Tuesday’s session lasted about three hours. Four bills were discussed. Three bills were advanced after passing their first readings and one bill became law after passing its third reading. The new law adapts the Knesset Bill to the Basic Law: Knesset. The bills advanced would crack down on sex offenders, extend the recycling refunds of the 25 agurot labels and appoint the Chief Military Rabbi to the Israeli Chief Rabbi Council. Tourism Minister Misezhnikov had a question hour.


Non-Bills Summary

  • 27 MKs participated in the ‘One Minute Speech’ segment that opened the day.
  • 8 MKs asked queries during Tourism Minister Misezhnikov’s (Y.B.) question hour.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Eichler (U.T.J.) will replace Deputy Education Minister Moses (U.T.J.) in a sub-committee following Moses’ promotion, which prohibits him from being a committee member.


Bills Summary

Amendment to the Knesset Bill

House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) explained that the amendment is a number of technical changes that allows the Knesset Bill, which was legislated in 2001, to match up with Basic Law: Knesset.

The bill passed its second reading 3-0.

The bill passed its third reading 3-0.

Amendment to the Protecting the Public from Sex Offenders Bill

House Committee Chairman Levin explained that the amendment would prohibit the advertising, publication and presentation of obscene and sexual abuse pictures taken of a minor or a helpless person. He explained that a wide range of situations and circumstances will be added into the existing bill, including tracking those who violate this law frequently.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) suggested television encourages sexual offences. He blasted the reality show ‘Big Brother’, which has the highest ratings in the country. He slammed the producer for his controversial sexist comments on live TV this week and said the show teaches our children to look at women as objects. He warned parents watching that their television is a sex predator and must be thrown out. He called on the viewers to throw their televisions out their window and promised them a better quality of life.

MK Levy-Abekasis (Y.B.), who sponsored the bill, stressed the importance of adding many more circumstances to be included in the current law that will keep our children safe. She repeated that the bill is marked to prevent repeated offenders from preying on our children.

MK Naffaa (Balad) complained that Education Minister Sa’ar (Likud) doesn’t prevent the hiring of sexual offenders in the education ministry. He noted that education ministry employees who are sexual offenders don’t receive increased sentences either.

MK Yacimovich (Labor) explained that offenses of pornography will be added into this bill. She blasted those who wish to separate sexual predators from pornography and stressed that they are both wrong. She said that pornography is violence, promotes violence and shouldn’t be allowed.

The bill passed its first reading 10-0 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Refund on Recycling Beverage Containers Bill

MK Vaknin (Shas) explained that his amendment would extend the validity of refunding the consumer for any alcoholic beverage that he is recycling with a 25 agurot label on it, as opposed to a 30 agurot label, for another six months.

The bill passed its first reading 8-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Amendment to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Bill

MK Ariel (N.U.) explained that his amendment would award the Chief Military Rabbi a permanent seat on the Israeli Chief Rabbi Council, a promotion from the position he has today of just an observer. He noted that the Chief Military Rabbi supervises kashrut and other religious affairs for about one million people, and he deserves a seat on the council. He noted the council has 150 members and it is about time to allow the Chief Military Rabbi membership in the exclusive club. He called on the public to send the MKs they voted for ideas for legislation and told the viewers that the MKs will pursue them. He added that the bill forces the Ramatkal (Chief of Staff) to appoint a rabbi recognized by the State of Israel to the position of Chief Military Rabbi, a clause that currently is not in the law. He expressed hope this would prevent the appointment of a future Chief Military Rabbi that might be reform.

MK Ben Ari expressed his support for the bill and praised the army and the rabbinate, which support the bill as well. Ben Ari went on to blast the government for not lowering the gas prices of diesel and solar fuel. He blasted the tax that raised the price of solar fuel by 700% over the past nine years.

MK Schneller (Kadima) supported and praised MK Ariel and his bill, calling it one of the most important bills of the term. He said that he was proud to be a co-sponsor of the bill. MK Majadele (Labor) heckled Schneller by calling the military rabbis bad names. Screaming and shouting lasted for a few minutes until Deputy Speaker Tibi (R.T.) regained order.

MK Cabel (Labor) supported and praised the bill and pledged the Labor party’s support.

MK Zeev (Shas) explained that the council is not a political body, but a rabbinical one. He expressed government support for the bill. He praised the clause that would force the Ramatkal to appoint a rabbi recognized by the State of Israel to the position of Chief Military Rabbi, and warned that without that clause Shas will vote against the bill. He hoped that this bill would bring the rabbis closer to the soldiers that defend Israel’s borders. Zeev thanked Deputy Speaker Tibi for not attacking him after the words they exchanged yesterday during the Azmi Bishara Bill. MK Majadele and Tibi demanded that Zeev apologize for his behavior. Zeev refused and demanded Tibi apologize for cursing former MK Rav Kahaneh and his son, who were both assassinated by Tibi’s friends. Zeev stressed that no one should curse a former MK who was assassinated. Majadele and Tibi screamed at Zeev as he went back to his seat to vote.

The bill passed its first reading 11-0, with Deputy Speaker Tibi abstaining, and was sent to the Interior Committee.