Last Tuesday’s session lasted about two and a half hours. Three bills were discussed. One bill was advanced after passing its first reading, and two bills became law after passing their third readings. The highlight of the day was the new law that will prohibit any pharmaceuticals or cosmetics to be tested on animals. The new law will take effect in two years. The bill that was advanced will exempt youth hostels from paying city taxes.


Non-Bills Summary

  • 16 MKs participated in the One Minute Speech segment of the day.
  • Deputy Health Minister Litzman (U.T.J.) had a query hour and answered five MKs’ questions.
  • A motion on the Housing Minister’s measures to cool the property market was discussed by four MKs and Housing Minister Atias (Shas). The motion passed 6-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.


Bills Summary

Amendment to the Municipal Taxes and the Government Taxes Ordinance Bill

MK Orlev (J.H.) explained that his amendment would exempt youth hostels, recognized non-formal schools and field schools from any municipal or city taxes. He noted that there are only ten field schools in Israel, and the cost of this bill in that regard is a mere 900,000 NIS annually.

MK Zeev (Shas) remembered that this bill was created right after his bill exempted synagogues from municipal taxes. Zeev said that he supports this bill as well. He noted that youth hostels already are afforded a two-thirds discount on municipal taxes, and he supports giving them a full exemption. He suggested that the local Jerusalem store owners that are being hurt by the light-rail line construction should also be given a discount on municipal taxes.

MK Khenin (Hadash) supported the bill. He attacked the Field School Federation for funding the two field schools that are not within the 1967 borders and called for them to only fund field schools that are within Israel’s internationally recognized borders. He said that he doesn’t feel those two schools deserve a tax exemption, but he will vote for the bill in order to assist the other eight schools.

The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Amendment to the Tenders Bill

Justice, Constitution, and Law Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) said that this was one of the most important bills he has seen. He said this amendment encourages the government to hire Israelis and to buy Israeli products. He noted it would raise the number of government workers and Israeli factories. He thanked the main sponsor of the bill, MK Yacimovich, for pushing this bill down everyone’s throat.

The bill passed its second reading 9-0 with Deputy Speaker Tibi (R.T.) abstaining.

The bill passed its third reading 9-0 with Deputy Speaker Tibi abstaining.

MK Yacimovich (Labor) noted that this is her 30th bill that has become law and that she is glad that one of her most important bills is a round number. She thanked a long list of politicians and assistants who helped her advance this bill in the previous Knesset and the current one. She said that it took over three and a half years to come to this day and that she is very pleased.

MK Whbee (Kadima), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, thanked Yacimovich for helping him secure many jobs for the Druze community that he represents.

Amendment to the Pharmacists Ordinance Bill

Education, Culture and Sport Committee Chairman MK Miller (Y.B.) explained that the amendment would prohibit any pharmaceuticals or cosmetics to be tested on animals on Israeli soil. He explained that the law will only take effect in two years in order to give the pharmaceutical companies time to finish their current trials. He wished luck to the animals and expressed hope that this would help them in the long term.

The bill passed its second reading 7-0.

The bill passed its third reading 8-0.

MK Cabel, the main sponsor of the bill, thanked his assistants, the assistants of the committee, his co-sponsors and former committee chairman Orlev, all of whom helped him advance his bill.