NU’s Katz urges emergency Knesset meeting on housing

Lawmakers’ summer recess as protests grow is "cynical misuse of our power," writes MK.

August 7, 2011 23:30
2 minute read.
Tent City protests on Rothschild Boulevard in TA

Rothschild Tents 311. (photo credit: Linda Epstein)


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MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union) requested on Sunday that Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin convene the Knesset, which is currently in recess, for an emergency discussion on the cost of living.

“The state of Israel is currently experiencing the worst housing crisis in its history, parallel to a wave of rising prices in the general market,” Katz wrote. “The situation is such that not only the needy have trouble finding homes, but even young couples, students and middle-class citizens have difficulty.”

Housing protests make for strange bedfellows
Israelis gather at Times Square to support rent protests

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Katz explained that he, along with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima), asked Rivlin to cancel or postpone the recess, which began last Thursday, “until appropriate solutions were found for the social crises in the Israeli market.

“I now feel more forcefully than before that the fact that the Knesset is in recess as the wave of protests grows and expands is a cynical misuse of our basic role, which is to represent the public and serve as its voice, while supervising the government and suggesting alternative plans,” he said.

Katz asked Rivlin to “use [his] authority to call an urgent recess meeting to discuss this severe crisis.”

A spokesman for Rivlin would not comment on the request until Katz gathered the 25 MK signatures necessary for such a meeting.

Katz’s spokesman said there should be no problem getting signatures. However, not enough MKs had signed on by press time.


A Kadima source said that while the party supports the concept of an emergency meeting, “we don’t need Ketzaleh [Katz], we’re a faction with 28 MKs.” The source said Kadima has a similar request in the pipeline, but would not divulge its details.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Kadima faction leader Dalia Itzik said she was working with Katz on gathering signatures.

Katz’s spokesman said if Itzik could not garner the support of enough MKs, the National Union would ask Meretz to sign the letter.

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