Livni: Netanyahu retreating again
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

Livni slams expat vote bill

Opposition chief says bill allowing Israelis to vote from abroad is non-Zionist, socially wrong

Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Monday attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his stance regarding a bill granting Israelis abroad the right to vote, calling it "non-Zionist."


On Sunday, the bill was presented to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation famid assessments that a suggested compromise - whereby only Israelis who moved abroad up to a year before the election would be allowed to vote - would not be approved.


"I was glad to hear that Netanyahu is starting to hesitate and retreat again. For him, it is already a routine. He first comes up with a slogan, then a press conference, and then capitulation. The prime minister's moves are stimulated by a shady deal or by political pressure. Then, the moment there is public pressure, he starts to think," Livni told the Knesset.


Speaking at a conference held by Kadima and entitled 'We vote only in Israel,' Livni urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to pass the bill.


"Our battle is not political, it's Zionist and social," she added.


Other Kadima members also condemned the bill, which was first proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu.


"A phenomenon that needs to be eradicated is emerging in Israel's public sphere: Those who do not bear the burden dictate to those who do," MK Roni Bar-On said. "You, rather than they, will be fighting; you, rather than they, will be paying the price; you will be paying the taxes, and they will decide what these taxes pay for."


MK Shaul Mofaz said the options needed to be considered in a proportional manner.


"I am against sweeping decisions, and I am for proportionality ," he said. "I am against all those living abroad being able to vote, but I am in favor of examining (the bill) in respect to people who carry the burden and who are abroad for a limited time for studies or internships. You cannot take away these people's right to vote," he said.


However, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Opposition was attempting to twist reality and deceive  the public.


"The fact is that there are 11,000 students studying abroad, mostly medicine," he said. "I know a student who studied abroad in 1972, came back in 1973, again returned to study, and came back again under tragic circumstances. In 1977 he did not vote. His name is Netanyahu."


פרסום ראשון: 02.15.10, 16:35
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