Tuesday’s session lasted about three hours. Three bills were discussed. Two bills were advanced after passing their first readings and one became law after passing its third reading. The new law updates the religious Druze courts to match the Jewish courts. One of the advanced bills will allow tax deductions for selected social, culture and welfare programs. The other advanced bill will allow the extension of visas for foreign workers who work as nurses in certain cases.


Non-Bills Summary

  • 16 MKs took part in the one-minute speech segment of the day. The main topic was the massacre in Itamar.
  • A motion on National Science Day was discussed by Speaker Rivlin, Science Minister Hershkowitz (J.H.) and five other MKs. The motion wasn’t voted on.
  • A motion on the BBC poll that found Israel is the most hated country in the world was discussed by three MKs and Hasbara Minister Edelstein (Likud).
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Mofaz would fill a vacancy on a Justice sub-committee.


Bills Summary

Amendment to the Religious Druze Court Bill

Law, Constitution and Justice Committee Chairman Rotem (Y.B.) explained the amendment would update the Druze Courts Bill to match various portions of the Jewish Courts Bill. He noted that there haven’t been many changes to the bill over the last 40 years and this bill will help the courts operate more efficiently.

The bill passed its second reading 9-0.

The bill passed its third reading 9-0.

MK Amar (Y.B.) thanked the government for supporting the bill and for giving the Druze Bill its first facelift since 1962. He thanked the other Druze MKs Whbee (Kadima), Naffaa (Balad) and Deputy Minister Kara (Likud) for co-sponsoring the bill with him.

Amendment to the Wage Protection Bill

MK Yacimovich (Labor) explained that the amendment would allow tax deductions for those who donate to selected social, culture and welfare programs.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) supported the bill. He went on to talk about the anniversary of Joseph Trumpeldor’s death and the Tel Chai massacre of eight Jews by the hands of Arabs in 1920. He stated we pay a heavy price for settling our land. He concluded by quoting Trumpeldor, “No matter, it is good to die for our country”.

The bill passed its first reading 9-0 and was sent to the Labor Committee.

Amendment to the Entry into Israel Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Azoulay (Shas) explained that the amendment would allow a foreign worker who works in nursing to receive a visa extension if the patient being cared for is near death. He hoped this would put the patients at ease and add extra time to their lives by having a good quality nurse for the remainder of their life. He added that a committee will be in charge of choosing which case is worthy and which is not.

MK Ben Ari suggested that by helping the elderly patients he is harming the country by extending the foreigners’ visas. He warned the longer a foreigner stays in Israel, the longer the country is in danger of having them get married and staying here permanently. He announced that he would oppose the bill.

The bill passed its first reading 6-1 and was sent to the Interior Committee.