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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

In Heated Debate on Shabbat Law, MK Zohar Questions Left’s ‘Enlightened socialism’

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

(JNi.media) A heated debate erupted in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday over a bill to ban commercial activity on Shabbat, despite an earlier agreement to postpone the vote to a later date.

The bill, introduced by MK Miki Zohar (Likud), would ban all commercial activity on Shabbat, apart from restaurants, bars, places of public entertainment, gas stations and pharmacies—which must apply for permission from the economy minister.

While presenting the bill to the Plenum, MK Zohar said “this law is a Jewish social law, but without the claim that this is a law of religious coercion, why would all the socialists vote against it? We know that the Tel Avivian public supported the Zionist Camp, and the Tel Avivian public has a problem with my law. The Zionist Camp is afraid of [Tel Aviv Mayor] Ron Huldai and is abandoning the values of socialism to gain the votes of Tel Aviv’s residents.”

“We will protect the weaker businesses. Where is your enlightened socialism? Where did it disappear to? Tel Aviv has repeatedly forgotten the Jewish idea… This country will forever remain a Jewish and democratic country, and as such, it obligates us to observe one day of rest a week, and that will be on Shabbat, whether you want it or not. Call me a dark and messianic person who forces religion on people – I will continue along my path faithfully until the end. My victory is the victory of the Israeli people,” he added.

Zohar’s remarks caused an uproar among members of the opposition, and MKs Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp), Michal Rozin (Meretz), Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Camp) were ejected from the hall after being called to order a number of times.

In the current situation, despite sanctioning Shabbat as the day of rest in the Law of Hours of Work and Rest (1951) and similar legislation, the day’s special status is violated widely, especially by vendors, while enforcement has been completely eroded, according to the bill’s author. The new bill prohibits shopping malls, for example, from staying open on Shabbat, barring specific appeals to the economy minister.

Under the bill, opening a business on Shabbat will constitute a civil offense, and business owners would be able to sue peer businesses that operate on Shabbat for damages incurred by the illegal competition. Violating the new law could result in a minimum fine of about $1,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to one year. In addition, conditioning rental or work contracts on Shabbat work will be prohibited, and it will not be possible to compel a business owner to work on Shabbat as a condition of renting space in a shopping mall, nor will the mall be allowed to fine such an individual for staying closed on Shabbat.

The accompanying notes to the bill state that the lack of enforcement has led to the formation of “enclaves,” particularly in Tel Aviv, where the “rest laws” are ignored completely. “The increasing violations of the law stem from the narrow economic interests of commercial elements, and the lack of proper enforcement,” say the notes. “This reality has a devastating effect on the values which the weekly day of rest seeks to protect, as well as on the rule of law and the public’s trust in the law.”

MK Oren Hazan Returns as a New Man

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) has a bad reputation in the Knesset.

Here is the speech Hazan just gave in Knesset, returning a month after being kicked out for bad behavior.

The Speaker of the Knesset even gave him some extra time to get his message out there.

He started out by nicely joking with Zahava Gal-on (Meretz), and giving her his blessings, and then describing his recent interactions with a blind and deaf man which gave him new insights.

Is Oren Hazan a new man?

Could be.

Judea and Samaria Wines To Be Included in New Guide

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

By Anna Rudnitsky/TPS

Yediot Books Publishing House will print a new edition of their 1997 wine guide that will include wines produced in Judea and Samaria.

Wines from Judea and Samaria had been included in Daniel Rogov’s widely respected Guide to Israeli Wines first published in 2005 and updated annually until the author’s death in 2011. Israel Hayom wine correspondent Yair Gat and wine consultant Gal Zohar filled the void this year with their publication of the New Israeli Wine Guide, but they had originally decided not to include wines from Judea and Samaria in the guide.

The project’s launch was celebrated with a special event in the Knesset. As an exception to regulations that generally forbid consumption of alcohol in the Israeli parliament, wines from Judea and Samaria were brought to the presentation, and a number of high-ranking guests made the Jewish blessing on wine and gave their blessing to the idea of a new guide.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett reminded those in attendance that Judean and Samarian territories had many wineries during Biblical times, and that while no wines were produced in the Land of Israel during the years of Muslim rule due to the Islamic prohibition on alcohol, “our generation is renewing the tradition that is more than 2000 years old.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein praised the idea of a new guide as yet another step in the fight against the boycott of Israeli products and suggested that consumers and political entities have equal power in this battle. “Whenever I go to a restaurant, I always ask if they have wines from Judea and Samaria. Once it becomes an issue of consumer demand and not simply about ideology, it can lead to changes in attitudes and policies,” Edelstein said.

Science Minister Ofir Akunis added that wines from Judea and Samaria are his personal choice because “they simply are good.”

“The territories of Judea and Samaria are the perfect place to cultivate grapes because they are at the right altitude and have the right weather conditions a number of wineries that produce excellent wines have been founded there in recent years,” Israel Wine Experience CEO Oded Shoham told TPS. He added, however, that these wines have faced difficulties reaching consumers because of the controversy over their place of origin. “Owners of Judea and Samaria wineries used to ask me to help sell their wines in Tel Aviv area stores and restaurants, but it really depends on the owner of the place and the political attitudes of his clients,” Shoham said.

Critics of the original decision not to include Judean and Samarian wines noted that besides the fact that it lent support to the boycott of products from Judea and Samaria, it was also illogical because many wineries inside the Green Line use grapes grown in Judea and Samaria.

“If you look at the number of awards received in international competitions by Israeli wines, including those from Judea and Samaria, it’s almost as disproportionate as with Nobel Prize laureates,” Amichai Luria, a Samaria winemaker attending the event, told Tazpit News Service (TPS).

Newest MK: When Soldiers Are Defamed, I Am a Soldier, When a Girl Is Murdered at the Gay Pride Parade, I’m a Gay Man

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) Likud MK Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset on Monday following the resignation of former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom. In his inaugural speech before the Knesset Plenum, Ohana said “I am here with all of who and what I am, what I’ve chosen and what I haven’t, and am proud of being Jewish, Israeli, Mizrahi (origins in an Arab country), gay, Likudnik, hawk, liberal and free-market man.”

“When people shout ‘Itbach al Yahud’ [Arabic for kill the Jews], I am a Jew. When they shoot, boycott, label and expel, I am a settler… When soldiers are defamed, I am a soldier.” MK Ohana said.

His line about the defamation of IDF soldiers was a reference to the recent controversy over the “Breaking the Silence NGO,” which turns alleged abuses by IDF soldiers into anti-Israel propaganda paid for by foreign interests.

Ohana also sided with the residents of south Tel Aviv, who have long complained about the influx of African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. “When entire neighborhoods are not as they were, and the elderly are forced to live out the remainder of their lives in fear — I am a south Tel Aviv resident. And when the outside appearance of a man is considered a good reason to hate him, to distance him from neighborhoods and employment — I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is not afraid,” he said.

“When a baby is burned with his relatives, damn it, I’m with you, brothers,” Ohana said, finishing his sentence in Arabic. Ohana was referring to the fatal firebombing in the village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family perished.

“When they stab to death a young woman in the parade of love and tolerance I’m gay, a gay person who does not just hope the day will come but gets up and brings it. A gay person who understands that the flag we carry, lesbians and gay men, trans and bi, is the rainbow flag.” The latter comment was a reference to the murder of Shira Banki in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last summer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony and gave his blessing from the Knesset podium. “I want to make a clear point that may not be clear. Amir is the first clear, candid representative of the gay community who was elected in an open primary when he was completely out [of the closet]. He was elected by thousands of voters in the Likud primary,” Netanyahu said. He voiced his confidence that “Amir represents very well our view of liberal nationalism. He believes in the rights of the Jewish people to their land, in protecting the country’s security, civil rights, capitalist economics and a free market.”

Netanyahu added: “I’ve had the chance to work with him. He is pleasant but firm in his opinions, steadfast in his principles, and I think he will be an excellent Knesset member and a bridge between different parts of the public. I receive him with respect and pride.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said he hoped MK Ohana and the rest of the coalition members would support the opposition’s attempts to improve the standing of Israel’s gay community through legislation.

Can You Cry ‘Death to Arabs’ in Crowded Social Network? Knesset Committee Wants to Know

Monday, December 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday discussed the anti-terrorism bill, specifically the level of proof that is needed in order file an indictment for incitement to terrorism and encouraging acts of terrorism.

According to the current law, publicizing support for terrorism, or calls for violence, can result in a five-year prison term if there is “a distinct possibility that it will lead to a terrorism attack or violence.” The bill, however, states that a direct call to commit an act of terrorism is in itself an offense punishable by five years in prison, regardless of whether there is a distinct possibility that it will lead to a terrorism attack or violence.

Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) asked Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri whether the call “death to Arabs” will constitute an act of incitement to violence punishable by five years imprisonment. He requested that the law clearly state what constitutes incitement to violence, rather than have the Attorney General’s Office determine the matter.

In response, Nizri said that for every 100 complaints of incitement to violence, only one indictment is filed. “I do not believe in using indictments against words. I think the issue should be handled in the educational arena,” he said.

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) asked Nizri why he has met only with right-wing Jewish detainees and not with non-Jewish ones. Nizri said in response: “In the past, I have met with Palestinian security detainees. This is not the time or place to discuss the circumstances or the number of times I did it.”

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) accused the AG’s Office of foot-dragging and failing to take steps against extremist rabbis who incite to murder. Nizri said in response that “those who read the Makor Rishon newspaper believe there is excessive enforcement against rightists. Those who read Haaretz believe there is excessive enforcement against leftists. We have filed many indictments against rabbis, Qadis (judges in Muslim communities), right-wing activists and left-wing activists.”

MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) asked Nizri if the stabbing of a photo of a murdered Palestinian baby constitutes incitement to violence. Swid was referring to a video of a wedding which features right-wing extremists dancing with guns, knives and firebombs. One guest stabs a photo of Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler killed along with his parents in the Duma firebomb attack over the summer.

Nizri said an investigation has been launched, but the suspects have yet to present their version of the events. Some of the chants or actions may be considered incitement, he said.

Knesset Passes Law Making Judea and Samaria Division Part of WZO

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) After hours of overnight deliberations, the Knesset approved Thursday morning a bill to regulate the legal status of the Settlement Division as part of the World Zionist Organization. The bill, submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) passed its second and third readings in a 53-48 vote. One Knesset member, Eitan Broshi of the Zionist Camp, abstained.

The bill will enshrine into law the WZO Settlement Division’s role in funding and developing rural Jewish communities in the Golan, Binyamin and Judea Hills, Jordan Valley, Hebron Hills and the Galilee and the Negev, subject, however, to the government’s approval.

The notes accompanying the proposal read, ”The purpose of the bill is anchored in legalizing the longstanding engagement between the Israeli government and the WZO Settlement Division, which for decades has served as the singular body for settlement development in Israel, and the realization of the Zionist mission of the State of Israel.”

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) presented the proposal. ”This is something that should have taken place 67 years ago, with the establishment of the State,” he said.

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said, ”This appears to be a technical debate, but we just saw the video showing youngsters repeatedly stabbing the photo of a baby who was murdered — this is the general topic we are discussing today. My Judaism is not the Judaism of those who danced at the wedding with knives. My Judaism is not Judaism of hatred or burning or dancing on the blood of babies.” Livni was referring to a Channel 10 report which showed a video of Jewish extremists dancing at a wedding while cheering the murder of a Palestinian family in Duma and calling for more killings.

”This Settlement Division Law is part of that same group. This proposal is meant to fool the Americans,” she added. ”In essence, the government is transferring to the Settlement Division the powers, but not the obligations. I would have been prepared to accept this law had one sentence been added to it – that everything that applies to the government also applies to the Settlement Division. But of course this was not accepted.”

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, ”The freedom of information clause does not include all the activity of the Settlement Division because they want to continue to rob the land of the Palestinian people and continue to build in the settlements. Many segments of the settler population carry out acts of terror. The solution is to dismantle the settlement enterprise, which is a war crime, and establish a Palestinian state.”

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said ”perhaps [the law] is meant to deceive the European Union, but it makes room for lying to the state and lying to the court. [Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development] Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), you are a dishonest and inciting man, and it cannot be that funds allotted by you will go to incitement and deception.”

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said the Settlement Division ”is trying to create a political reality that will come at the expense of the settlement blocs. Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel are being held hostage by the illegal outposts. We are protecting the settlement blocs. Earlier we saw footage from the blood wedding. These people are not Jews, and we must fight them just like we fight Hamas and Hezbollah. They did not grow in a void – they have rabbis and an ideology. It is time that we come out against the extremism of the blood wedding, which was born in those same outposts which people are trying to fund through this bill.”

Ukraine’s Parliament Considers Using Israeli Knesset Attendance Board System

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Ukraine Rada (parliament) is considering the possibility of adopting the legislator attendance system used by Israel’s Knesset.

A delegation of senior Ukrainian parliament arrived last week for a seminar at the Knesset in Israel, and encountered the “MK Attendance Board” – the manner in which the Jewish State handles the issue of dealing with low attendance.

After delegation members told their hosts that it is hard to tell whether a member of the Rada is present in the house or not, they were briefed on the Knesset method and its work.

All this, while attending a seminar during which they met with Ronen Plot, Knesset’s director-general, who introduced them to the “Green Knesset” initiative.

The attendance board is displayed in the Knesset house at the entrance to the discussion hall, as well as in the Knesset website. The board shows the photos of all members along with their names. When an MK is attending discussions in the house, his or her photo and name are lit with colors, while the photo of those absent appear in black and white. The board is updated using the information given by Knesset ushers stationed at the entrances to the building.

The Ukrainian delegation included, among others, Ukrainian Rada Vice President Vladimir Slishinski and the Rada Deputy Director General Vladimir Bondarenko. The delegation was led by Israel’s honorary consul in Ukraine, Oleg Vishnyakov, who has actively promoted relations between the two countries.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ukraines-parliament-considers-using-israeli-knesset-attendance-board-system/2015/12/21/

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