The Knesset’s Tuesday session lasted about three hours. One bill was discussed and advanced after it passed its first reading. The bill would extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting sexual harassment cases from three years to four years. One motion and a number of queries were also discussed during the relatively short Tuesday session.

 

Non-Bill Summary

* 14 MKs spoke during the One Minute Speech segment that opened the day. Most of the speeches involved the MKs’ commentaries on the prior night’s late night legislation.

* House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Herzog (Labor) and MK Avital (Kadima) will replace MK Cabel (Labor) and MK Molla (Kadima) in a joint subcommittee. He announced that MK Tirosh (Kadima) will replace MK Abesadze (Kadima) in three joint subcommittees. He also announced which disputed bills will be discussed in which committees.

* Labor and Welfare Minister Kahlon (Likud) answered twelve queries during his Question Hour. He answered three additional queries later in the session during the Query portion of the day.

* A motion on the phenomenon of assimilation of Jewish children living in Arab villages was discussed by three MKs and Labor and Welfare Minister Kahlon. The motion was sent to the Health Committee following a 5-0 vote.

 

Bill Summary

Amendment to the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Bill

Women’s Rights Committee Chairwoman Hotovely (Likud) explained her amendment would extend the statute of limitations under the bill from three years to four years. She confessed that her original bill called for seven years, but stressed the importance of raising the limitations of prosecuting sexual harassment cases to four years.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) said that a secret video camera revealed there is a witch hunt against the ultra-orthodox. He said the footage contradicted sexual harassment and police brutality charges brought against a certain Yeshiva boy and blasted certain television personalities for attacking the boy’s integrity. He went on to list other proven cases where the police tried to frame ultra-orthodox Jews for crimes there is clear evidence they didn’t commit.

MK Levi-Abekasis (Y.B.) supported and praised the bill and Hotovely. She listed her joint efforts with Hotovely to support feminist rights.

MK Zeev (Shas) said that women commit sexual harassment towards men and the press should stop painting a picture that all sexual harassment is committed by men towards women. He added that the bill should have also included a clause that discusses what sexual harassment is for children under the age of 18. He agreed to support the bill, but said he wasn’t so happy with this version for several reasons he didn’t want to get into.

The bill passed its first reading 7-0 and was sent to the Women’s Rights Committee.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s January 10, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/00264612.doc

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