The Monday session lasted about five hours. Six bills were discussed. Three bills became law after passing their third readings and three were advanced after passing their first readings. The new laws present contracted workers with more rights, enact various changes in the employment services council and prohibit the sale of books in a mandatory package deal. The three no-confidence motions were defeated.

Non-Bills Summary

* Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled ‘The Netanyahu government widens social gaps and continues to hurt the middle and lower classes’ was defeated 38-51 with 31 MKs not present.

* Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘OECD inequality data’ was defeated 37-53 with 30 MKs not present.

* Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘Netanyahu’s failure in government treatment of economic and social problems in the Arab communities’ was defeated 31-56 with 33 MKs not present.

* House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Tibi (R.T.) will replace MK El-Sana (R.T.) and MK Herzog (Labor) will replace MK Cabel (Labor) in a joint subcommittee of the Justice and Finance Committees.

Bills Summary

Increased Enforcement of Labor Laws Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz (Likud) stated that his committee has passed over 90 bills over the course of this term. He revealed that this is one of his favorites. He said that this bill will help contracted workers by both enforcing their existing labor rights and providing them with additional labor rights. He added that the bill severely increases sanctions against contractors who violate these rights. He spent about thirty minutes discussing the very complex bill and explaining its many clauses.

MK Khenin (Hadash) praised Chairman Katz and noted that Katz was wearing a white shirt for only the second time this term. He said that although he agrees that this is a good bill he objects to the bill because it doesn’t do enough for the contracted workers. He spent about thirty minutes pointing out holes in the bill and clauses that should have been added.

MK Shemtov (Y.B.) called the bill a holiday celebration for contracted workers. She stressed that the reason she went on a hunger strike for two days was to put pressure on the government to pass this bill as quickly as possible. She recalled working as a cleaning lady as a contracted worker and the tough conditions she worked under. She stated the bill does have both meat and teeth and will help the contracted workers.

MK Peretz (Labor) said this bill is the most important bill Chairman Katz has ever touched and it will forever be the one bill that is remembered as Katz’s legacy. He called the bill a social justice bill and praised Katz for a few more minutes. He called on the government to implement this bill and other socialist bills and to stop the selective enforcement policy of non-capitalistic bills.

Chairman Katz called on MK Khenin to remove his objections and asked the Knesset to approve the bill as is. Khenin agreed to remove all but one of his objections.

The bill’s 58 paragraphs passed their second reading 43-0, 46-0, 46-0 and 49-0.

The objection was defeated 7-33-1.

The bill passed its third reading 48-0.

Amendment to the Employment Services Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz explained the amendment would change the structure of the Employment Services Council by changing the number of council members and introducing term limits. He said the amendment will also change both the authority and the budget of the council.

The bill passed its second reading 26-0.

The bill passed its third reading 25-0.

Amendment to the Civil Wrongs Bill

Bureaucracy Minister Eitan (Likud) explained that through this amendment the liability of the State toward victims of terrorist acts would be restructured within one bill. He reported that the current situation allows victims to choose one of two to three bills in order to receive financial compensation. He revealed that some people have decided to seek compensation through more than one track which leads some people to play the system. He concluded by stating that the amendment repeals the current amendment which allows victims to seek compensation through the Civil Wrongs Bill.

MK Eichler (U.T.J.) said that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of terror victims and their families. He expressed regret that the Arabs will never accept the Jews and looked to the Bible to support his theory. He went on to blast the incitement in the news against the ultra-orthodox.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) criticized the government for allowing foreigners to tell Israel what they can and can’t do with their capital, Jerusalem.

The bill passed its first reading 15-6 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

Deputy Finance Minister Cohen (Shas) called on Israel to throw away the Ottoman Income Tax Ordinance Bill and replace it with an Israeli one. He explained the amendment would increase the tax-free contributions citizens and foreigners can donate to public institutions.

MK Eichler blasted the press for ultra-orthodox incitement and the government institutions for discriminating against the ultra-orthodox.

MK Ariel (N.U.) supported the bill. He went on to slam Netanyahu for allowing everyone but Jews to enter the Temple Mount. He charged that Netanyahu doesn’t seek to protect Jerusalem’s sovereignty.

MK Ben Ari blasted the discrimination against the ultra-orthodox in the workplace.

The bill passed its first reading 15-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Amendment to the Military Justice Bill

Homeland Security Minister Aharonovitch (Y.B.) explained the amendment would prohibit the police from releasing criminal records to most government institutions in order to prevent discrimination during the hiring process.

MK Levin (Likud) expressed reservations about the bill. He said the fight should be to close criminal records when the person is found innocent, not give a free pass to everyone.

The bill passed its first reading 15-0 and was sent to the Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Amendment to the State Education Bill

MK Michaeli (Y.B.) explained this was her first bill to be brought for approval and it is her baby. She stated her amendment will prohibit bookstores from selling books in package deals and enable customers to buy a book separately from the package.

The bill passed its second reading 13-0.

The bill passed its third reading 14-0.

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