Monday’s session lasted five hours and fifteen minutes. Eight bills were discussed. Seven bills became law after passing their third readings. One bill was advanced after passing its first reading. The new laws included extensions for allowing Israelis to be drafted as policemen and prison guards instead of soldiers.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled ‘Netanyahu isolated Israel in a series of political actions and omissions’ was defeated 34-51-1.
  • The three Israeli Arab parties’ no-confidence motion titled ‘Planning and Building in Arab communities’ was defeated 29-54.
  • Speaker Rivlin eulogized former MK David Coren, a Labor MK from 1969-1977.
  • The Government announcement on the transfer of powers surrounding Israel’s firefighters from Interior Minister Yishai (Shas) to Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch was discussed by six MKs and approved 29-4.
  • The Government request to extend the validity of the temporary order of the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Bill was approved 28-9.
  • Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) outlined the decision of his committee to correct a technical change in the Amendment of the Children Adoption Bill. It was approved 8-0.
  • House Committee Chairman MK Levin (Likud) announced which disputed bills would be discussed in which committees.

 

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Security Service Bill

Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman MK Mofaz (Kadima) informed the plenum that in 2005 the government made a decision to move all of the military prisons which hold security prisoners (such as Ofer and Kesiot) from the military to prison services. This caused a manpower issue, which was solved by a temporary order allowing the placement of soldiers into the prison service as part of their mandatory military service for five years until the end of 2010. Mofaz said that his committee wishes to extend this temporary order for another year. Meretz announced they would oppose the bill, but did not explain why.

The bill passed its second reading 38-3.

The bill passed its third reading 39-2.

Amendment to the Security Service Bill

Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman MK Mofaz explained that his temporary order would allow the placement of soldiers into the police service as part of their mandatory military service. He said police manpower is very low and they need increased “bodies”. He explained that the temporary order will extend this arrangement for another six months.

The bill passed its second reading 35-1.

The bill passed its third reading 31-1.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni (U.T.J.) explained that this bill was part of the Arrangements Bill. He said the bill would change the tax exemptions given to employers who hire college students to do research and tax exemptions on scholarships given to college students.

The bill passed its second reading 20-0.

The bill passed its third reading 20-0.

Amendment to the Streamlining the Enforcement Process of the Securities Authority Bill

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni said that this bill was the biggest bill his committee has received this year, even bigger than the Arrangements Bill. He explained that the bill will bring an entire reform to the Securities Authority.

MK Oron said he was worried that the bill would violate citizens’ basic rights but hopes that the committee found a good balance. He praised Gafni for working together with the opposition on this bill and others in order to show wall-to-wall support on these important bills.

The bill passed its second reading 25-0.

The bill passed its third reading 27-0.

Funds Committee Chairman MK Gafni explained that it was difficult to pass such a big bill without any opposition.  He thanked his assistants and the committee assistants for helping him get there.

Amendment to the Economic Efficiency Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman MK Katz explained that the amendment on the implementation of the economic program for 2009 and 2010 would allow citizens to place money in older provident funds for another year.

The bill passed its second reading 26-0.

The bill passed its third reading 24-0.

Amendment to the Prison Service Bill

Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch explained that the amendment would prevent a security prisoner from meeting with a lawyer when it is suspected that the prisoner will use that meeting to compromise national security or cause rioting within the prison. He explained that certain lawyers are messengers of terrorist organizations and they use loopholes in order to meet and conspire with the jailed security prisoners.

MK Khenin (Hadash) objected to the bill and said that meeting a lawyer is not a privilege but a right, and without it there is no justice system. He criticized the fact that in certain situations a judge can extend this clause and prevent a prisoner from seeing a lawyer for six months. He said that this bill seriously questions the legitimacy of the Israeli justice system.

The bill passed its first reading 16-4 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Amendment to the Contracts Bill

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman MK Rotem (Y.B.) explained that the amendment would change the law to overrule a Supreme Court ruling that allows one to read a contract in two different ways.

The bill passed its second reading 10-0.

The bill passed its third reading 10-0.

MK Levin (Likud) said that he was proud to sponsor a bill that clarifies the law and overrules a pointless Supreme Court ruling. He thanked his assistants and co-sponsors and the MKs who approved the bill.

Amendment to the Municipal Taxes and the Government Taxes Ordinance Bill

MK Orlev (J.H.) explained that his amendment would provide a tax exemption for youth hostels and field schools. He went on to thank the lobbyists who brought this bill to him and his assistants.

The bill passed its second reading 4-0.

The bill passed its third reading 6-0.

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