Filibuster may drag into summer recess

Rivlin prevents Elkin from implementing clause that would limit MKs' comments in Knesset plenum.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
July 29, 2009 01:10
3 minute read.
Filibuster may drag into summer recess

Zeev Elkin 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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

Coalition MKs were forced to remain in close proximity to the Knesset on Tuesday night, as an opposition filibuster on the Mofaz Bill stretched into the night ahead of the final day of the Knesset's summer session. Although the bill was rushed through its first reading Monday night and into committee the next morning, House Committee chairman Ze'ev Elkin failed in his attempt to activate a rare bylaw that would quash much of the opposition's expected plenum fight against the bill. In the early hours of the House Committee meeting, Elkin announced that he intended to activate - for the first time in the Knesset's 61-year history - clause 104 of the Knesset bylaws. That rule would limit the speaking list during the floor debate on amendments to the bill to those MKs who have permanent seats on the House Committee, enabling Elkin to limit - if not completely break - the scale of the opposition's threatened filibuster. "If Elkin heavy-handedly applies this rule, we will make sure to take unprecedented steps in order to ensure that no vote will occur on the plenum floor today," said Meretz chairman Haim Oron. "You are going to bring the Knesset to a crisis on a scale that has never been seen." Oron, together with leaders of all of the opposition parties, fired off an urgent letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, complaining against the use of the obscure clause. Rivlin responded accordingly, entering the crowded committee room with his entire retinue to deliver a guarded reprimand to Elkin. "One of the most important practices in the work of the Knesset is the unity of decisions. I am pleading with the committee chairman - clause 104 is a clause that prevents MKs from carrying out their roles as MKs," said Rivlin, sitting next to his fellow Likud member. "I beg of the committee members and chairman, let the MKs present and debate all of their points of opposition. MKs have been submitting points of opposition for the past 61 years, and have rarely ever been stopped," he said. Elkin was visibly uncomfortable throughout Rivlin's impromptu speech, but thanked him at its conclusion for his insights and said that following the committee meeting, he would consult the veteran Likud MK for further insight as to how to proceed. Ultimately, after almost five hours of hearings, the committee - which was dominated, throughout the voting on the points of opposition, by a clear majority for the coalition - voted to advance the bill unchanged to its second and third readings on the house floor. But under threat of an opposition filibuster that would drag out the vote on the law into unmarked territory following the beginning of the summer recess, scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, the coalition reached an agreement with opposition leaders that the opposition could carry out no more than 45 hours of filibuster. Opposition leaders announced that during the filibuster, opposition MKs would read excerpts from Improvement of Government Services Minister Michael Eitan's impassioned comments against the bill sponsored by his own government. "He is the minister that the government created to put their best face before the public, and all he said was true," said Kadima spokesman Shmulik Dahan, referring to an interview over the weekend in which Eitan blasted the government for the bill he described as anti-democratic. Should the opposition - as expected - utilize all of the time allotted, the debate would not conclude before 2 p.m. Wednesday, and would continue to the final votes next Monday, when the Knesset meets for a specially scheduled recess session to vote on the Israel Lands Administration reform bill.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN