(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
In what has now become a Knesset tradition, a long chain of bills were passed
into law on Wednesday during the final hours of the Knesset’s summer session,
which covered a wide range of social issues but offered no
Many of the laws won the unanimous support of coalition and
opposition members alike.
okays alcohol restrictions bill
to launch program to tackle teenage alcohol abuse
By a unanimous vote of 38- 0, MKs outlawed the
sale of alcohol at stores between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6
Restaurants and pubs are not covered by the legislation, but kiosks,
gas station convenience stores, markets and pharmacies will be subject to the
prohibition, with violators facing a minimum penalty of NIS 9,000.
law also allows police to seize alcohol being consumed in public and pour out
the contents of the bottles.
The law emerged from a combination of bills
introduced by the government, led by Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch (Israel Beiteinu), and private legislation initiated by Likud MKs
Haim Katz and Yariv Levin, Israel Beiteinu MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov, MK
Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi), MK Avraham Michaeli (Shas) and MK Muhammad
When the cabinet first approved the bill in late 2009,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu threw his weight behind the measure, deeming
it important in combating rising alcohol consumption among
“According to the World Health Organization, Israel is second in
the world in consumption of alcohol by 11- year-olds, and the rate of
consumption among 15-to-17- year-olds is over 50 percent,” Netanyahu said at the
“We are at the onset of an epidemic.
We are in need of this
legislation promptly. Israel is waiting for it.”
Also on Wednesday,
Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) saw a happy conclusion to 18 months of work
spent preparing one of the first laws passed during the day’s long
It will cover tuition for the first year of undergraduate
studies for students who served in the IDF or performed national
The scholarship will be valid at colleges located in the
periphery or in Judea and Samaria, and will go into effect retroactively for
anyone released from service since January. It can be applied as early as the
coming academic year.
The measure, noted Gamliel, has been promised an
annual budget of NIS 80 million.
The law also grants special benefits to
students from the periphery who have completed IDF or national service,
including a free year of precollege preparation and an upto- 50% discount on
their college tuition.
Gamliel, who has been tasked by the prime minister
with advancing issues concerning students, youth and women, said she hoped the
legislation would eventually be extended to include colleges in other parts of
the country, particularly Jerusalem.
“This law will bring a positive
revolution to higher education in Israel,” Gamliel said.
significantly reduce the gaps in Israeli society and will make higher education more accessible to all young Israelis.
recognizes and values those who give their time, their energy and their best
years to the country, and encourages IDF, national and civilian
Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud), who also holds the
Negev and Galilee Development portfolio, said that “this law will constitute an
additional incentive in the long line of incentives that my ministry is leading
to encourage young, strong and educated people to settle in the
Shalom added that he will continue his efforts to include
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba and Ashkelon Academic College in
the list of institutions subsidized by the new legislation.
In the course
of the torrent of legislation, it only took 15 MKs to correct what
measure’s sponsor, MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), described as 50
waiting to provide a basis in law for the Israel Academy of Sciences and
While the academy has existed for decades, the lack of a
clear status for the organization’s advisory capacity to the government
to what Science and Technology Committee Chairman MK Meir Sheetrit
termed a “weakening of its status” in recent years.
The law details – and
expands – the role of the academy, including tasking it with carrying
national situation assessment of scientific research and development, as
advancing scientific activities and interdisciplinary research in