Monday’s session lasted about three hours. Two bills were discussed, and both were advanced in their first readings. The first bill will prohibit the discriminatory practice of not accepting a student to a school on the grounds of his country of origin. The second bill will allow committee members of the Begin and Rabin centers to serve three terms instead of just one. An interesting discussion surrounding MIA soldier Majdi Halabi was debated by a few MKS. Most of the MKs did not bother showing up to the plenum for the day while the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader both visited the United States. There were no no-confidence votes.

Non-Bills Summary

  • The marking of the six-years anniversary of soldier Majdi Halabi being missing in action was discussed by Speaker Rivlin, Minister Peled (Likud) and 5 MKs. The main topic was that Halabi’s family has chosen a different path than the family of POW soldier Gilad Shalit.
  • Speaker Rivlin welcomed to the Knesset the Foreign Affairs Committee delegation of Croatia.
  • National Infrastructure Minister Landau (Y.B.) announced the transfer of various government authorities from Industry and Trade Minister Simhon (Independence) to his office.
  • Four motions were discussed. One was sent to committee by a 13-0 vote. The other three were not voted on.

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Student Rights Bill

Education, Culture and Sport Committee Chairman Miller (Y.B.) explained his amendment to prohibit the discrimination of not accepting a student to a school on the grounds of country of origin. He expressed frustration that in this century a bill like this is needed. He pointed out several excuses mayors and principals find in order to prevent minority groups from joining their schools.

MK Molla (Kadima) praised and supported the bill. He listed cases of discrimination against the Ethiopians in particular and expressed hope this bill would be completed as soon as possible.

MK Ezra (Kadima) supported the bill. He said he was worried that teachers would fail students on purpose as a type of discrimination. He concluded by praising the national religious school system, which accepts everybody and receives the highest academic marks.

The bill passed its first reading 11-0 and was sent to the Education Committee.

Amendment to the Memorial Centers in memory of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin Bill

House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) explained that his amendment has two parts. He said the first part is meant to force the centers to maintain the museum that honors the former prime ministers in order to qualify for government funding. He said the second part is meant to allow committee members of the centers to serve three three-year terms as opposed to a single three year term as they do today. He questioned the logic in preventing people who knew and worked alongside Begin and Rabin from seeking re-election to their posts.

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