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Following the opposition boycott of the planned 21-hour session, as opposed to the planned 23-hour session for the Electoral Reform Bill, Speaker Edelstein re-opened up the session as planned at 10 AM.

Chairwoman Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) gave a speech highlighting certain aspects of the bill. She stated that around 22,000 Haredim will get an exemption for service in order for them to enter the workforce. She noted that the Haredim are 400 people away from meeting their target goals for this year in the army and 600 people away for national service target goals. She pointed out there are already thousands of Haredim serving in both and that the Haredim are expected to meet the target goals for this year by July. She said that those who don’t want to learn should go to army or national service and allow their friends who want to learn to be able to do so. She pointed out there are currently 800 haredim doing combat service. Every haredi combat soldier is counted as 1.5 toward enlistment goal numbers. She talked about the accomplishments of Haredim in the military, national service and the workforce while still devoting time to learning Torah. She praised the Ministry Economy plan for training and employing Haredim.

Minister Piron (Yesh Atid) gave a long speech that included quotes from Opposition Leader Herzog’s grandfather who was an Israeli Chief Rabbi.

Speaker Edelstein announced that all coalition MKs removed their objections. All of the opposition objections were removed because the objecting MKs were not in the building.

You can read more about the content bill here: http://knessetjeremy.com/2014/03/11/the-shaked-hardei-draftserviceemployment-bill/

National Service Bill passed its second reading 66-1 (with an MK present that was present but didn’t vote), 67-1, 67-0 (1 didn’t vote), 67-1. A government objection was accepted 68-0.
It passed in its third reading 67-1.

Amendment to the Security Service Bill passed its second reading 67-1 and third reading 67-1.

Minister Peri (Yesh Atid) thanked the Knesset for approving the bill.

Speaker Edelstein closed the session and said they would re-convene in 20 minutes for the regular Wed Knesset session.

The only coalition MK who voted against the bill is Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Chetboun.
The 52 opposition MKs went through with their boycott. The official Knesset protocol will show that not one opposition MK gave a speech against the bill and not one opposition MK voted against the bill.

Shaked Law (for good and for bad) is complete.

The Shaked Bill is really two bills in one.
Both of the bills are very long, here is a quick summary of major points.
The National Service Bill 

Three different types of National Service:

Civilian-Security-Service (police, prison service, firefighting, protecting witnesses, green & beach police, magen david adom/ambulances, zaka, hatzala, other lifesaving organizations). 36 hours a week for two years.

Civilian-Social-Service (health, welfare, education, environment, absorbing immigration, assisting senior citizens, road safety, government hasbara, national archives work, overseas government work). Choice between 20 hours a week for three years or 30 hours a week for two years, either way it will be a 5-day work-week. 20 paid vacation days a year and 20 paid sick days a year.

Civilian-National Service (the type that we are familiar with today).

Amendment to the Security Service Bill

Everyone:

* Men service goes down from 36 to 32 months (2 years 8 months).
* Learning Torah will be recognized as a service to the State of Israel.

Religious-Zionists:

  • Hesder track will now serve a minimum of 17 months (1 year 5 months)
  • Shiluv, Mechina and other program track adjustments and additions.
  • Non-Hesder/Shiluv/Mechina Zionist Yeshiva deferments until age 23 or 26, depending on criteria.
  • Zionist Yeshiva students required to learn Torah 40-45 hours a week depending on criteria and not allowed to work.
  • Criteria to be included in law.
  • Reports Zionist Yeshivas must submit to government.

Haredim:

  • Becomes law on March 20 2014.
  • Adjustment period for Haredim ends July 1st 2017.
  • Defense Minister can allow each Haredi in age brackets 18-21 to defer their army service for up to 12 months each year.
  • Defense Minister can grant each Haredi at age 22 a two-year deferment until age 24 or two one-year deferments depending on criteria.
  • Defense Minister can allow each Haredi aged 24 and older to enter workforce.
  • After age 21 the various national service tracks can be opened up depending on criteria.
  • Haredim aged 24 and older can enter employment tracks.
  • Haredim can receive up to 15 hours of employment training a week.
  • A lot of executive power and room given to Minister of the Economy to integrate Haredim into workforce.
  • Defense Minister can release 26 year old Haredim from service if the Haredim meet their target goals after the five year adjustment period.
  • Even if Haredim don’t meet target goals, Haredim under 21 will be able to defer service until 21.
  • Each year 1,800 additional Haredim will be exempt from serving in military or national service.
  • Yeshiva students required to learn Torah 40-45 hours a week depending on criteria and not allowed to work.
  • Haredi Yeshiva students aged 22 and older who are married are allowed to work but still must put in the 40-45 hours learning.
  • Criteria for who is on list of Haredi Yeshiviot.
  • Government reports to Knesset on implementation of the law.
  • Criteria for hiring supervisors for this law.
  • There will be target numbers for military, and different target numbers for national
  • Bottom Line: The bill really gives the Defense Minister a lot of power on how it will be implemented.

Following the opposition boycott of the planned 23-hour session, Speaker Edelstein re-opened up the session as planned at 10 AM. Chairman Rotem (L.B.) blasted the opposition’s boycott. Minister Liberman (L.B.) pointed out that it is ridiculous that Labor and Meretz leaders proposed many of the measures in the bill including the raising of the threshold and today are boycotting the vote. He discussed the 29 committee meetings on the bill and the 253 experts that participated in the meetings. Speaker Edelstein announced that all coalition MKs removed their objections. All of the opposition objections were removed because the objecting MKs were not in the building.

You can read more about the content bill here: http://knessetjeremy.com/2014/03/09/electoral-reform-bill/

Government Bill passed its second reading 67-0 and third reading 67-0.
Knesset Bill passed its second reading 67-0 and third reading 6-0.

MK Hoffman (Yesh Atid) got up after the voting to thank everyone who worked on the bill.
Minister Lapid (Yesh Atid) also spoke from the podium and thanked the people who worked on the bill.
Speaker Edelstein closed the session and said they would re-convene for the presentation of the Haredi Draft Bill at 1 PM.

The only coalition MK who did not vote is Presidential candidate MK Rivlin (Likud Beitenu) who purposely decided to fly to London in order to miss vote. The 52 opposition MKs went through with their boycott.

The official Knesset protocol will show that not one MK gave a speech against the bill and not one MK voted against the bill.
Electoral Reform (for good and for bad) is complete.

The Basic Law: National Referendum will be the third of the big three to be voted on this week.

It has the least objections and requests for MK speeches.
Unlike the other two bills, this bill has no coalition objections.
The opposition decided to focus most of their efforts on the other two bills.
The bill is meant to prevent Israel from giving up her sovereign territory.

  • The National Referendum Bill will be a special election day to decide if to approve or repeal a Knesset decision to give up land that is currently under Israeli law. That applies to all of pre-1967 Israel and post-1967 areas that have been annexed such as the Golan Heights and Eastern Jerusalem.
  • The National Referendum is only implemented if the Knesset approves a decision to give up land that is currently under Israeli law. That decision is then put on hold until the results of the National Referendum.
  • 80 MKs can vote to decide against going to a National Referendum.
  • All Israeli Citizens 18 and up can vote, all other election laws apply.
  • Because it is a Basic Law it is illegal to bypass this law by a temporary measure, executive order, emergency provision, etc.
  • To change any aspect of this law or to add an amendment you must do so through an additional Basic Law, meaning a minimum of 61 MKs.

The first of the the three bills up this week for a vote is the Electoral Reform Bill.

The proposed law includes changes to Basic Laws which require 61 MKs to approve.

This bill is a merger of two bills that will change the executive and legislative branches of government, the third branch (Judicial) will not be touched.

Here are some of the main changes that you will find in the Electoral Reform Bill.

* There are many “objections” from both the coalition and opposition that if passed would change the bill.

  • Raising electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25% (4 seats).
  • Outlawing Ministers without portfolio.
  • The maximum number of Ministers including the Prime Minister will be 19.
  • After the government is formed, additional ministers can be appointed with 70 MKs approving.
  • Deputy Ministers will be limited to four.
  • If 61 MKs request a no-confidence motion it must be voted on within a week.
  • Changing the structure and importance of no-confidence motions in various ways including forcing opposition to display a list of ministers and guidelines for an alternative government.
  • Six changes to the Party Funding Law, including allowing a single MK to break off if his party merges with another party and allowing two parties that ran on a joint faction to split right after elections without any penalties.
  • The “Mofaz Law” allowing 7 MKs of a large party to break off is abolished.
  • Publication of government expenses on the internet in a budget year where no budget was passed.
  • Increasing time a new government has to submit a budget to the Knesset after an election to 100 days.
  • Lowering the number of items that need to be published in the official Government Gazette

Update

* I was going to present all speeches on the bill. Due to the opposition MKs decision not to discuss the proposed law from the Knesset podium and the coalition MKs speeches that did not actually discuss the bill – I decided against it.

Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by Knesset Channel 99 on Mar 6 2014.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

30 [31] Likud Beitenu

21 [15] Labor

15 [12] Bayit Yehudi

12 [19] Yesh Atid

11 [06] Meretz

08 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

06 [11] Shas

04 [06] Movement

04 [04] Hadash

03 [04] Ra’am-Ta’al

03 [03] Balad

03 [--] Strong Israel

00 [02] Kadima

62 [61] Right-Religious

58 [59] Center-Left-Arab

Knesset Jeremy Analysis: 9 seat difference. I don’t remember the last poll that had Labor within a single digit margin of Likud Beitenu. Bayit Yehudi rebounds to reclaim third place. UTJ with an interesting 8 seats puts them ahead of Shas. Strong Israel passes the current threshold for the second time this month. Ben Ari said in an interview on Thursday that although he might not run, his Strong Israel Party will run in the next elections despite the planned threshold increase. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/288446#.Uxj4uvnm6T8

Monday 10.3.14 – The Knesset plenum session begins at 11 AM (instead of 4 PM) with the traditional practice of the weekly government no-confidence motions. All seven opposition parties (Labor, Shas, UTJ, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al, Balad, Kadima) are expected to try to topple the government. All seven attempts are expected to fail. It is possible the opposition will give up on (one, more or all of) the no-confidence motions in order to devote more time to speeches on the Electoral Reform Bill.

Following the no-confidence motion votes, Constitution Committee Chairman David Rotem (Y.B.) will present two bills: An Amendment to the Basic Law: The government & an Amendment (#62) to the Elections to the Knesset Law. Together the two amendments are also known as “The Electoral Reform Bill” and many other names as well. The MKs discussions, including the opposition’s objections to the bill, have a time limit and the discussion must end by 10 AM the next day. At 10 AM (Tues) Chairman Rotem may give his rebuttal. Afterwards, the Knesset Plenum will vote on the two bills in their second and third readings.

Tuesday 11.3.14 – The voting that starts at 10 AM must finish by 1 PM. It is possible that the opposition MKs will remove their objections at some point and not vote for three straight hours. MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) will present two pieces of legislation, an Amendment (#19) to the Defense Service Law and the (new and original) National-Civilian Service Bill. MK Shaked chaired the special committee that dealt with both bills known as “The Haredi Draft Bill”, which was discussed by the “The Shaked Committee”. The MKs discussions, including the opposition’s objections to the bill, have a time limit and the discussion must end by 10 AM the next day. At 10 AM (Wed) MK Shaked will give her rebuttable to the 21-hour discussion. Following Chairwoman Shaked’s rebuttal, the Knesset Plenum will vote on the two bills in their second and third readings.

Wedensday 12.3.13 – The voting that starts at 10 AM must finish by 11 AM. At 11 AM Ministers will answer urgent queries, new bills will be advanced in their preliminary readings (or rejected) and the U.K. Prime Minister will give his speech from the Knesset podium.

Following that the presentation and discussion of the Basic Law: National Referendum will begin. The voting on objections and the second & third readings must begin no later than 2 AM (Thurs), unless the Committee Chairman asks to give a rebuttal first. There is no time limit on how long the voting will last.

  • While discussing the three (or five if you want to get technical) bills, 75% of speech time will be given to the 52 opposition MKs and 25% to the 68 coalition MKs.
  • There are other very technical rules, but I’ll spare you those details.

The three most important bills of the 19th Knesset are expected to come up for their third readings this month, before Knesset goes on recess March 19th. The National Referendum Bill, The Haredi Draft Bill and The Electoral Reform Bill are expected to all pass. Each one of these bills will have a big impact on the country. What is in each bill, what is not in each bill? KnessetJeremy is planning to return to its 18th-Knesset format and give you a summary of each MKs speech in the plenum. It should be a lot of fun.

Jeremy

Dialogue conducted a poll of 534 people on Feb 24-25, with an error rate of 4.2%, that was published by Haaretz on Feb 28 2014.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

33 [31] Likud Beitenu

16 [15] Labor

14 [19] Yesh Atid

12 [12] Bayit Yehudi

10 [11] Shas

10 [06] Meretz

06 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

05 [06] Movement

05 [04] Ra’am-Ta’al

04 [04] Hadash

03 [03] Balad

02 [02] Kadima

61 [61] Right-Religious

59 [59] Center-Left-Arab

Additional Question:

What are the chances you vote for a party led by Moshe Kachalon?
47% For sure will not vote, 22% Don’t know, 24% Maybe vote, 7% For sure vote

Knesset Jeremy Analysis: Main differences from Panels poll this week is that Labor is lower and Shas is higher.

Panels conducted a poll that was broadcast by Knesset Channel 99 on Feb 27 2014.

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

32 [31] Likud Beitenu

21 [15] Labor

13 [19] Yesh Atid

13 [12] Bayit Yehudi

10 [06] Meretz

07 [11] Shas

06 [07] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

04 [06] Movement

04 [04] Hadash

04 [04] Ra’am-Ta’al

03 [03] Balad

03 [--] Strong Israel

00 [02] Kadima

61 [61] Right-Religious

59 [59] Center-Left-Arab

Knesset Jeremy Analysis: Labor gains ground on Likud Beitenu. Bayit Yehudi drops from recent polls and Strong Israel passes the current threshold.

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