The Knesset Monday session lasted only three hours. Only two bills were discussed. One bill was passed in its third reading, and the other was interrupted in the middle. There were more bills on the agenda, but Speaker Rivlin called for a hard stop at 4 PM to ensure the MKs could get back home in time to light the seventh Hanukkah candles.

 

Non-Bills Summary

* Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled ‘The helplessness of the Netanyahu government to deal with the exclusion of women and the symptoms of extremism and violence in Israel’ was defeated 38-54 with 28 MKs not present.

* Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘Fire fighters and fire system also continue to be abandoned after a disastrous year in the Carmel’ was defeated 39-55 with 26 MKs not present.

* Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The government’s impotence in the face of increasing violence and criminality among the Arab population’ was defeated 28-55 with 37 MKs not present. (The title suggests their concern was about violence among the Arabs, but their speeches indicated they were actually concerned about violence towards the Arabs.)

 

Bills Summary

Amendment to the Retirement Age Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz (Likud) explained that the female retirement age will remain at 62 for the next five years. He said that raising the female retirement age while women are being persecuted is wrong and that the timing of this amendment is very necessary. He expressed hope that in five years the Knesset will choose to lower the female retirement age and repeal his amendment.

MK Itzik (Kadima) thanked all of the female MKs for supporting this bill and for their courage in convincing their male co-workers to support the bill. She slammed the finance minister as the only man who opposed this bill.

MK Gal-On (Meretz) said that this bill ensures female equality. She said that women shouldn’t have to retire at 67 like men, calling that unequal. She also slammed the finance minister.

MK Barakeh (Hadash) stressed that he was the original co-sponsor of this bill five years ago and slammed Itzik, Gal-On and others for trying to take the credit that he deserves.

The bill passed its second reading 73-0.
The bill passed its third reading 77-0.

MK Gilon (Meretz) slammed the government for their argument that in order to ensure the equality of women, women must have the same retirement age as men.

Finance Minister Steinitz (Likud) said that this vote is not cause for celebration, but that populism has conquered logic. He stated that women lost today because their pensions will remain lower since they retire earlier. He said that most of Europe has a female retirement age of 67 or higher. He said it is only a matter of time before both men and women will retire at 70 or older. He said that historians will look back on this moment as the Knesset rejecting sound economic logic for populism.

Amendment to the Broadcasting Authority Bill

Finance Committee Chairman Shama (Likud) explained that his amendment would upgrade the regulations on public broadcasting, including property regulations. Speaker Rivlin interrupted Shama and told him to finish presenting the bill tomorrow because the Knesset reached its hard stop.

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