Last Monday’s session lasted about three and a half hours. Ten bills were discussed. Six passed their third readings and became law. Four bills were advanced after passing their first readings. The highlight bill of the day will award an Israeli citizen who has been out of the country for six years with the same exact benefits that a new immigrant (oleh) receives when they enter the country for the three years following their reentry.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled: “Prime Minister is busy with political survival considerations at the expense of the significant decisions and the fate of the country and its citizens” was defeated 29-54 with 37 MKs not present.
  • The three Israeli-Arab parties’ no-confidence motion titled: “The government is dangerous for democracy” was defeated 25-54 with 41 MKs not present.
  • House Committee Chairman MK Levin (Likud) announced that a disputed bill will be discussed in the House Committee. He explained that he wished to split that bill and send to different committees and asked for Knesset support. It was approved 19-0.

 

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Patents Bill

Justice Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) explained that until now a patent only became official after it was published in the government paper Reshumot. He said that from now on all patents will become official when released on the Israeli patent website.

The bill passed its second reading 23-0.

The bill passed its third reading 23-0.

MK Rotem thanked his committee members and all of his assistants for helping him pass this bill.

Two amendments to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni (U.T.J.) congratulated Deputy Speaker Levy-Abekasis on her new job. The deputy speaker responded this wasn’t her first day on the job. Gafni blushed. He went on to explain new types of “keren histalmut” and “keren neamnut” (short-term tax free savings plans) will be accepted. He said that the previous bill was split off from the Arrangements Bill. He explained the second bill would grant all new immigrant rights to returning citizens who have been out of the country for six years.

The first bill passed its second reading 20-0.

The first bill passed its third reading 25-0.

The second bill passed its second reading 23-0.

The second bill passed its third reading 26-0.

Amendment to the Sick Pay Bill

Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Noked (Labor) praised the concept of sick pay days. She explained that the amendment would raise the payment given for a sick day from 75% of a person’s salary to 100% of a person’s salary.

MK Miller (Y.B.) praised Noked and said that it is an important bill that will help every salaried worker in the country. He asked Noked to find a solution for small businesses that might need to fire people in order to meet the costs of the new bill.

MK Zeev (Shas) wished all the sick people health. He noted that in December when employees realize they have sick days they haven’t used and they are about to expire, they decide to play sick for the last few weeks of the year. He suggested someone monitor this wide-spread occurrence.

MK Whbee (Kadima) praised the bill and attacked the indirect taxes.

The bill passed its first reading 21-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the National Insurance Bill

Labor and Welfare Minister Herzog (Labor) explained that the amendment would allow citizens to receive information on their insurance premiums and to appeal them to a committee.

MK Molla (Kadima) slammed the national insurance employees, who he called unhelpful to say the least. He said he would prefer to see the appeals go to court and not to a committee of bad insurance employees.

The bill passed its first reading 16-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

MK Vaknin (Shas) double voted for MK Cohen who did not make it to his seat in time. Vaknin apologized, and Cohen’s vote counted.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) slammed the income tax ordinance bill that has been in place since the British mandate and complained that he is bringing the 180th amendment to the bill. He suggested writing an Israeli income tax bill. Speaker Rivlin remained silent. Cohen explained the amendment would allow banks to charge higher interest rates to international citizens.

MK Whbee slammed the British income tax ordinance bill and blasted the Israeli government’s indirect taxes. He called on the government to lower all taxes for poor people.

MK Miller asked if the banks plan on reducing interest rates for Israelis or just raising their bottom line.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) blasted the newspaper Haaretz for overusing and lowering the value of the terms “racist” and “racism”. He blasted Haaretz for deciding that investigating leftist funds is racist but kicking Jews out of their home is not racist. He stated that measures taken against our enemies are not racism, but survival. He quoted former Prime Minister Golda Meir who said that Jews who marry Arabs are considered to be an addition to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. He asked why Haaretz chose not to call her a racist then. Perhaps, he answered, it is because she was a leftist.

The bill passed its first reading 19-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Amendment to the Veteran Civil Bill

Deputy Veterans Minister Nass (Likud) explained that the amendment would provide information to the elderly on their rights and benefits as a senior citizen.

MK Ben Ari praised the bill that will show our gratitude towards the pioneers who built the country. He said that unlike the slogan “the world belongs to the young”, he feels this bill will show that the world belongs to them as well.

Deputy Speaker Levy-Abekasis praised the bill as well.

The bill passed its first reading 21-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the Foundations of the Budget Bill

MK Vaknin (Shas) explained that the government would ease taxes for land near Israel’s borders. He thanked MK Gafni for fast-tracking the bill.

The bill passed its second reading 13-0.

The bill passed its third reading 12-0.

Amendment to the National Insurance Bill

Labor Committee Chairman MK Haim Katz (Likud) praised the sponsor of the bill, MK Orlev, for his many socialistic bills. He explained this amendment would allow national insurance workers to receive certain national insurance benefits such as food during hospital visits, without it being labeled a conflict of interest.

The bill passed its second reading 12-0.

The bill passed its third reading 11-0.

MK Orlev thanked Chairman Katz for supporting the bill. He went on to thank his assistants and lobbyists who helped him with the bill.

Amendment to the Securities Bill

Labor Committee Chairman MK Haim Katz explained the amendment would prohibit company owners from forcing their employees to pay off company expenses if the company goes bankrupt. He explained that the tycoons have postponed this bill, and finally, thanks to the courage of a few, the bill will be passed. He noted that there is a list of exceptions in the bill, but that they are very few. He went on to thank his assistants for helping him with the bill.

The bill passed its second reading 11-0.

The bill passed its third reading 11-0.

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