yair lapid 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset passed two bills in preliminary readings on Wednesday that, if
enacted, would institute a cooling-off period for journalists before they can
The bills were inspired by son of the late Shinui leader
Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, Yair Lapid, who anchors Channel 2’s toprated Friday night
news program ‘Ulpan Shishi’ and writes a featured column in the weekend editions
of the nation’s highest circulation newspaper, Yediot Aharonot.
hinted that he was en route to politics three weeks ago when he appeared to
outline his platform in a lecture in Herzliya. After a public outcry, he told
his superiors that he currently did not intend to enter politics but if he
changed his mind, he would voluntarily institute a six-month cooling-off
Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh’s bill that would institute a six-month
cooling-off period passed by a vote of 33 to 11. Likud MK Carmel Shama’s bill,
in which the cooling-off period is a year, passed 31-12.
The bills will
now go to the Knesset Law Committee to be prepared for final
One change that is expected to be made is for the cooling-off
period to begin immediately when an early election is called for less than six
Support and opposition for the bills crossed all political
lines. The bills received support from MKs in Likud, Kadima, Israel Beiteinu,
Labor, Shas and Arab parties.
MKs who voted against included Knesset
Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Likud ministers Michael Eitan, Dan Meridor and
Begin as well as Eitan Cabel (Labor), Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi),
(Ta’al), Dov Khenin (Hadash), and the three Meretz MKs.
following her bill’s passage that from now on, “anyone who intended to
political campaign from his anchorman’s chair will now have to change
During the debate ahead of the vote in the Knesset plenum,
Orbach, who is a former journalist, complained that the media were being
unfairly singled out for a cooling-off period.
“If more reporters don’t
come here, we will be stuck with MKs like you,” he told his Knesset
from the rostrum.
“Now they want to sift out reporters, next they will
want to sift out Norwegians, and who knows who will come next?”