The Knesset’s Monday session lasted about three hours. Two bills were discussed. A bill on loosening the regulations on strengthening buildings against earthquakes became law after passing its third reading, and the emergency regulations in Judea and Samaria were advanced after passing their first readings. The government easily defeated two no-confidence motions.

 

Non-Bills Summary

  • Speaker Rivlin blasted the government for about ten minutes on how they constantly disrespect the Knesset. He said the Prime Minister’s decision to take seven ministers with him to Eilat on a Knesset day later this week was the last straw and he will not allow government bills to be brought to the Knesset next week. When he realized that no minister was in the room to answer the two no-confidence motions he became even angrier and told the opposition MKs that they can speak for an unlimited amount of time until a minister arrives.
  • Labor and Meretz’s joint no-confidence motion titled “The government’s impotence in the political, social and economic sectors” was defeated 14-63.
  • Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad’s joint no-confidence motion titled “The government’s failure in dealing with the housing shortage and unemployment among teachers in the Arab sector” was defeated 14-61 with one MK abstaining.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced which disputed bills would be discussed in which committees.
  • MK Gilon (Meretz) announced the request of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee to split a bill into two. MK Bielski  (Kadima) also chose to speak. The request was approved 20-0.

Bills Summary

Amendment to Extend the Validity of the Emergency Regulations in Judea and Samaria Bill

Religious Services Minister Margi (Shas) explained the amendment would extend the current system of jurisdiction, offenses and legal assistance in place in Judea and Samaria for another five years until June 30, 2017.

MK Khenin (Hadash) said that the emergency regulations that have been in place since 1967 and extended every five years are obviously not temporary. He said the current set of laws are different for Jews and Arabs that live in the Wild West called Judea and Samaria. He said the conquering of Judea and Samaria 45 years ago was a mistake and voting against this bill will correct that mistake by ending Israeli rule over these areas. He called on creating a Palestinian state immediately along the 1967 borders.

MK Ariel (N.U.) asked the government how they can discriminate against Jews who live in Judea and Samaria while the Jews who live everywhere else receive full rights and benefits under law. He said that citizens that are taxed deserve equal rights. He stressed there is no such thing as taxation without full representation. He called on annexing Judea and Samaria today.

MK Zahalka (Balad) said the bill is not democratic because it determines the law over a group of people who did not vote for this parliament. He said this is the most anti-democratic bill this Knesset has passed. He noted that this bill includes Gaza which means that Israel has never ended their occupation of Gaza. He said this bill proves that Israel is trying to pretend that Gaza’s occupation is over when it makes sense to them, when the truth is that the occupation continues.

MK Katzeleh (N.U.) said that over 350,000 Jews live in Judea and Samaria, 300,000 Jews live in eastern Jerusalem and 25,000 Jews live in the Golan. He said that it is only a matter of time before this bill stops being extended. He said that internal polls show 15-20 seats for a united faction of National Union with Jewish Home.

MK Ben Ari (N.U.) read off letters his office received from citizens who are struggling with the African takeover of Southern Tel Aviv. He said that we are in a state of emergency with the African takeover of Israel and we need to have special provisions on the emergency regulations to include solving this African issue. He said that Israel is becoming a dangerous place and we must fight for our survival.

MK Zeev (Shas) said that the British Mandate is over and these emergency provisions are unnecessary, especially when it comes to Judea and Samaria. He said that a lot of the provisions make sense but they don’t need to be set on an emergency basis that needs to be extended every five years. He called on Netanyahu to fulfill his promise for the 800 houses in Judea and Samaria so that the Ulpana evacuation will have some meaning. He added that the government should evacuate the Arabs’ illegal buildings in eastern Jerusalem and not evacuate the Ulpana. He said in the name of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that there is no Jewish law that allows kicking Jews out of their homes even if a Palestinian really does own that land. He told the Knesset that his Rabbi asked him to deliver that message personally to Netanyahu and to the Knesset plenum.

MK Schneller (Kadima) said for this bill to be irrelevant we need to do one of three things: one is to annex everything, two is to give up on everything and the third is to make a deal with the Palestinians that falls somewhere in the middle. He said that in order to strike a deal the center-right will be needed to ensure that a majority of the country supports the agreement. He slammed the three leftist plans of compensation evacuation, the Talya Sasson outpost report, and the decision to go to the Supreme Court every time they want to evacuate a house. He said they have caused the exact opposite of their intention- the Jews in Judea and Samaria are now more ideological, have grabbed more hilltops and will see 10 houses built for every one destroyed by a Supreme Court order. He charged that it is the left that is holding up a deal and whoever really wants a deal needs to understand that they need a majority of Israelis to support it.

The extension of the bill passed its first reading 40-9 and was sent to the Justice Committee.

Amendment to the Lands Bill

Interior and Environment Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment would loosen the regulations on strengthening apartments and condominiums against earthquakes. He expressed hope that this will lead to more apartments receiving the necessary strengthening requirements that will save their homes from an earthquake and save lives.

MK Ariel asked why the bill is not going to apply to Judea and Samaria and demanded Cohen withdraw the bill back to committee. He said it is not fair that he is being discriminated against and might die of an earthquake because he lives in Judea and Samaria.

The bill passed its second reading 29-0.

The bill passed its third reading 17-0.

MK Azoulay (Shas) thanked the Knesset for approving his bill and Orlev, whose bill was merged into his.

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This was the Knesset Jeremy English translation protocol of the Knesset’s June 11, 2012, session.

Official protocol in Hebrew: http://www.knesset.gov.il/plenum/data/02815012.doc

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