressed government support for the bill. She noted that it would have to reflect the international agreements that Israel has signed.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 24-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Amendment to the Organ Transplant Bill

MK Gal-On (Meretz) explained her amendment would give priority to a relative in cases of living donor organ donations. She said that the benefits that are given to deceased organ donors should also be given to live donors and that live donors should get an additional bonus. She said that this bill will encourage people to give their live organs. She noted that the bill would place live organ donors highest on the organ donor list in cases of need.

Deputy Health Minister Litzman (U.T.J.) expressed government support for the bill.

The bill passed its preliminary reading 33-0 and was sent to the Health Committee.

Amendment to the Local Authorities Bill

MK Barakeh (Hadash) explained his amendment would apply municipal property tax exemptions currently in place for soldiers, victims of war and police to young couples as well. He said the current system discriminates against Arabs since they don’t serve the country.

Religious Services Minister Margi expressed government opposition to the bill on the grounds that there is a government committee that is discussing the issue and there is no need for the bill until the committee submits its results.

The bill was defeated 14-34.

Respecting the Rights of the Founders of Buildings in Judea and Samaria Bill

MK Katzeleh (N.U.) waved to the hundreds of residents of the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El who were sitting in the gallery. He said that the decree that would evict them from their homes by July 1st is unacceptable. He thanked Speaker Rivlin for agreeing that this bill is legal and constitutional. He explained that if a house is built in any part of Israel and there is government support through signatures and infrastructure, and it turns out that the land purchased belongs to someone else and that is proven by the Supreme Court, the government will seize the land and compensate the original owner financially. He stressed that the arrangement of knocking down houses or evicting people in these cases won’t happen. He revealed that he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu who asked him to delay the bill by two weeks. He told the residents of Judea and Samaria to look at the Likud and this nationalist government that is instructing the government to vote against the solution to their problems. He noted that most of the 65 nationalist MKs wanted to vote for this bill and Prime Minister Netanyahu is preventing them from doing so. He asked why Defense Minister Barak or some random lawyer has more influence over Netanyahu than his natural partners. He looked at the nationalist MKs and asked them how they can have hearts of stone. He charged that they don’t care about throwing people out of their homes. He called on coalition MKs to support the bill. He said Netanyahu is sending him messages asking him to delay the vote but he refuses. He told the MKs trying to convince him to drop the bill and be a politician that he isn’t a politician. He said even if the bill falls it is important that one Jew stands up and says enough is enough. He asked where the hearts are of the MKs and told them that they have no heart.

Minister Begin (Likud) responded that the government opposes the bill on the grounds that they requested two weeks to examine a different solution to the Ulpana problem before bringing this bill to a vote. He said that Katzeleh’s decision to vote on the bill instead of waiting forces the government’s hand to oppose it. He responded that he has a heart and it isn’t a heart of stone, it is a heart of responsibility that goes hand in hand with the brain and common sense. He said that the issues this bill causes are of greater concern than its benefits. MK Ben Ari (N.U.) heckled Begin and was thrown out by Speaker Rivlin. This led to heckling from the Arab and Meretz MKs. Begin called on Katzeleh to withdraw the bill for the sake of the 350,000 residents of Judea and Samaria. MK Zahalka (Balad) was thrown out by Speaker Rivlin for heckling as well.

MK Katzeleh apologized for getting overly emotional and the things that he said. He thanked the government, including Minister Mofaz (Kadima) and Defense Minister Barak (Independence), for building up Judea and Samaria. He said that the government can decide to override a court sentence for justice as they do in prisoner exchanges. He told Prime Minister Netanyahu that Netanyahu’s people asked his Rabbi, Rav Melamed, to postpone the vote on the bill.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded that he didn’t ask Katzeleh to postpone the bill and he should bring it if he wanted to. He rejected Katzeleh’s claim that he sent messengers to Rav Melamed.

MK Katzeleh decided to withdraw his bill.

Environment Minister Erdan (Likud) said the government’s position is that if Katzeleh decides to withdraw the bill, the government will support that move.

Speaker Rivlin agreed and announced that since the MK and government agree the vote on the bill will be postponed for two weeks.

________________________________________________________________

This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s May 23, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02514012.doc

The poll was conducted June 3 2012 and broadcast on Knesset Channel 99 the next day.

The sampling size was 506 Israelis and the margin of error is 4.3%.

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

17 [27] New Likud with Netanyahu
16 [15] Yisrael Beitenu
16 [08] Labor
15 [---] Yesh Atid
13 [--] Likud without Netanyahu
08 [11] Shas
06 [04] National Union
06 [03] Meretz
05 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
04 [03] Jewish Home
04 [04] Hadash
04 [03] Balad
03 [04] Ra’am-Ta’al
03 [28] Kadima
00 [05] Independence

Right 69 Center-Left 51

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