Photo Credit: Ze'ev Barkan via Flickr
One of the summer session bills determines only Hebrew as the official state language.

Next week will see the opening of the Knesset Summer Session, and the government coalition partners are already lining up their members to be present and accounted for to provide the needed 61-vote majority for a number of crucial legislations, including some which have failed to pass or have been postponed in the previous session.

A personal message received Sunday morning by all the coalition members reads: “Next Monday 4/30, the opening day of the summer session, the a number of laws requiring a majority of 61 will be introduced at the plenum: the Nationality Law; the Basic Law: Launching a War; and a law submitted by Anat Berko.”

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MK Berko (Likud) has one bill of which she is the sole author and which has been approved by the ministerial legislative committee – it’s an amendment to the Security Service Law, which mandates that civilian employers recognize courses in which an employee participated during their military service.

Sunday’s personal reminder to the coalition MKs also noted the upcoming second and third vote on a bill by MK Nissan Slominski (Habayit Hayehudi), regarding judges resorting to traditional Jewish law in case of a lacuna (absence of an existing law), which is up against many reservations,” and the note concludes with the warning:
“There will be no offsets (when a coalition and opposition member agree to both be absent from a vote) and no absences.”

The text of the nationality law that will be brought to a preliminary vote next week includes, among other issues, recognition of a greater and united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; Jewish and Arab communities will be allowed to segregate against newcomers based on religion; and the official language of the state will be only Hebrew, with Arabic being downgraded to a special status.

Another issue that is expected to require the support of 61 coalition members is the passage of the overruling law. Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) announced Sunday morning that the bill would be submitted for the approval of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, headed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, before the start of next week’s Knesset summer session.

The text to be presented to the ministerial committee is an extended paragraph, according to which a majority of 61 MKs will be required to re-enact a law that was rejected by the High Court of Justice.

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