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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Israeli Police Chief Calls for Reevaluation Israel’s Marijuana Policy

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

By Matti Bernhardt and Ehud Amiton

Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino told students in a Beit Shemesh school on Wednesday, May 13, that he is in favor of reevaluating the state’s policy over the use of cannabis.

During a Q&A session with the students, Danino stated he is in favor of looking into how other countries in the world address the marijuana issue. He also added that the number of licenses for medical marijuana have increased, which mandates a reevaluation of the matter.

Danino said that he spoke with new members of Israel’s Knesset and suggested they reevaluate the policy in which much effort and use of the police force has been invested in the enforcement of the ban on marijuana usage.
The Israel police chief would not be the first public figure to come out in favor of changing the policy towards marijuana in Israel. Some MKs on both the left and the right are advocates of this issue.

“In a conversation with the Police Chief we came up with an outline that would abolish the law that incriminates cannabis users, as long as they are law-abiding citizens.” Jewish Home’s MK Yinon Magal, a strong supporter of legalization, told the Tazpit News Agency.

Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg, who has led the fight for legalization In the Knesset for many years, told the Tazpit News Agency that “the time has come to make a significant change in the issue of cannabis.

“The public has advanced to the point that they understand that cannabis users are normative citizens who are not harming anybody and that there’s no reason to persecute them and incriminate them. The time has come for elected officials to change the laws regarding this issue,” Zandberg told Tazpit.

The discussion over legalization in Israel is a long standing one. Although pot isn’t legal in Israel, medical marijuana is available for patients who qualify for it, such as cancer patients and MS patients. In addition to that, a form of de-criminalization is implemented, as cannabis users are not usually punished for possession of under 15 grams. Former Attorney General Meni Mazuz said in 2013 that he gave directions not to deal with soft drugs since it was a waste of enforcement resources.

An Israeli liberal political party called Ale Yarok (Green Leaf), which advocates the legalization of marijuana, has existed in Israel since 1999 and has fallen just short of getting seats in the Knesset in previous elections.

However, a survey published by Israeli news website Mako last year, showed that most Israelis were still against legalization, with 56% saying marijuana should not be legalized, and only 33% supporting such an initiative.
The coming months will show if Danino’s approach will have any effect on the new government’s stance on this issue.

Knesset Votes to Expand Number of Ministers

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Knesset voted on Wednesday 61 to 59 (that’s a number we’ll be hearing over and over for a while) to remove the restriction on the number of ministers the government can appoint from a limit of 18.

This was the third and final reading, and paved the way for Netanyahu to make all his needed ministerial appointment.

The extra ministers serve two important purposes.

The first is that it stabilizes the coalition.

The second, less recognized reason, is that a government the size of Israel only benefits by having enough ministers managing specific sectors, rather than concentrating numerous tasks on fewer ministers, who can’t realistically dedicate enough time or focus to everything they’re put in charge of.

The previous coalition had 22 members. This coalition may have only 20.

It also allows Netanyahu to bring in the Zionist Union and have ministerial positions to offer them.

Netanyahu Submits Coalition Guidelines – Yes to Peace, No Mention as to How

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

PM Netanyahu presented his coalition’s guidelines to the Knesset on Wednesday. You can read the coalition guideline here, in Hebrew.

Ha’aretz was quick to point out that the guidelines make no explicit commitment to create a “Palestinian state” or to implement a “two-state solution”, and also makes sure to point out that neither did Netanyahu’s two previous governments.

What the second bullet item in the guidelines says is (translation: The Israel Project):

“The government will advance the diplomatic process and will strive for a peace agreement with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors, while guarding security interests, the historic and national (interests) of Israel. If such an agreement is reached, it will be brought for authorization by the government and Knesset and if there will be the need for it as required by law, to a national referendum.”

This Israeli government definitely sets peace as one of its top goals.

But Ha’aretz is right, it doesn’t say the Israeli government will continue to chase after the deadly and delusional, messianic left-wing pipe-dream of creating another Arab terror state in the Land of Israel (we already have one of those in Gaza).

Others will say that the guideline’s language implicitly means a “Palestinian State” because historically and politically this is the same exact language used in previous negotiations, and in particular, the language insisted upon by Tzipi Livni in her prior negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

How President Obama or the EU, who are both wedded to the failed two-state delusion will respond to the vague terminology, remains to be seen. But we’re sure it will involve mentioning the failed two-state solution.

Netanyahu has repeatedly taken steps to advance the “peace process” with the Palestinian Authority. But he has also pointed out that the Palestinian Authority is currently not capable of making or upholding any deals it signs.

 

Among the other coalition guidelines are (partial descriptions):

1. The nation of Israel has the unquestionable right to a sovereign state in the Land of Israel, our national and historic homeland.

2. See text above.

3. The government will protect the citizens and fight terror and violence.

4. The government will lower the cost of living, especially in housing, food and energy.

5. The government will reduce the monopolies and decentralize the market and increase competition, including in banking, insurance, and investment houses.

 

We will publish a full translation in English later, when it is released.

Herzog Wants New Elections

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog has called for new elections because it took Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two months to put together a coalition government that he said will cost the taxpayers an additional $250 million.

He told a meeting of the Zionist Union, the merged parties of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah parties, that it would be best to go again to the polls and let the people decide if they really want what they got.

He reiterated that not only will he not join Prime Minister Netanyahu in a national unity government, but he also will do everything he can to topple the new government.

His call for a new election should not be dismissed so quickly.

There is no question that if elections were held today, the Hareidi parties would retain at least the 13 seats they now have in the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties. They probably would win a couple of more from those who made the mistake of voting for Eli Yishai’s Yachad party, which failed to get enough votes to enter the Knesset.

There also is no question that the Likud would lose at least four seats that Netanyahu grabbed from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) in his last-minute blitz. Considering how the Prime Minister mistreated Bayit Yehudi in forming the new coalition, the party’s current strength of eight MKs likely would rise to more than 12 because it would also win back one or two seats that voters gave to the failed Yachad party.

Kulanu, led by Moshe Kachlon, would probably take a couple of seats from the Likud and a couple from Yair Lapid, who has succeeded in proving to voters there is nothing but air inside a windbag.

On the left, Livni is a dead duck, and Labor is not going to get any more votes than it now has unless they take them from Meretz, and vice-versa..

Yisrael Beiteinu also would not win any more than it now has and could even be headed for oblivion.

The Arabs would return with more or less the same 12 seats they now have.

The bottom line is that if Herzog wants new elections, let him have them.

The result will be a stronger national-religious government.

And then Herzog can call for a third round of elections, and a fourth, unit he finally figures it out that he represents a diminishing minority.

Vote to Expand Ministers Passes First Reading

Monday, May 11th, 2015

120 Knesset voted today on whether or not to allow the coalition to expand beyond its 18 minister limit.

In a tight vote of 61 to 59, the Knesset passed the proposal’s first reading.

The proposal will require two more votes to allow Netanyahu to add more ministers.

Jewish Democracy in Action

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Members of the Bayit Yehudi party voted on Sunday for the coalition deal. From a quick look at the hands in the air, it appears that support was overwhelming.

If you look more carefully, you can find Waldo in there, giving the thumbs up instead of waving.

Supreme Court Slaps Down Lapid’s Appeal to Freeze Netanyahu Coalition

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The Israeli Supreme Court Monday morning dismissed Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid’s appeal to rule against moves to expand the proposed coalition Cabinet.

The outgoing Cabinet approved the expansion bill that would remove the limit of 18 Cabinet ministries, and the Knesset is to vote on the legislation this week, paving the way for the inauguration of the new coalition.

The court, despite its decision not to freeze the legislative process, still has not yet ruled on Lapid’s appeal  questioning the legality of the expansion.

The Knesset’s attorney, Eyal Yinon, argued before the court that Lapid’s appeal was “baseless” and “unprecedented” as an attempt to interfere with legislation even before the Knesset votes on it.

The Cabinet cannot exceed 18 ministries, under current law. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants it expanded to satisfy the demands of coalition partners, which is exactly why the Knesset previously passed a law limiting the size of the Knesset.

The expansion costs taxpayers millions of dollars and more importantly opens the door again to politicians auctioning off their participation in the government.

Lapid’s appeal was typical of his grandstand political style, but if the court eventually rejects his appeal, it will be one more defeat in his growing list of failures.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/supreme-court-slaps-down-lapids-appeal-to-freeze-netanyahu-coalition/2015/05/11/

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