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Gal-On: Political inquisition
Photo: Ofer Amram
Cabel: Legislative anarchy
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Yisrael Beiteinu advances anti-leftist bill
Leftist, centrist MKs outraged by bill proposing parliamentary commission probes into leftist groups' activities, which is to be brought to final vote next week. Meretz: Boycott Law has whetted appetite of settler Coalition

The Yisrael Beiteinu faction is planning to arrange a Knesset vote on a proposal to set up a commission of inquiry against leftist groups less than a day after the 'boycott bill' passed a Knesset vote.  

 

Elements in the Likud tried to dissuade the party from bringing the bill to a vote after Monday's heated Knesset debate. However, Yisrael Beiteinu is determined to go ahead with the plan next Wednesday.

 

 

A relevant point of order has been approved by the Knesset plenum and later by the Knesset House Committee.

 

Left-wing Knesset members were outraged by the proposal, with MK Zahava Gal-On, chairwoman of the Meretz faction, calling it "a political inquisition".

 

"The Boycott Law has whetted the appetite of the settler Coalition. This is an attempt at perpetuating the persecution of left-wing and civil organizations. What will be the next step? Sham trials? Throwing people into gulags?" she asked.

 

MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) said, "The prime minister has lost control over his partners, who are running wild in the Knesset and taking advantage of the power of the majority in order to trample the minority. We are in the midst of legislative anarchy."

 

MK Dov Hanin (Hadash) compared Yisrael Beiteinu's initiative to McCarthyism while MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) said the party was competing with the Likud over which of them is more racist.

 

"In the beginning they were against Arabs, now they're against leftists and maybe tomorrow they will go up against the feinschmeckers of the Likud," Tibi said.

 

There was also rage among Kadima MKs. "This government does not pursue peace or social justice, but rather its own citizens," said MK Ruhama Avraham.

Coalition elements estimate that the move will subject the government to further criticism and are discussing ways to handle the matter.

 

It appears the Likud faction will allow its members to vote independently. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and 10 cabinet ministers were not present during Monday's vote on the boycott bill.

 

Last January, Yisrael Beiteinu's bill passed a preliminary reading 41:16. Should the final proposal be approved, supervision over such organizations as B'Tselem, Yesh Din and Mahsom Watch will tighten.

 

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    First published: 12.07.11, 15:39
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