Monday’s session lasted about three hours. Nine bills were discussed and passed. Six of the bills were passed in their third reading and three passed their first reading. Highlights included giving returning citizens the same rights that are given to new immigrants and a bill that will shorten the time needed to receive business licenses.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Speaker Rivlin wished the Muslim citizens a warm holiday.
  • The swearing-in ceremony of new MK Nino Abesadze (Kadima), who will be taking MK Hanegbi’s seat during his indefinite suspension, was led by Speaker Rivlin. In her introduction speech she told the story of her aliya 14 years ago. She said that it was a privilege and a responsibility to be an Israeli and that she served her country through the press and will now serve her country through the Knesset.
  • House Committee Chairman MK Levin (Likud) announced that MK Levy-Abekasis (Y.B.) will replace MK Miller (Y.B.) as one of the nine deputy speakers. The Knesset approved the measure 30-0.
  • Speaker Rivlin marked the 66th anniversary of the murder of paratroopers Hannah Szenes and the six other soldiers of her unit who were shot by a firing squad. Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Noked (Labor) and MK Tirosh (Kadima) also spoke about one of Israel’s first feminist figures.
  • The Vice Chairman of the German Bundestag’s visit to the Knesset enraged MK Ben Ari, who decided to shout out at her, “The Germans are a people with blood on their hands, there will be no forgiveness”. Deputy Speaker Vaknin (Shas) silenced him.
  • One motion titled “Israel’s housing prices reached new heights” was discussed by MK Horowitz (Meretz), MK Khenin (Hadash) and Housing and Construction Minister Atias (Shas). The motion passed 11-0 and was sent to the finance committee.

 

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Execution Bill

Justice Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) explained that the amendment would prohibit the Court Registrars from having an additional government job.

The bill passed its second reading 16-0.

The bill passed its third reading 15-0.

Amendment to the Criminal Procedure Bill

Justice Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) explained that the amendment would limit the police district attorneys’ workload and give more cases to the justice district attorneys. Rotem said that today there is an unfair 90%/10% split and this will make the situation more even.

The bill passed its second reading 18-0.

The bill passed its third reading 17-0.

Amendment to the Foreign Workers Bill

Interior Committee Chairman MK Azoulay (Shas) explained that the amendment would extend the authority of inspectors to enter foreign workers’ homes and work places.

MK Khenin objected to the bill and said that it will discourage companies from hiring foreign workers. He asked that his objection be approved, which would force a district judge to approve the new measures.

The parts of the bill with no objections passed their second reading 15-0-1.

MK Khenin’s objection was defeated 3-14.

The bill passed its second reading without the objection 15-0-2.

The bill passed its third reading 16-0-2.

Finance Committee’s decision regarding approving provisions of the customs tariff order and the provisions on the purchase tax exemptions on goods/Amendment to the order tax on gasoline

MK Sheetrit (Kadima) blasted what he called a five billion NIS income tax cut that will benefit the highest tax brackets. He warned this would increase the gap between the rich and poor.

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni (U.T.J.) explained that the tax cut would be closer to ten million NIS. He asked the Knesset to defeat MK Sheetrit’s objections.

The objections to the two committee decisions were defeated 12-46 and 13-27.

Amendment to the Business Licensing Bill

Interior Committee Chairman MK Azoulay explained that the bill was once part of the Arrangements Bill and was a reform for business licenses. He explained that the amendment would speed up the process of obtaining a business license in some cases. He added that city hall will have to inform any person who wants to open a business about all the information needed to receive a license. Also, the amendment would require business licenses to be renewed every 15 years.

MK Khenin objected sending inspectors to monitor businesses that are on the fast licensing track.

MK Bielski (Kadima) thanked MK Azoulay for an incredible bill.

MK Azoulay spoke out against the Arrangements Bill and thanked Speaker Rivlin for speaking out against it and assisting in splitting this amendment from that bill.

The parts of the bill with no objections passed their second reading 23-0.

MK Khenin’s objection was defeated 2-25-1.

The bill passed its second reading without the objection 25-0.

The bill passed its third reading 26-0.

Amendment to the Supervision of Financial Services Bill

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni explained that the amendment would allow certain people to take money from their kupat gemel (provident fund) for a limited time. He informed that senior citizens will be allowed to take out all of their money from a kupat gemel at one time instead of monthly payments.

MK Katz (Likud) explained that there currently is a 35% tax fine for withdrawing money from the kupat gemel and this amendment will eliminate that fine for many people. He expressed satisfaction as he told the story of how, through his father’s personal experience, he became aware of the tax fine. He blasted a financial consultant who took credit for this bill in the Kalkalist daily. Katz remarked that he didn’t know the man and that the man had sent an email to him after he was already working on the issue.

The bill passed its second reading 11-0.

The bill passed its third reading 12-0.

Amendment to the Patents Bill

Justice Minister Neeman explained that the amendment would modernize registering security related patents and patents from individuals who work within a company. Speaker Rivlin noted that this was another bill that was removed from the Arrangements Bill.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) criticized the courts handling of MK Hanegbi’s case and said that there is no reason why a court case should last for a decade.

The bill passed its first reading 9-1 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Courts Bill

Justice Minister Neeman explained that the amendment would reduce the number of district judges for local court appeals that are under 300,000 NIS from three to just one.

MK Ben Ari explained that he proposed a bill that would call acts against religious people or settlers racism. He blasted Neeman for working against his bill.

MK Zeev (Shas) slammed the justice system, which is backed up three years in most areas. He also said that three judges are needed and the cut to one is not wise.

The bill passed its first reading 9-1 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) explained that his amendment would assist citizens who are returning from at least a six year recess and present them with the same rights that immigrants receive.

MK Ben Ari slammed Shas for abstaining on the new proposed settlement freeze and for causing Oslo. He screamed at the Shas MKs saying that they want to kick him out of his house and send his children into exile. He called on Shas to show some spine and to stop selling out.

MK Zeev called Ben Ari a bluffer. MK Ben Ari started heckling MK Zeev, and MK Rotem joined him. Deputy Speaker Vaknin (Shas) silenced the room. Zeev informed the plenum that the building freeze is being enforced anyway and Israel might as well get something for it. Ben Ari stated that his house is in Shas’s hands. Deputy Vaknin stopped the discussion and sent Zeev to his seat.

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

Deputy Vaknin noticed he had a minyan and invited Neeman, Rotem, Zeev, Cohen, Hershkowitz, Elkin, Ben Ari, Orlev, Orbach and the others to join him to daven maariv after the last bill.

Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance Bill

Finance Committee Chairman MK Akunis (Likud) explained that the amendment would require all public buildings and structures to have a handicap parking section.

The bill passed its second reading 15-0.

The bill passed its third reading 15-0.

MK Orlev (J.H.) thanked the Knesset for approving his bill.

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