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MK Amsalem
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Amsalem temporarily cancels vote on Recommendations Bill
Bill's sponsor MK Amsalem cancels Monday's vote on bill barring police from making recommendations on indictments, before announcing that it will take place on Wednesday; Knesset plenum vote expected to take place next Monday.

Chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee David Amsalem announced Sunday evening that the upcoming debate and vote for the Recommendations Bill which he sponsored is temporarily being called off, before clarifying later the same evening that it would be held on Wednesday, and put to the Knesset plenum next Monday.

 

 

The committee vote was supposed to take place on Monday on a bill that would block the police from issuing recommendations on whether to issue an indictment at the conclusion of an investigation.

 

On Wednesday Amsalem is expected to bring to the committee a fresh draft of the bill that will ensure the support of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) and all his party members.

 

MK Benny Begin (Likud), who was ostracized after he demurred on the bill, stated that he would back it as long as it was not drafted to personally benefit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Amsalem at the Interior Commitee (Photo: Yishai Porat)
Amsalem at the Interior Commitee (Photo: Yishai Porat)

 

Framers of the bill were preparing to bring it to the Knesset for a second and third reading, after it passed its first reading last week, garnering 46 votes for, and 37 against, following hours of fiery debates in the Knesset plenum.

 

However, Amsalem announced that he would be pulling the plug on the committee vote after Netanyahu declared that he asked Amsalem to phrase the contentious bill "so it does not apply to the investigation conducted into my affairs."

 

"The main thing is to get rid of Netanyahu, so much hatred," said Amsalem at the close of the meeting. He lashed out at the opposition and at the law enforcement system saying: "The Police have campaigned, the State Attorney led opposition that crossed all lines, anything is permitted for them."

 

Amsalem then attacked the opposition parties, "you leftists are always so violent, everything is permitted for you, but not for the Right."

 

Knesset Interior Committee (Photo: Yishai Porat)
Knesset Interior Committee (Photo: Yishai Porat)

 

Amsalem had announced earlier that he respects Netanyahu's wish that the bill not be applied to him, but he also stated that the bill has become personal.

 

"I will sit with the legal counsel of the committee and consider the (bill's) wording. We will return to the Knesset with a groundbreaking bill that will be first-rate from a social justice perspective. It will prevent the violation of basic human rights," he said.

 

On Sunday morning, Ynet publicized that the Kulanu and Bayit Yehudi parties had expressed their discomfort with the bill and the fact that it appeared to be motivated by personal considerations.

 

The fact that it was fast tracked and MKs were recalled from abroad so that it could pass could also account for the abrupt delay.

 

At a meeting of Likud ministers, held simultaneously to that of the Interior Committee's, Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) proposed that the bill be delayed by a week.

 

Since the legislation was first raised, Knesset members opposed to its ratification have voiced numerous concerns, and attempted to append stipulations that would ensure that the transparency of Netanyahu's myriad of corruption investigations is not compromised.

 

To that end, Knesset member Meirav Ben-Ari (Kulanu) recently insisted that the bill, if passed, only come into effect in three months, also allowing sufficient time for the police to conclude their investigation.

 

PM Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)
PM Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)

 

She later tweeted that in light of the freedom to vote as one sees fit, granted by the chairman of the Kulanu party Moshe Kahlon, her condition for supporting the bill would be that it not come into effect for three months, "to avoid even the appearance that the bill is a personal bill."

 

On Sunday evening Ben-Ari and her fellow party member Roy Folkman submitted an updated clause to the Recommendations Bill so that "the law does not apply to investigations that have begun before the law was enacted."

 

Netanyahu posted on Facebook that the Recommendations Bill is a "commendable bill that protects human dignity. It regulates a clear separation, which exists in a democracy, between the role of the police and that of the legal echelons. Only they are authorized to decide whether to prosecute a person. The law is intended to prevent the publication of police recommendations that leave a stain on innocent people, something that happens all too often, "he said.

 

 

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