The Knesset’s Monday session lasted about five hours. 12 bills were discussed. Seven bills became law after passing their third readings, and five bills were advanced after passing their first readings. The new laws and advanced bills cover a wide range of topics. The last few heavy Mondays filled with many bills is an indication that the spring recess is just weeks away. The weekly no-confidence motions were defeated, as usual.

 

Non-Bills Summary

* Kadima’s no-confidence motion titled ‘The Netanyahu government’s intention to circumvent the Supreme Court decision regarding the Tal Law and prepare the continued evasion’ was defeated 25-46 with 3 MKs abstaining and 46 MKs not present.

* Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The Netanyahu government’s surrender to religious coercion in transport, the hypocritical and false status quo, and abandoning the public by the Orthodox monopoly in marriage, conversion and religious services’ was defeated 27-47 with 46 MKs not present.

* Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled ‘The government impairs democracy and promotes regional war rather than social justice, housing and contract workers’ rights’ was defeated 13-49 with 2 MKs abstaining and 56 MKs not present.

* Justice, Law and Constitution Committee Chairman Rotem (Y.B.) announced his committee’s request to correct a technical issue within an existing bill. It was approved 13-0 with one MK abstaining.

Bills Summary

 

Amendment to the Repo Bill

Justice, Law and Constitution Committee Chairman Rotem (Y.B.) explained the amendment would allow a repo man who resigns or retires to finish the cases they worked on for three months after they leave their job. He noted that other repo men will be able to take over cases at whatever point they were left without needing to start the case from the beginning.

The bill passed its second reading 14-0.

The bill passed its third reading 19-0.

Amendment to the Public Service Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz (Likud) explained the amendment would add more restrictions for security personnel after their retirement, including a prohibition from getting re-hired as an outside consultant at their old jobs. He added the measure also increases the punishment for insider whistleblowers within the security establishment that give tell-all interviews after they retire. He said that an outside committee with security clearance personnel will deal with special cases. He stated the bill will be implemented gradually in the next 4-12 months.

The bill passed its second reading 13-0.

The bill passed its third reading 12-0.

 

Changing the Update of the Pensions System Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz explained the bill would change the pension system of the electric company workers. He added that the bill allows an opening to use this arrangement with other public companies. He said the complicated bill will be supervised by his committee.

The bill passed its second reading 13-0.

The bill passed its third reading 11-0.

Amendment to the Prison Ordinance Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment would exempt prisoners who were sentenced to less than four years from appearing before a probation committee and will automatically grant them probation unless a judge decides otherwise. He noted prisoners who are sentenced to more than four years would still be required to receive the permission from the parole committee.

The bill passed its second reading 12-0.

The bill passed its third reading 11-0.

Amendment to the Sport Driving Bill

Culture and Sport Minister Livnat (Likud) explained the amendment would transfer the authority of authorized car racing to her ministry. She stated that the authority was split among many ministers and that has hurt the industry. She congratulated the industry in organizing Israel’s first two legal car races over the last two months.

MK Eichler (U.T.J.) said he supports the bill. He went on to talk about the sport of hating the ultra-orthodox. He blasted the press and the academic op-ed writers who call ultra-orthodox Jews dirty names. He slammed MK Gal-On (Meretz) for calling the Migron residents land-robbers. He blasted the leftists for inciting against the religious and ultra-orthodox. He quoted various journalists and said he would continue his speech on the next bill.

MK Zeev (Shas) bragged about his daily exercise routine. He asked why decisions on spare car parts and exporting should be transferred to Livnat’s ministry. Livnat responded that Transportation Minister Katz and Industry and Trade Minister Simhon are okay with the bill and Zeev should stop worrying so much.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) condemned the attacks on off-duty soldiers in Haifa. He slammed the media for pretending it wasn’t a crime with nationalistic motives. He went on to slam the government for downplaying nationalistic crimes against Jewish cemeteries. He slammed a particular case where 42 graves were destroyed up north, only three of the eight Arabs responsible were tried, and all they received was community service. He called on the government and press to stop covering up Arab nationalistic crimes against the Jews.

The bill passed its first reading 13-0 and was sent to the Sport Committee.

Amendment to the Prohibition on Financing Terrorism Bill

Minister Nahari (Shas) explained his amendment would define what the declaration of a member of a foreign entity as a terrorist organization means and what punishment a foreign perpetrator of terror should receive under Israeli law. He noted that a more comprehensive updated version is being worked on and this bill is meant to be the first step in changing the current rules and regulations on the subject.

MK Eichler said that the story of Queen Esther and Purim teaches us that religious people respect women and it is the secular people who don’t respect women. Minister Livnat got offended and entered into an argument with Eichler during which she misheard him and thought he said that she looked like a man. He said today the leader of Persia wants to destroy us just like Haman did during Esther’s time. He told the secular MKs that only God will save them, just like then, and no airplane or missile will make a difference.

Minister Livnat said that she refuses to take off her clothes to prove she is a woman. She said that respecting a woman means allowing her to have a career. She stated it was Queen Esther who saved the Jewish people. She slammed Eichler for his opinion of women.

MK Zeev defended Eichler then went on to discuss the bill. He slammed MK Tibi (R.T.) and his Arab MK entourage at the Jerusalem bashing conference in Qatar. He suggested they should be included within the bill. He said giving the Arabs control over the Temple Mount was a mistake and must be corrected now. He slammed the Arabs for damaging 50,000 of the 70,000 graves on the Mount of Olives.

MK Ben Ari suggested instead of looking for foreign terrorists, one can just look at the Arabs MKs who visit Gaddafi, Qatar and Abu Mazen. He slammed MK Tibi for his many controversial quotes. He said Israel has become a suicidal democracy.

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

Amendment to the Compensation for Victims of Polio Bill

Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Chairman Katz explained the amendment would grant polio patients who got sick outside of Israel the same compensation package as those who got sick within Israel. He said that immigrants shouldn’t be discriminated against and that this is an important bill. He did note that both natives and immigrants who got sick with Polio before 1948 have no rights under the bill. He thanked the dozens of polio patients in the gallery who came to witness the passing of the bill that will grant them their rights.

The bill passed its second reading 16-0.

Chairman Katz asked to pull the bill after its second reading and bring it to another committee discussion before its third reading. Deputy Speaker Molla (Kadima) looked at Katz, realized he was being sarcastic and called for the next vote.

The bill passed its third reading 16-0.

MK Pinyan (Likud) thanked the Knesset for approving his bill. He pointed out that the immigrant polio patients will get a one-time grant of NIS 120,000 and a monthly payment of NIS 2,500. He slammed the Channel 2 report that said he will personally benefit from the bill and receive a million shekels. He said he would only make that much money collectively if he lived to the age of 90 and suggested they try suffering from polio. He noted the Ethics Committee allowed him to pass a bill that would apply to himself. He thanked a whole list of people for helping him push through this bill into law.

MK Azoulay (Shas) praised his co-sponsor and told everyone that Pinyan is an honest man and this is a good bill. He thanked the Knesset for approving it.

MK Eichler slammed Minister Livnat and told her that both his own mother and grandmother worked. He told Livnat not to lecture him. He said it is the western society that puts women down, not Judaism.

Amendment to the Terms of Release from Imprisonment Bill

Minister Nahari explained the amendment would change the composition of special parole for inmates that have been sentenced by military courts to the same composition that is used in non-military courts.

MK Eichler said that besides the Arab MKs’ terrorism, there is also a terrorism of the media. He said as a former journalist of over 30 years he knows that certain journalists carry out acts of media terrorism against selected targets. He said the time has come to put an end to all types of terrorism.

The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Anti-Drug Authority Bill

Minister Nahari explained the amendment would expand the authority’s role in alcohol abuse cases.

MK Zeev said as a former chairman of the authority he is pleased to see this bill. He slammed those who drink and drive and told teenaged minors to stay away from the bars and pubs. He said this is an important bill and must be heavily funded.

The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Amendment to the Party Funding Bill

House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) explained that the amendment would make political party paperwork easier. He said that the State Comptroller, Party Registry and House Speaker would receive the same document on the same day. He stated the previous situation where the parties needed to file three different reports and hand them in on different dates was ridiculous. He added the bill also changes the rules for factions that are made up of more than one party. He noted that all of the parties have agreed to this bill and there are no objections.

The bill passed its second reading 8-0.

The bill passed its third reading 8-0.

Amendment to the Entry into Israel Bill

MK Pinyan (Likud) explained the amendment would allow any Jew who can immigrate according to the Entry into Israel Bill to be able to have one stamp from the Interior Ministry that will allow them to stay in Israel for up to five years. He said this bill will help Jews stay in Israel with less bureaucracy.

The bill passed its second reading 5-0.

The bill passed its third reading 6-0.

MK Michaeli (Shas) said this will help limit bureaucracy for Jewish tourists and one-year students. He thanked the Interior Committee for pushing this bill through quickly. He said that this bill will help encourage aliyah by being nice to Jews. He said that requiring Jews to wait in line every two months is terrible and now impossible.

Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance Bill

MK Maklev (U.T.J.) explained the amendment would require installing mandatory safety sensors in the back of every car. He said the importers would be the ones required to install them and include it as part of the price. He said this bill will save lives. He pointed out from 2006 to 2010 47 children were killed by a car backing up on them. He noted that over half of child deaths on the roads each year are due to the lack of safety sensors. He added the sensors are cheap and will be built in and tax free. He concluded the requirement will only be on new cars and not existing cars.

The bill passed its first reading 4-0 and was sent to the Finance Committee.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s February 27, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/01230612.doc

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