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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘MK’

Ethics Committee Reprimands MK Zoabi ‘Severely’ over ‘Extreme’ Comments

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The Knesset Ethics Committee on Monday issued a severe reprimand to MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) over her “extreme” comments during a recent plenary debate on the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey.

During a June 29 debate on the deal with Turkey, under which Israel agreed to compensate the families of Turkish terrorists who were killed when they attacked IDF soldiers attempting to take over a Gaza-bound vessel, Zoabi, who had been on the ship during the May 2010 raid, said: “I stood here six years ago, some of you remember the hatred and hostility toward me, and look where we got to. Apologies to the families of those who were called terrorists. The nine that were murdered, it turns out that their families need to be compensated. I demand an apology to all the political activists who were on the Marmara and an apology to MK Hanin Zoabi, against whom you’ve incited for six years. I demand compensation and I will donate it to the next flotilla. As long as there’s a siege, more flotillas need to be organized.”

During the plenary debate, Zoabi also said the reconciliation deal is an admission of guilt by Israel regarding the flotilla raid. Several MKs began shouting and moved toward the podium to complain about her inciting statements. As MKs were pushing against the podium, Zoabi shouted, “They murdered,” and “Shut up,” repeatedly. The Ethics Committee described the debate as “Exceptionally caustic,” saying that “at moments it seemed that it could deteriorate into physical violence and undoubtedly harm the dignity of the Knesset and its members.”

The Ethics Committee said it had received complaints against Zoabi from nine different lawmakers. The majority of the committee members said Zoabi’s statements were “extreme, provocative, not anchored in reality, and at the very least pushed the boundaries of freedom of expression for MKs.”

“However, because of the broad freedom of political expression MKs enjoy, together with the fact that the disturbances to her speech didn’t actually allow her to complete a sentence or an organized argument from the moment she had stepped up to the podium, there are no grounds at this time to increase her punishment for the content of her remarks themselves,” the committee ruled.

In her defense, Zoabi pointed out that she did not say the words “IDF soldiers are murderers,” as she had been accused, but the committee noted that the majority of its members accepted this explanation “with difficulty” and that other MKs and the public “justifiably” understood from her comments that she was accusing IDF soldiers of being murderers. They also said Zoabi misled Deputy Knesset Speaker Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beitenu) by telling him that she intended to apologize for her remarks, and when he allowed her back at the podium, ostensibly to apologize, repeated her inflammatory remarks, making the incident even worse than it already was.

Zoabi submitted complaints against several MKs who shouted at her, including MK Oren Hazan (Likud), whom she said yelled “offensive” things at her.

Hazan was also severely reprimanded by the Ethics Committee, which said he “undoubtedly was the one who instigated the commotion in the plenum and continued to fan the flames, breaking all acceptable codes of behavior.”

MKs Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), Nava Boker (Likud), Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp) and Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid) were reprimanded with a “comment,” the lightest sanction by the Ethics Committee, for their conduct during the debate.

In its decision, the Ethics Committee called on MKs to “show restraint and allow appropriate discussions in the plenum, even when extreme remarks are made. As for getting threateningly close to the stage, the committee believes that doing so has the potential to erupt into violence and breaks the rules of behavior in the Knesset plenum. The committee wishes to warn the MKs that from now on it will consider serious sanctions in such cases, including suspension.”

David Israel

Police Order MK Yehuda Glick to Ride Armored Car

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Mk Yehuda Glick (Likud), who lives in the community of Otniel in Judea and Samaria, enjoys a Knesset security detail and drives an armored car, in accordance with police directives, Knesset Officer Joseph Griff revealed in a meeting of the Committee on the Knesset Budget. The committee approved budgeting $530 thousand for purchasing armored vehicles for MKs. Added to an already existing $530 thousand in the budget to the same end, the replacement of both vehicles will cost $1.05 million, The Marker reported Monday.

The committee has settled on buying two Toyota Land Cruisers, to serve MKs driving in Judea and Samaria. The overall security budget for individual MKs comes to roughly $2 million.

The armored vehicles that are being replaced, according to Griff, are older cars, from 2006 and 2008, which spend too much time in the shop waiting for parts. The current fleet of armored cars is not big enough to accommodate every MK whose assigned vehicles are being repaired.

Griff added that the armored vehicles assigned to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and to Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog are also problematic. Most of the problems, Griff said, have to do with the heavy armor.

The Knesset paid its employees an additional half million dollars for overtime in 2016, because so many plenum sessions stretched into the wee hours. In this context, Zionist Camp whip MK Merav Michaeli protested the government’s decision to submit 15 new bills for first hearings this week, taking advantage of the fact that the summer vacation is around the corner. Michaeli announced that her faction retains its democratic right to filibuster, even at the expense of MKs’ summer fun.

And just in case you were wondering where all this extra money came from, Knesset accountant Haim Avidor said the money will come from a special budget reserve kept for just these kinds of miscellaneous items.

David Israel

Liberman to Arab MK: Conditions at Checkpoints Are Unreasonable, Harmful

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

In a question-and-answer session in the Knesset this week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Addressed a question by MK Abd Al Hakeem Haj Yahya (Joint Arab List) about the conditions at checkpoints in Judea and Samaria, Liberman said “What’s happening at checkpoints is unreasonable, and there is no doubt it harms our security.”

“There are three authorities that deal with this issue — the Airports Authority, Defense Ministry and Public Security Ministry, and this creates a complicated chaos,” Liberman explained.

Liberman expressed his hope that the matter will be taken care of in next year’s budget, “to improve things from every perspective – security and humanitarian.”

Liberman was asked by MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp) about the reconciliation agreement with Turkey and whether it constitutes recognition of the Hamas’ regime in Gaza. “Our starting point must be Egypt,” the defense minister said. “It is our most important, serious ally in the Middle East. How will it affect our relations with Egypt? Personally, I’ve invested a lot of effort in building relations of trust and cooperation [with Egypt]. There are many other considerations here which we must take into account.”

MK Orly Levi-Abekasis asked Liberman why IDF soldiers who became disabled during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge have yet to receive the benefits they deserve. “There is an absolute commitment to this issue, and those who are dealing with it are doing so with dedication. It has been examined in the various committees, and as a minister I have to trust those professional echelons. The disabled themselves are part of the formulation of those benefits. Intense debates are being held in order to improve their situation,” Liberman answered.

MK Masud Ganaim (Joint Arab List) asked the defense minister about his summoning of Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel regarding a program on Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish which was aired by the station. “It is okay to air an episode on Darwish, but in the framework of ‘know your enemy,’ together with the mufti and Goebbels,” Liberman retorted.

Asked by MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) about his decision to revoke the entry permit to Israel of senior Palestinian Authority official Mohammed al-Madani, Liberman said, “Part of the tradition in the Palestinian Authority is that the same people who at nighttime deal with harming Israel and worked hard to annihilate the State of Israel, during the daytime speak a lot about brotherhood among the nations, peace, and so forth.”

The minister noted that he cannot make such a decision alone. “There is the opinion of the Shin Bet (General Security Service) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. They are certainly not political people. Only after they tell me in writing that they strongly suggest [a permit be revoked] do I perform the formal act.”

Al-Madani, the minister said, “is not an innocent person who thinks about brotherhood and peace between Jews and Arabs.”

“Questions Hour” is a new parliamentary feature in the Knesset’s plenary sessions. Each year, the opposition has the right to invite 10 ministers to answer questions they did not see in advance. One of those times, it can be the prime minister. At least three-quarters of the questioners must come from the ranks of the opposition.

JNi.Media

After Filibuster Knesset Passes ‘Dismissal Law’ Empowering It to Oust Sitting MK

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

The Knesset late Tuesday night passed into law a bill that allows it to remove a sitting lawmaker from office. According to the so-called “Impeachment Law,” which passed by a 62 to 45 vote, the Knesset can oust a legislator for incitement to racism and support of armed struggle against the state—which many in Israel’s media have said makes the law all but tailor-made for the inequities of one MK — the vociferous Haneen Zoabi (Joint Arab List). Incidentally, since Zoabi’s own party members have already ousted her from a realistic spot for the next Knesset elections, it is doubtful the law will be employed any time soon.

Another obvious reason why the new law is unlikely to be used in the foreseeable future is the fact that it requires a majority of 90 lawmakers to launch expulsion proceedings, following which the votes of 70 out of the 120 MKs are required to oust a sitting legislator, and those votes must include 10 opposition lawmakers.

So the new law is all for show.

The vote itself Tuesday night was great parliamentary theater, as opposition MKs who had submitted hundreds of objections to the bill, which they were set to discuss into the wee hours, suddenly withdrew them in a hurry and demanded the vote be held immediately, when they realized that the 66-seat coalition did not have enough members present to pass the vote. But the coalition whips were not born yesterday, and they managed to filibuster the vote until enough lawmakers had been rustled in to guarantee a majority.

The filibuster method they used was perhaps less elegant than those late night readings of the Cat in the Hat by US Senators, but it was just as effective: Likud Minister Ze’ev Elkin stood at the podium and repeated the phrase: “Today it has become clear that the Labor party and Yesh Atid work for Haneen Zoabi. You should be ashamed of yourselves.” He just kept saying this mantra until enough coalition MKs had arrived.

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said about the new law: “There will be a big stain on the Knesset if we allow this law to pass.”

Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) opened the debate over the new law, saying, “The Knesset will no longer be a shroud for terrorism and racism. Members of the Knesset whose salary is paid by the state cannot use it to undermine the state’s foundations.” He added: “If there is an MK who is thinking of being involved with racism, I hope this law will deter him and we will not have to use it.”

Opposition MKs said the law itself was racist, targeting as it does an Arab House member, which would technically mean that MK Slomiansky could become the first target of the Dismissal Law, in an M. C. Escher-like serpentine of parliamentary cause and effect.

Under the law, an MK may not face impeachment proceedings during an election campaign, 180 days before Election Day.

The impeachment proceedings would begin with a request which shall be submitted to the Knesset Speaker. The Speaker will pass the request to the Knesset Committee for discussion. Approval of the request will require support from a three-quarter majority of the Knesset Committee members. After approval by the committee, the request shall be submitted for final approval by the Knesset plenum.

JNi.Media

Proposed Knesset ‘Ouster Bill’ Passes First Hurdle

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The Knesset “Ouster Bill” has passed its first hurdle in the Knesset Law Committee in a vote that allowed the measure to move to the next step — its first reading in the Knesset plenum.

If eventually approved in all three plenum readings, the bill will allow the House to eject a Knesset member for incitement to racism, and supporting armed struggle against Israel.

The issue is one that has dogged the Israeli parliament for years, as lawmakers — mostly those from the Israeli Arab sector — rant against the interests of the very taxpayers who pay their salaries, from podiums in the Knesset plenum and sometimes in public rallies to wildly cheering audiences intending to attack Israelis and hoping to destroy the State of Israel.

The ouster recommendation would have to pass a vote of 90 lawmakers — three quarters of the Knesset plenum — and could only be launched with the support of 70 Knesset members.

According to the law, at least 10 of the lawmakers would have to be opposition members — and no lawmaker could be impeached during an electoral process.

In order to start the process, a Knesset member would have to make a request to the Knesset Speaker, who would then relay the request to the House Committee. Three quarters of that committee would then be required to move the proposed ouster to the Knesset plenum.

The Knesset member being ousted could appeal the move in a petition to the Supreme Court.

Hana Levi Julian

Former MK Haim Amsalem Joins Bayit Yehudi

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Former Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem has joined the Bayit Yehudi party, according to the Srugim website.

Amsalem entered the Knesset in 2006, and served again in 2009 until his fellow Shas members pushed him out of the party. At the time he said, “There’s two ways one leaves the Shas party, to Maasiyahu [prison], or because you think for yourself.”

In 2013, he ran again under his newly formed “Am Shalem” party, but his party didn’t pass the increased electoral threshold.

Amsalem plans to run for a spot in the Bayit Yehudi list in the upcoming primaries. He said that everyone who sees themselves as Sephardi will find his place in Bayit Yehudi.

Amsalem was born in French Algeria in 1959 after his parents immigrated to there from Morocco. He made Aliyah in 1970. He received rabbinical ordination from Rav Ovadia Yosef and served as a city rabbi.

Shalom Bear

MK Yogev: Out of Judea and Samaria Daily 1.98 Million Gallon Shortage, 1.1 Million Due to Arab Theft

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Affairs and Security in Judea and Samaria, headed by MK Mordhay Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi), on Monday discussed the problems of water supplies to Judea and Samaria.

“The authorities have ‘dried up’ the residents of Judea and Samaria – Jews and Arabs alike,” Yogev said at the opening of the meeting. “This committee deals with various infrastructure-related issues, but water is the most basic and important of them all, particularly when we’ve reached a point where there is a shortage of drinking water. The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Water Authority have known for many years what needs to be done, but it has yet to be done. We must assume all the powers, initiate a ‘defensive shield’ of infrastructures and urgently implement a master plan to supply water to the population.”

According to data presented to the committee by Mekorot, the national water company of Israel is capable of supplying some 11.22 million gallons of water to the region daily, but the demand is for 12.76 to 13.2 million gallons daily; meaning, there is a daily water shortage of 1.5 to 1.98 million gallons. As a result, Mekorot has been forced to adjust its supply of water to the region and reduce the supply to each community, be it Jewish or Arab, by 15%.

The committee was also informed that some 1.1 Million gallons of water are stolen each day in Judea and Samaria through illegal connections to the area’s water infrastructure.

Yigal Lahav, head of Karnei Shomron Local Council, said, “For the past two years we have been receiving messages from Mekorot each morning telling us that there is no water in the pipes, and we have turned to all the relevant authorities. ‘Surprisingly,’ summer has arrived, the population is growing, and it is only getting warmer. This matter must be dealt with urgently and seriously.”

Water Authority Director Alex Kushnir said, “We must fight the thefts aggressively, as they are a major cause of the current crisis. To date, no indictments have been filed against water thieves. Force majeure is also at play in this crisis, because two projects which could potentially add more than 2.2 million gallons of water a day have been delayed. These projects would have resolved the current situation.”

“We took it upon ourselves to try and promote a master plan, though there is no statutory element which can currently provide a real forecast for population growth,” Kushnir noted. “The Water Authority does not have the power to give instructions beyond the Green Line, and I cannot force the Palestinians to convene the joint committee [on water], but I did meet with the Palestinian water minister, and he gave me information regarding their needs.”

MK Avi Dichter (Likud), chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, asked the government representatives who are responsible for the current situation and who is authorized to make decisions on the matter, and when he did not receive an answer, MK Yogev said that “the responsibility lies with the Minister of National Infrastructures and the Defense Minister, and from them down to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.”

Brigadier General Guy Goldstein, deputy Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, said, “We operate only in accordance with the government’s instructions. There needs to be a diplomatic decision for the entire region that will make it clear to the Water Authority how to plan and provide solutions.”

Yossi Dagan, head of the Shomron Regional Council, said, “My residents should not care that the State of Israel does not have the guts to stand up to the Palestinian Authority, which is not convening the joint water committee. The state must provide a solution for all our residents, in any way possible.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-yogev-out-of-judea-and-samaria-daily-1-98-million-gallon-shortage-1-1-million-due-to-arab-theft/2016/07/05/

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