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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Knesset Committee Approves Flag Burning Bill for Final Vote

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Monday approved for a second and third reading in the plenum an amendment proposed by MK Nava Boker (Likud) to Israel’s Flag, Emblem and Anthem Law, which seeks to increase the punishment for dishonoring the national flag or emblem. The bill equates the punishment for dishonoring the national symbols with the punishment for doing the same to the symbols of countries friendly to Israel.

Currently the law sets the punishment for dishonoring the Israeli national flag and symbols at up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 300 Israeli liras (pounds). The lira was replaced by the shekel as Israel’s legal tender back in 1980, which shows how long it has been since any legislator was last troubled by the dishonoring of the national flag.

However, dishonoring the flag of a friendly country will put you in prison for up to three years, and the alternative financial penalty is $15,000, so the bill seeks to extend the sentence and fine to those same levels.

Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) complained about the fact that “we belittle ourselves. Anyone whose national flag is burned will be offended. When we are insulted the result is a conviction for a year, and when someone from abroad is upset it’s three years? Do the police keep records of the number of convictions given for such an offense? The national emblems are a source of national pride in every country. It is not a political matter. An American whose flag is burned is offended.”

“Freedom of expression does not mean you are allowed everything. Even religious emblems deserve elementary respect. A person who arrives at a synagogue or a mosque cannot do whatever he wishes. Even at a concert you don’t stand up and laugh. There is no need to exaggerate, but it’s illogical that there are no sanctions against those who burn flags,” Amsalem added.

MK Abdullah Abu Maaruf (Joint Arab List) asked to lower the punishment from three years in prison as the bill states, to a day, and remove the financial penalty. His request was rejected.

David Israel

Brexit Vote

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Last week’s stunning UK vote to leave the European Union is having a ripple effect across the globe. The Brits themselves are beginning to contemplate the resultant strains on their economy – at least for the short run – not the least of which will be the inevitable loss of foreign trade markets and workers’ easy access to European job markets.

They probably know that President Obama’s unfortunate crack prior to the vote – he said they will have to go to “the back of the queue” with respect to trade relations with the U.S. if thy chose to leave the EU – was likely a harbinger of what they can expect from other world leaders.

Indeed, mindful of a possible charge that he was mixing in the affairs of another country, the president said he was only reacting  to the claims of Brexit supporters that Britain would always be able to negotiate a new, separate deal with the U.S.

Mr. Obama said, rather harshly:

They are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do. I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United Sates what I think the United States is going to do.And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there may be a UK-U.S. trade agreement, but it’s not  going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done.

There will also necessarily be changes in Britain’s military defenses, inasmuch as a member of a politically integrated Europe requires a very different defense posture than does an outsider nation. And the 27 remaining members of the EU reportedly are already contemplating their own new strategies necessitated by the UK withdrawal.

As for the U.S., the world’s sole superpower with security interests across the globe, there is an obvious concern about any change in alignments. Indeed, a front-page story in The New York Times on Sunday posed this question in its opening paragraphs:

Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union is already threatening to unravel a democratic bloc of nations that has coexisted peacefully together for decades. But it is also generating uncertainty about an even bigger issue: Is the post-1945 order imposed on the world by the United States and its allies unraveling, too?Britain’s choice to retreat into what some critics of the vote suggest is a “Little England” status is just one among many loosely linked developments suggesting the potential for a reordering of power, economic relationship, borders and ideologies around the globe.

In a broader sense, the Brexit vote has cast doubt on what had seemed for decades to be an inexorable march toward world government. Political scientists have long noted that the nation-state, comprised of individuals with similar beliefs and culture, was a relatively recent development, and human history was mostly characterized by local towns, villages, and, of course, arbitrarily bounded empires. Many had suggested that the advent of the European Union marked the beginning of the end of the nation-state as the world’s political organizational model.

But what seems even more fascinating to some is the parallel between the Brexit campaign and the current American presidential showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. According to another front-page New York Times story on Sunday,

For Hillary Clinton, Britain’s emotionally charged uprising against the European Union is the sort of populist victory over establishment politics that she fears in the coming presidential election.Mrs. Clinton shares more with the defeated “remain” campaign than just their common slogan, “Stronger Together.” Her fundamental argument, much akin to Prime Minister David Cameron’s against British withdrawal from the European Union, is that Americans should value stability and incremental change over the risks of chaos if Donald J. Trump wins the presidency.

The article went on to report on the “populist” issues in both campaigns. Embedded in the Brexit effort was dissatisfaction with several hot button issues such as over the top mass immigration, open borders, migrant criminality, conflicts with the Muslim community,  loss of control of political independence to EU decision-makers, loss of jobs for British citizens, loss of trading opportunities, and outsourced manufacturing. If these sound familiar, it is because they track much of what constitutes the thrust of the Trump campaign.

Editorial Board

Liberman, Bennett, Shaked to Vote Against Turkish Deal

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

So far, only two government ministers, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Housing Minister Yoav Galant, both from Likud, are on the record as supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to pay upwards of $21 million as reparations to the families of anti-Zionist Turkish activists who attacked IDF soldiers with metal rods, rocks and knives when they attempted to take over the ship Mavi Marmara back in 2010. The deal also included a public apology (check) and easing the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which always ends up as a wise move when dealing with Hamas.

The loud objections from both sides of the aisle which the Netanyahu deal has raised on Monday may be the reason that four ministers Netanyahu was counting on to support him are yet to say anything on the subject: Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), Aryeh Deri (Shas), Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Israel Katz (Likud). Meanwhile, three ministers have erected a strong front against the deal: Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), and Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi).

Liberman this week denied reports that he had committed to supporting the deal, as part of his entering the Netanyahu government. In closed sessions he went as far as to say that if he thins the deal is bad, he would vote against it.

Bennett said on Tuesday morning that “the State of Israel must not pay reparations to terrorists who tried to harm the IDF. A rapprochement with Turkey is important for this time and for the interests of the State of Israel, but paying reparations to terrorists is a dangerous precedent the State of Israel would regret in the future.”

A Channel 10 News survey released Monday showed that 56% of Israelis object to the deal with Turkey, and 67% believe it should have been conditioned on the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers in Hamas’ possession, as well as two Israeli civilians believed to be alive.

David Israel

Justice Committee Approves NGO Foreign Funding Transparency Bill for Final Vote

Monday, June 27th, 2016

After rejecting dozens of objections, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday approved for its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum a bill which would require non-governmental organizations that get more than half their funding from foreign governments or governmental agencies to make the public servants and elected officials they meet with aware of this fact and also report it in all their written publicity material.

The committee decided to merge three bills: one sponsored by the government and two other proposed by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu) and Bezalel Smotrich (HaBayit HaYehudi).

NGOs that will violate the so-called NGO Transparency Law will be fined $7,500. The law, if passed, will not apply retroactively, meaning these organizations will not have to declare such contributions that were received in the past. The law, should it be approved, will go into effect in January 2017 and will only apply to donations received from that date on.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) praised the transparency law, saying it would expose the fact that anti-Israeli NGOs are being funded by foreign governments. She said in a statement, “Countries should know that expressing their opinion about events inside Israel should be done via the familiar diplomatic channels. There is no comparable foreign intervention in a state’s internal affairs anywhere in the world, and there is no democracy that would have approved it. We, too, will not permit such a blunt intervention without exposing its foreign funding sources and bringing it to the public’s attention and to the attention of its elected officials.”

After the bill was approved by a vote of 7-6, Constitution Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said the bill was revised to avoid any constitutional harm. Addressing members of the opposition, he said, “You also admit that nothing much is left of [the bill].”

As to the opposition, its members on the committee were not happy. Neither was MK Benny Begin (Likud), who was elected with the strong intervention of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but who might as well be in the opposition. Begin said the legislation may produce results that do not coincide with the legislator’s intention. “We should operate thrrough diplomatic means,” he argued. “This was proven by the negotiations with Holland, Britain and Switzerland.”

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said, “If it were up to MK Smotrich, the law would differentiate between Jewish and Arab donors. The law is devoid of any legal content.”

MK Yael German (Yesh Atid) said the bill “shames and slanders NGOs which criticize the government’s work. Someone recently said that there are buds of fascism in the country. That is what there is in this law – buds of fascism against organizations that promote human rights.”

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said the bill clearly “persecutes” NGOs, and called to “throw out of the Knesset legislators who introduce such bizarre laws.”

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, “There is a person who contributes tens of millions of dollars to an NGO through a company that is listed in Panama. If we are talking about transparency, then an NGO which is hiding its funds should reveal its sources [of funding].”

MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) said the bill was introduced solely “for the political gain of parties that want to show their public that they acted and labeled.”

MK Micky Rosenthal (Zionist Camp) stated that the purpose of the law is to “poke in the eye and say ‘Here, we did it to you on purpose.'” He said NGOs will easily find a way to circumvent the law.

Back in January, Bild, Germany’s largest circulation daily newspaper, supported Shaked’s NGO transparency bill, which had been attacked as anti-democratic by a Washington Post editorial. Bild noted that the criticism of the bill ignores the fact that millions of foreign dollars are given each year to anti-Israeli NGOs which operate inside Israel and support the boycotts against the Jewish State. Can the bill, which merely requires those NGOs to openly reveal their funding sources, really be compared to Putin’s blatantly anti-democratic rule, Bild was wondering.

David Israel

MK Ahmed Tibi: “I Would Vote for Bernie Sanders in the US Election”

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

On IDF radio this morning, Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi announced that he would vote for Bernie Sanders — if he could vote in the US presidential election.

Tibi said, “All Palestinians and most Arabs would vote for Sanders…the candidate’s political views are more important than their ethnicity.”

Now that’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.

Jameel@Muqata

Knesset to Vote on Paternity Leave

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Labor, Welfare and Health Committee on Monday unanimously approved for its second and third readings at the Knesset plenum a bill presented by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) making Israeli fathers eligible for five days of paternity leave after their spouse has given birth.

The leave, to run parallel to the leave granted mothers, will consist of three vacation days and two additional days on the account of the father’s sick-pay allocation—this in addition to the father’s permitted absence on the day the baby is born.

Since May 1998, fathers have been allowed to take paternity leave instead of — rather than in addition to — their wives, as well as one day of leave when the baby is born and a second day for the circumcision ceremony if the baby is a boy.

“This is nothing less than an historic achievement,” Zandberg said. “For the first time, a father will have the legal right to be at home during the first days after the birth, and this is the first time the term ‘paternity leave’ will enter the book of laws in Israel.”

“A birth is a family event which does not belong to the mother alone,” Zandberg continued. “The proposed bill was born of necessity — out of employers’ lack of support for their workers.”

Zandberg thanked Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) for his support in advancing the legislation.

Labor Committee Chairman MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu) said, “This is a real improvement. Families should be together during these important moments.” Elalouf added that he would promote legislation that would enable the 270,000 self-employed Israelis to also take paternity leave.

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) said, “This is the beginning of a significant revolution. I stayed at home for three months with each of my children after they were born, and I enjoyed it very much.”

JNi.Media

Shaked’s Anti-Terror Law Approved for Second and Third Knesset Vote

Monday, May 30th, 2016

The Knesset Constitution Committee on Monday approved the Fight Against Terrorism Act submitted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), in preparation for its second and third reading in the plenum, and in the process annulling many of the emergency defense laws which have been in effect since the establishment of the state. The bill was approved in its first reading last September.

The new Fight Against Terrorism Act dispenses punishments from 25 years to life in prison to individuals who lead terrorist organizations. The law also sets mandatory punishments of 10 to 20 years, as well as fines, for using and transferring weapons.

Training terrorists is subject to 9 years in prison, while receiving the training is punishable by 7 years. Recruiting terrorists or providing transportation, food, clothing and money for terrorists is punishable by 5 years in prison. Voicing or publishing support for terrorists will be punished by 3 years.

According to the Shaked bill, the defense minister or the prime minister may issue a decree designating a terrorist organization based on a request from the head of Shabak, supported by the AG. The security cabinet may do the same concerning a terror group organized abroad based on the decision of an authorized foreign body, or the UN Security Council.

Justice Minister Shaked issued a statement Monday, saying her bill will give security forces the power to fight terrorism while maintaining human rights.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shakeds-anti-terror-law-approved-for-second-and-third-knesset-vote/2016/05/30/

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