Knesset votes on more than 30 bills

Opposition continues trend of proposing nearly twice as many bills as the gov't.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
A marathon plenum session awaited the Knesset before it embarked on its three-month summer recess Wednesday. More than 30 bills have come up for a vote, as MKs make their final push for legislation before the recess. Bills to stop human experimentation, as well as a stringent public smoking ban, could be implemented immediately if they pass, but whatever doesn't come to vote will have to wait until late October to continue the legislative process. "The Knesset follows a rhythm, and the MKs always remember right before the recess that their primary job is to make laws - so they rush to get done in one week what they didn't get around to doing for months," said one opposition MK. The opposition, pointed out Likud faction whip Gidon Sa'ar, continued its trend of proposing nearly twice as many bills as the government. A coalition spokesman defended the government's work during the past session, pointing out that although the opposition passed a number of bills, they did so mostly with the coalition's backing. Some of the more prominent pieces of legislation that have passed readings in the plenum recently included a bill to prevent Jewish National Fund lands being leased to Arab citizens by MK Uri Ariel (NU-NRP); a bill forbidding any Israeli investment in Iran by Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu; and a bill to grant "confrontation line" status to Gaza periphery communities by MKs Stas Misezhnikov (Israel Beiteinu) and Shai Hermesh (Kadima). The Knesset also began work on the 2008 state budget early this year, so that when MKs return from the recess they can begin deliberating over the Economics Arrangements Bill that accompanies the budget. Although no official tally was produced for MKs' legislative records, parties honored their own. Likud's Sa'ar and Gilad Erdan, NU-NRP's Zevulen Orlev and Uri Ariel, Kadima's Yoel Hasson and Shai Hermesh, Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On and ChairmanYossi Beilin, and Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List) were commended.