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Molla pushes to allow all JAFI emissaries to vote
By GIL HOFFMAN
12/12/2012
All Jewish Agency emissaries that are abroad and their families should be permitted to vote, MK urges.
 
All Jewish Agency emissaries that are abroad and their families should be permitted to vote in the January 22 election even if their salaries are not funded by the agency, MK Shlomo Molla (Tzipi Livni Party) wrote to the Central Elections Committee chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein on Tuesday.

Regular emissaries of the government, Jewish Agency, World Zionist Organization and Keren Hayesod are allowed to vote in elections, as can their wives and children aged 18 to 22. But dozens of agency emissaries to communities and campuses in the United States have been ruled ineligible, because their salaries are paid for by the Jewish Federations of North America.

Molla, who is a former Jewish Agency employee, asked the Central Elections Committee to reconsider their eligibility for both legal and ideological reasons. He noted that the emissaries were drafted and trained by the agency. He said that if they were not permitted to vote in the communities they are serving, they should be flown to Israel to enable them to vote.”

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“These emissaries should be allowed to vote like all the others,” Molla wrote Rubinstein.

“Beyond the legalities of the subject, it is a matter of principle that the state should be obligated to its emissaries. This would send an important message to Israel’s citizens and the Jews of the Diaspora.”

A Jewish Agency spokesman responded that the agency would be happy to help the emissaries vote but it must act according to the law. Habayit Hayehudi MK Zevulun Orlev tries to change the law to enable such emissaries to vote but his legislation did not pass.

“The law is clear,” Central Elections Committee spokesman Giora Pordes said. “Shlomo Molla had four years to change it. Where has he been?”
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