Most of Monday’s four and half hour session was spent discussing the three no confidence motions that would be rejected. The National Union submitted their first no confidence motion of the summer session as Meretz agreed not to submit one this week. An amendment on the Supervision of Financial Services Bill passed its second and third readings. The Knesset also passed six bills in their first readings and passed the annual vote to extend Israel’s state of emergency another year.

No Confidence Motions

Kadima’s Motion was titled “The Prime Minister has no way and no direction”.

MK Dichter (Kadima) said that over the last year and a quarter Israel has lost the faith and trust of the international community. He said the level of the government is sinking as quickly as the water in the Sea of Galilee. He criticized Netanyahu for not advancing the peace process and claimed that many people in his own government disagree with him. He said that the citizens know that Netanyahu has no vision and quoted former Secretary of State Kissinger on Israel’s lack of international policy during Bibi’s first term.

Minister Erdan (Likud) said he is tired of listening to empty speeches week after week. He said that he was disappointed for the citizens of Israel that this is the opposition that represents them. He cited the disengagement, allowing Hamas to compete in the elections during which they took over Gaza and the Cast Lead Gaza operation as reasons why Kadima is responsible for the current isolation of Israel from the international community. He said that Kadima was the party without a way or direction because Tzipi Livni is sinking in the polls and the Likud under Bibi is rising. Erdan reminded Dichter of his famous speech where, as the head of the Shabak at the time, Dichter said the disengagement would not cause Hamas to rise to power. The minister added that Netanyahu’s direction is direct negotiations with territorial concessions; he reminded Dichter that the Palestinians don’t want to talk. He suggested Kadima prescribe the medication that will bring the Palestinians back to the table and create a lasting peace. After citing Israel’s accomplishment in the financial sector, Erdan suggested Kadima let the government go about their business and not waste their time with nonsense.

The motion submitted by Balad, Ra’am-Ta’al and Chadash was titled: ‘Government negatively affects the development of the Arab communities in Wadi Ara through the establishment of the Jewish city Charish.’

MK Zachalka (Balad) said that Charish is expanding exactly in the same area that the Arab cities wanted to use for their expansion. He accused Israel of land grabbing the Wadi Ara and Galilee areas by transferring portions of land next to Arab villages to ‘green’ environmental areas and removing the green label when Jewish towns want to expand to that area. He called on the chareidim to disobey their leaders and to prevent the expansion of Charish.

Interior Minister Yishai (Shas) said that Zachalka was spreading lies and incitement and stated no country treats its minorities as well as Israel does. He said that the mayors of Arab cities prevent interior ministry plans to build apartments because they want one level houses so they can land grab forests. He said that the ones who are being hurt are the citizens of the Israeli Arab villages. Yishai assured that the green areas will remain green.

The National Union’s motion was titled “the serious damage caused to Israel by the defense minister’s decision to ignore the National Security Council suggestion to include members of the IDF in the briefing on the preparations to stop the Gaza Flotilla”.

MK Ben-Ari (N.U.) said that Gaza will soon send rockets to the “country” of Tel Aviv because of the decisions to lift some of the restrictions on the Gaza blockade due to the Flotilla. Ben-Ari reminded the room that when he warned that rockets would hit Ashkelon he was told he was over-reacting. He criticized the decision to set free Al-Qaeda operatives who injured Israeli soldiers and want to destroy the State of Israel. He criticized Barak for not allowing the IDF to offer other solutions to the Flotilla affair before it happened. He also criticized Barak for refusing to allow IDF officers from answering questions in the Defense and Foreign Affairs committee. Ben-Ari said in order to pursue a lasting peace Israel must defeat its enemies. He said that the National Union is asking to bring down the government because the Prime Minister will not replace the Defense Minister who is bringing Israel down a very dangerous road.

Minister Peled (Likud) said that the issues with Barak not following the NSC’s suggestions have been resolved. He refused to respond to the rest of Ben-Ari’s speech.

Debate on the motion by the 12 party representatives

MK Yisrael Chason (Kadima) criticized the government decision to send the IDF with paint guns into a war zone. He suggested that Barak take responsibility for the mistake and step down.

MK Matalon (Y.B.) said this was the wrong time for Zionistic parties to try and topple a Zionistic government that is battling a difficult situation with Turkey and other nations. He went on to criticize the Israeli Arab MKs who don’t represent their public.

MK Bensimon (Labor) criticized Kadima for turning right.

MK Ze’ev (Shas) said between 50%-60% of the Jewish people in America have intermarried. He agreed that many of the Ministers were not consulted on the Flotilla decision. Ze’ev recalled that investigations probe both sides. Ze’ev said we should stop asking ourselves what we did wrong and let the army probe investigate and give us answers.

MK Moses (U.T.J.) criticized the Supreme Court decision today that ruled against the government paying the 10,000 yeshiva students salaries.

MK Asana (Ra’am-Ta’al) supported Zachalka’s words and said there is a building freeze in Arab areas just like the “supposed” building freeze in the West Bank.

MK Bareka (Chadash) said the right wing government might have wall-to-wall support in Israel, but it does not have that support internationally. He called on an international probe and stated that he identifies with the murdered not the murderers.

MK Oron (Meretz) said he is against an international probe but for a better national probe that will investigate the government, find the problems and give solutions for the next time.

MK Orbach (J.H.) asked why Israel would agree to a probe where Israel will be investigated but Turkey will not be. He blasted journalist Nachum Barnea for downplaying the importance of the Israeli probe because their members are all old men. Orbach asked maybe under this understanding Shimon Peres should resign as President because at 86 he is too old.

MK Zoabi (Balad) criticized Israel for not building exclusive Arab cities while building Jewish ones. She asked if the Jewish schools teach their students the names of the Arab cities of the “Israeli side of Palestine”.

MK Ariel (N.U.) criticized the government’s decision to remove road blocks, which caused another death today. He said the Flotilla response was a failure. Ariel criticized the government’s treatment of Jerusalem by freezing Jewish construction. He blasted the Interior Committee, which now convenes but does not build. He reminded the government that elections will slowly creep up on them and they will have a lot to answer for.

MK Elkin (Likud) asked why Kadima has not suggested a different solution to the Flotilla affair. He answered maybe it is because there wasn’t one. He wondered how Kadima could agree with the government’s decision but disagree with how they decided it. He said that Kadima is the one without a direction and recent polls show what Israel thinks of Kadima’s lack of direction.

The Kadima, Arab parties and National Union motions were defeated 25-52 with two abstentions, 8-55 with 14 abstentions and 22-55 with six abstentions, respectively.

Amendment on the Supervision of Financial Services Bill

MK Chaim Katz (Likud) explained that this amendment would update the national insurance costs to modern standards and would also assist people who received unemployment during specified periods of 2009.

The bill passed its second and third readings 46-0 and 48-0 respectively.

Amendment on the Joint Investment Trust Bill

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) explained this bill is in line with the government plan for financial stability.

MK Ben-Ari said that the Israeli hasbara problem is not the hasbara but the content of the hasbara. He said if we conquered Jerusalem and the West Bank then we conquered Jaffa too and have no right to a state.

MK Chanin (Chadash) criticized the capitalistic policies of the government.

The amendment was passed in its first reading 12-0 and sent to the Funds Committee.

Health Insurance Bill

Deputy Minister Litzman (U.T.J.) explained that under the bill dental care would be available to all children for free and all dentists would be able to join the official four health clinic companies without needing to reduce their rates.

MK Adato (Kadima) asked if the health clinics will be able to afford the changes and suggested that this bill might create a fifth health clinic.

MK Chanin said he supports the idea of the bill but is afraid that the bill is a bit too capitalistic as it assists the private dentists in maintaining their high prices. He also criticized the capitalists in America from preventing the Obama health reform.

MK Oron (Meretz) said that he knows that Litzman is against a fifth health clinic company but Netanyahu is in favor of it. Oron warned that this bill will be misused in the future and the goal is the government getting a slice of the billion and a half shekels the dental industry makes each year. He said that it will hurt the socialist medicine policy that Israel must maintain at all costs.

MK Levi-Abukasis (Y.B.) said this would prevent bad dentists from working in health clinics and private practices, and the government getting involved on the issue is something she expected Meretz and other socialist and communist parties would agree on.

The bill passed its first reading 22-3 and was sent to the Health Committee.

Supervision of Plant Production and Marketing Bill

Agriculture Minister Simchon (Labor) explained this would assist in providing better quality and less expensive flowers for the weekends. The law will give Israeli products preference over European plants and flowers.

MK Ben-Ari chose to speak about the “Oleh Hagradom” who immigrated to Israel 72 years ago and were killed by Arabs.

MK Chanin spoke in favor of the bill and explained he would raise a few objections in the committee.

The bill passed its first reading 15-1 and was sent to the Agriculture Committee.

Amendment on the Communications Bill

Communications Minister Kachalon (Likud) explained his amendment would continue the local news broadcasts on TV for another 18 months. He explained that over 100 people are employed full-time in order to broadcast local news to their areas.

MK Levi-Abukasis said the two and a half million shekels the bill will cost is lower than firing over 100 people.

The bill passed its first reading 15-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Recommendation of the Joint Committees of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee: The government’s request to renew Israel’s state of emergency

MK Michaeli (Shas) explained that the state of emergency that was declared in 1948 and has been extended every year since needs to be renewed once again.

MK Chanin said that the automatic extension of the state of emergency should not be renewed because it is not needed. He criticized the administrative arrests of Palestinian security prisoner suspects among other B’Tselem Report issues that would end if the state of emergency would end.

MK Nafa (Balad) condemned Israel for killing Arabs and said that a country without a constitution is not a democratic one.

The bill passed 12-2.

Amendment on the Traffic Ordinance Bill

MK Levin (Likud) explained the amendment he co-sponsored with MK Maklev will increase the number of public transportation lanes in cities and outside cities as well.

MK Maklev said this bill will increase the usage and importance of public transportation.

MK Chanin said this is an environmental bill and he supports it as a first step. He said the Tel Aviv metropolitan area needs a subway or something like it.

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

Amendment on the Basic Law – Knesset

MK Levin explained the amendment would raise the number of deputies of the Knesset Speaker to nine. This would reflect the nine members the Speaker has today, instead of the special permission that raised it temporarily from seven to nine.

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

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