The events on the water were addressed by almost every speaker on Monday. Most of the day’s original agenda was delayed or cancelled. The short hour and twenty minute session dealt with one motion discussed by six MKs and one bill discussed by eight MKs. The highlight of the day was Benny Begin’s (Likud) fiery speech.

The two no confidence motions that were planned for the beginning of Monday’s session were withdrawn due to the day’s events. For those of you who are curious, the first motion of no confidence was by the Balad, Chadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Meretz parties on the subject of: The rise in violence and incitement by religious extremism in the country. The second one was a motion of no confidence by Kadima on the subject of the Israeli government, which they feel threaten the lives of civilians by the decision to cancel the “school road safety education program”.

Deputy Speaker Vaknin (Shas) opened the session instead of Speaker Rivlin (Likud). He began by expressing support for the I.D.F. and wished the injured soldiers a speedy recovery. This was the first day of the summer session that Speaker Rivlin did not open or attend.

Motion on the United States supporting the demand to monitor Israel’s nuclear facilities

MK Michaeli (Shas) said the whole world is against us and if our one friend can’t help us, we might need to fight for ourselves. He expressed frustration that America is not supporting Israel in the “Boat Crisis” and that they allowed the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel.

MK Pelsner (Kadima) spoke in support of the Israeli troops, who are fighting terrorists, not human rights activists, in the sea. Pelsner urged that Israel release videos that support our cause and to go on a media blitz in order to counter the bad press Israel is receiving. He also spoke about the new American policy that is anti-nuclear for all countries and how that challenges the current Israeli position. He said Israel must determine the appropriate response to America’s demand of having a nuclear free Middle East on all sides.

MK Eldad (N.U.) expressed his support to the troops and to the government for not backing down. He also wished the injured well. Eldad spoke about the American support of Israel’s nuclear research which started in the 1960’s with President Johnson and has been ongoing for almost 40 years. Eldad questioned if Egypt would also need to give up their nukes in the new American plan. He called Obama a traitor to Israel and said his one mistake is that he could have blackmailed us a bit longer with the threat of implementing his new Middle East plan.

MK Gilon (Meretz) said that Meretz recognizes that the ships should not have illegally entered Israel’s waters, but when one boards a ship one should not be surprised when the passengers opt to fight back. He also said that there is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that Israel should not be surprised by the ships or the negative coverage in the press. Gilon suggested that Israel accept the new American policy and give up their arsenal of weapons.

Minister Begin (Likud) expressed his gratitude to the three Jewish opposition parties who expressed support in the government, in at least some matter. Begin said he regretted the loss of lives today. He suggested people realize why this happened. He reminded us that Hamas came to power in a free, democratic and independent election on the platform of terrorism and the liberation of land based on the destruction of the Zionist state. Hezbollah another terrorist organization has the same platform as Hamas. They are both arming with weapons via Iran for an all out war where the three groups will try to destroy Israel and push all the Zionists into the sea. Today’s events were led by organizations that do not support peace, they support Hamas and they support terrorism. After learning what and who was aboard, Israel was left with no choice but to uphold the law. Begin surprised the MKs present by disclosing that Israel will follow the normal protocol with ships headed to Gaza, and after a thorough check, the permitted materials will be allowed entry into Gaza. Begin summarized the day’s events as Israel’s right to self defense against terrorism.

Begin went on to express his frustration with the actions of the United States concerning their calls to Israel regarding nuclear weapons, as well as their inaction in allowing the U.N. to condemn Israel for the day’s events.

MK Ze’ev (Shas) asked to have a minute speech and stated that Israel is both the only country that has a day to day threat of destruction and the only democracy. He expressed hope that America would reconsider their positions.

The motion was sent to the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee by a vote of 14-0.

Amendment to the Druze Religious Courts Bill

MK Amar (Y.B.) expressed his support of the I.D.F. then spoke about his proposed amendment. He suggested the law, which had not been touched since 1962, be updated. He thanked MK Levin (Likud) for helping him advance the bill in the relevant committees despite the bill not being for Jewish interests.

MK Levin said he was honored to join in advancing this much needed list of updates that will help improve and modernize a flawed bill. He said that he expected all Jews to assist in this Druze issue, because they are our loyal partners in our beloved country.

MK Ilatov (Y.B.) talked about the cooperation on the amendment between the coalition and the opposition.

MK Ketzeleh (N.U.) called Druze MK Amar a hero for his community by advancing this very important bill. He went on to wish the injured soldiers well. Ketzeleh questioned the method of using paint guns and the uneven coverage by the army radio station – Gali Tzahal. MK Pelsner questioned Ketzeleh’s words. Ketzeleh responded that Gali Tzahal called the ships “Humanitarian Ships”. He questioned how a humanitarian ship could injure 6 soldiers.

MK Ben-Ari (N.U.) spoke warmly of MK Levin’s words and the Druze community in general. He spoke about last week’s ten year anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. Ben-Ari charged that Israel betrayed our SLA (Southern Lebanese’s Army) allies with that withdrawal and expressed hope that Israel not betray the Druze too. Ben-Ari criticized Netanyahu for supporting another withdrawal called the disengagement and for his declarations towards a Palestinian state.

MK Walhaba (Kadima) defended Gali Tzahal and criticized MK Ketzeleh. He went on to criticize and accuse MK Ben-Ari of wanting to re-conquer Gaza and kill the peace process. Walhaba said this is the time for Israel to be united and that the opposition right-wingers should take the hint. The only other Druze MK in the Knesset, Walhaba expressed his support for the bill.

MK Rotem (Y.B.) wished all the soldiers well and expressed satisfaction with the opposition siding with the government during this difficult time. Rotem praised the bill. He suggested the bill be brought to his committee in order to advance the bill to its second and third readings before the end of the summer session.

MK Ze’ev discussed a few of the proposed changes in the amendment and expressed his opposition, based mostly on what it could mean for the rabbinical court system. He went on to condemn the Arab MKs who caused a provocation when they joined the ‘Flotila’ headed for Hamas’s Gaza. He went on to express his support of Chairman of the House Committee MK Levin’s plan to vote on the matter of lifting the Arab MKs’ immunity on this matter.

The Knesset voted 12-0 to pass the amendment in its first reading. The amendment was sent to the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chaired by MK Rotem.

Advertisements