The public will be able to more actively participate in the Knesset’s work, as a
bill proposed by MK Hilik Bar (Labor) allowing people to sign petitions on the
Knesset’s website, is on its way to becoming law.
The legislation, which
brings a practice from the European Parliament to the Knesset, passed its
preliminary reading Wednesday with 40 in favor and one opposed.
an unprecedented, historic bill that changes the way we relate to the citizens
who sent us to the Knesset to represent them, and their involvement in our
work,” Bar said.
The Labor MK said his bill will make the Knesset more
open and accessible, and that lawmakers will hear what the public has to say in
an official, organized way.
“Not all the wisdom in the country is found
in its 120 MKs – it can mostly be found in the public,” Bar
According to the bill, any citizen or group of citizens can submit
a petition to the Knesset that has to do with the country’s activities or
directly influences the signatories’ lives.
An example of a petition will
appear on the Knesset’s website.
A petition review committee will be
formed if the bill becomes law, which will determine whether or not the
petitions are acceptable or not.
If it is, the petition will be brought
to the relevant committee to discuss it.
All acceptable petitions will be
published on the Knesset website and citizens will be able to add their
signatures to them.
“In recent years, we saw a dip in the public’s faith
in government institutions. It turns out that the public has difficulty
finding tools to influence its representatives when there aren’t
elections. The goal of this bill is to fix that by creating a mechanism
for the public to influence the Knesset’s debates,” Bar said.
that he has “no doubt that in the age of social media, it’s easier to unite the
public around interesting topics, and for the Knesset to be aware of what the
nation is saying, and not give up on its democratic model.”