'Israel Hayom' bill approved for Knesset vote, but in an unusual manner

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November 2, 2014 16:10
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The Ministerial Committee for Legislation have allowed  the "Israel Hayom" bill to go to a preliminary vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, but in a very unusual move, have not voted themselves on the government's position on the bill. This allows each minister to vote how how they would like on Wednesday.

The bill in question, drafted by MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), but co-sponsored by MKs from Yisrael Beytenu, Bayit Yehudi, Hatnua and Yesh Atid – every coalition party apart from the Likud – states it seeks to bolster the print newspaper industry by banning free newspapers.

The legislation defines a free daily newspaper as one that is given out without payment six days a week and applies only to the four newspapers with the highest circulation in Israel, whatever they may be at any given time.

The lowest-priced newspaper of the four cannot cost less than 70 percent of the second-lowest- priced paper, according to the bill.

As such, the bill would realistically only apply to Israel Hayom, the pro-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paper owned by his major supporter and donor Sheldon Adelson, who also contributes to Republican candidates’ campaigns in the US.

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