Tuesday’s session was about two hours. The only bill discussed was one that would give widowers more money from the “kitzbaot” (government payments) than they were entitled to before. The bill falls short of entitling widowers to as much money as widows receive. This led to seven male MKs from various parties complaining that men do not receive equal rights to those given to women. All of the MKs present agreed that they would support more male rights bills in the future. No ministers or female MKs were in attendance.

Non-Bills Summary:

  • Only 16 MKs participated in the weekly ‘One Minute Speech’ segment. The main topic was the budget passed the previous night after 1 AM.
  • The only motion of the day was one marking the 60th anniversary of the ‘Development Towns’ project, known as the “Pituach” cities in Hebrew. Speaker Rivlin started the discussion on the motion, six MKs followed him and Deputy Galil and Negev Minister Kara (Likud) summarized the discussion. There was no vote on the motion.

Bill Summary:

Amendment to the National Insurance Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman MK Katz (Likud) explained his amendment would increase the government payment to a widower to 6,000 NIS. He explained that the current law only entitles a widower to minimum wage, as opposed to the 8,500 NIS per month that widows receive. He hoped that in the future he could propose a bill that would bring true equality.

MK Molla (Kadima) complained that women get more money than men and called for true equality by giving the widowers 8,500 NIS instead of just 6,000 NIS.

MK Majadele (Labor) praised MK Katz on what he called one of the most important bills that he has ever seen. He stressed that this bill should have been passed long ago. He also thanked the co-sponsor of the bill MK Azoulay (Shas).

MK Zeev (Shas) said that this is among the great bills that are being passed in today’s age. He also praised the two-year budget that passed its first reading on Monday.

MK Plesner (Kadima) would not begin his speech because there was no minister in the room. When Deputy Speaker Danon (Likud) assured him that Communications Minister Erdan (Likud) was around, Plesner remarked that there was no minister in the room, unless Erdan had changed his identity. Plesner challenged MK Katz, who he said possessed parliamentary talents for convincing the treasury to support this bill, to press other social issues and include them to improve the proposed two-year budget.

MK Khenin (Hadash) celebrated the passing of the bill by complementing everyone involved with the bill. He called on MK Katz to pass more laws that will give equal rights to men. He added that this bill must be brought back to the plenum as soon as possible in order to pass it in its second and third readings. He criticized the government for not proposing the bill themselves.

MK Rotem (Y.B.) blessed MK Katz, MK Azoulay and the government. He blasted MK Khenin for attacking the government, noting that the bill is co-sponsored by two coalition MKs.

The bill passed its first reading 11-0 and was sent back to the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.

It should be noted that there was no minister in the plenum during the entire discussion of the bill.