Rotem kills Lapid Bill, denies PM ordered him to do so

The bill would have instituted a cooling-off period of at least six months for journalists before they could run for Knesset.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
January 11, 2012 02:46
1 minute read.
David Rotem.

David Rotem 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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Knesset Law Committee chairman David Rotem decided Tuesday to cancel a vote set for Wednesday on the controversial Lapid Bill.

The bill would have instituted a cooling-off period of at least six months for journalists before they could run for Knesset. Rotem said the bill was no longer necessary after Lapid entered politics on Sunday.

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“The bill wasn’t urgent anymore,” he said. “I thought it was a mistake when it was first proposed a year ago.

Yair Lapid quit [journalism]. The bill was intended for Yair Lapid. If someone tells me there are other reporters who want to enter politics, we will hold the vote.”

Rotem vigorously denied an Army Radio report that he had effectively killed the Lapid Bill on orders from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu via coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin.

“I didn’t talk to the prime minister or to Elkin, and I didn’t get any orders,” he said.

The initiators of the bill, Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh and Likud MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen, slammed Rotem for canceling the vote on the legislation, which they said was a matter of principle and was not intended to target Lapid. Tirosh called Rotem a bully and vowed to pass the bill in committee.



“I am disgusted by the cynical, personal politics of whoever brought about the cancellation of the vote,” Shama-Hacohen said. “The person who canceled the vote clearly only cared about preventing Yair Lapid from entering politics. That was never my intention.”

A Jerusalem Post survey of the members of the committee found that there had never been a majority to pass the bill in the first place.

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