New bill allows public to petition Knesset to discuss issues

The legislation, which brings a practice from the European Parliament to the Knesset, passed its preliminary reading.

By
December 4, 2013 13:38
1 minute read.
Labor Party MK Hilik Bar

Labor Party MK Hilik Bar 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“This is 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 added.

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.

Bar added 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.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN