The Social Guard’s Knesset Update for the week of December 7, 2014: a weekly summary of what’s on the Knesset’s socio-economic agenda brought to you by the Social Guard in the Knesset, the Israeli public’s voice for transparency, democracy, and social justice.
This week, the 19th Knesset voted to dissolve itself fewer than two years after it was elected, making it the second shortest in Israeli history.
In the last few days of its stunted existence, Members of the Knesset managed to push through deeply problematic bills and monetary transfers whose effects will reverberate long after the fervor around the new election period has passed.
This week, the Social Guard in the Knesset particularly focused its observation and political pressure efforts on the following bills and events:
Budgetary Transfers to the Security/Defense Budget – In the final hours of the Knesset , over 3.7 billion Shekels were transferred from a variety of departments and agency to the security budget, including over 460 million Shekels from public transportation and 250 million Shekels from pension benefits. The planned transfers were announced barely two hours before they were voted on in a heated session of the finance committee.
The Budgetary Transfers to the Settlements continue – Over 200 million Shekels were transferred from a variety of agencies and departments to the municipal authorities in charge of running Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Passage of the 3rd version of the "Infiltrators Law" – For the third time, the Knesset approved the controversial Infiltrators Law, which seeks to restrict the presence of "infiltrators" – migrants primarily from Eritrea and Sudan who claim status as either refugees or asylum seekers. Portions of the previous two versions of the law had been overturned by the Supreme Court. Most notably, this new version of the law keeps open the Holot Detention Facility, in which thousands of asylum seekers and refugee status claimants are detained.
Proposal to create a genetic database of Israeli citizens fails to be brought up for a vote – The Social Guard has been actively opposing Knesset Member Meir Sheetrit’s proposal to establish a genetic database of all Israeli citizens since its announcement. Although it seemed that the bill was likely going to be approved, it was ultimately scuttled by the chair of the Science and Technology Committee.
Latest Weekly Knesset Updates:
Nov 30th – Farewell, the Nineteenth Knesset
Nov 23rd – Ministers' Committee Against Social Bills
Nov 14th – The budget is coming