"Olmert comeback prevention bill" advances

Committee rejects punishing parents of stone-throwers.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
November 30, 2014 19:54
2 minute read.
Olmert corruption trial

Olmert corruption trial. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation advanced a bill Sunday that would make it much harder for convicted politicians to return to politics after serving time in jail.

The bill, sponsored by MK Moshe Mizrahi (Labor), would require a 14-year cooling off period for ex-convicts after they complete their jail time before they are permitted to run for Knesset or become a minister.

It would apply to a minister or MK convicted of a crime deemed to have moral turpitude.

But it would not apply to politicians who already served jail time and their seven-year cooling off period under the current law.

Shas leader Arye Deri was able to make a political comeback after seven years. The bill, if passed into law, would apply to former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who Mizrahi had in mind when he wrote it.

Olmert, 69, who was sentenced in May to six years in prison due to start in September on a bribery conviction, under current law, would serve his six years until September 2020 and then would need to wait until 2027 to return to politics at the age of 82.

The bill passed by a vote of four ministers to three. It will need to pass in the Knesset plenum and a Knesset committee to become law.

The ministerial committee passed bills that enable water recycling in private homes and require employers to report more frequently to the National Insurance Institute.

The latter bill is intended to help workers who have had their possessions confiscated, because the National Insurance Institute was not told they were employed.

The ministers rejected a bill that would cut in half child welfare allotments for parents of children caught throwing stones or other violence. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni prevented the bill from passing.

MK Mordechai Yogev (Bayit Yehudi), who sponsored the bill, complained that “the security of Israeli citizens has been abandoned by the courts.”

Bayit Yehudi officials said Livni stopped the bill, because her party is going down in the polls.

The committee rejected a bill sponsored by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie that would have retracted the two-year prison term imposed on a rabbi who performs a wedding outside the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate.

The draconian penalty was instituted last year when Bayit Yehudi included it as a clause in legislation abolishing marriage registration zones.

The law was considered a landmark that would increase competition between local rabbinates and thereby generate better service for the general public. But the clause on imprisoning rabbis for performing private weddings was not deliberated, since it was inserted into the bill at the very end of the legislative process.

Lavie complained that Bayit Yehudi violated its commitment to its traditional and secular voters by preventing her from removing a law that she called “delusional.”

Yonah Jeremy Bob and Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.


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