Knesset Roundup | January 21


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Raising the Threshold for Knesset Elections

Amendment to Basic Law: Government
Amendment to Knesset Elections Law

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee

Monday & Wednesday, 20-22/12/2014 | Committee Discussion


ACRI’s Position: These bills, known as the ‘governance laws’, seek to alter various aspects of the procedures for national elections and the functioning of the government and the Knesset. The Committee has already discussed most of the components of these bills and will focus this week on the proposal to raise the electoral threshold from 2% to 4%.
ACRI strongly opposes raising the qualifying threshold as it may damage the representation of minority groups in the Knesset, especially the Arab minority and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. So long as the government advances the idea of raising the electoral threshold, it must as a minimum find tools to ensure the representation of minority groups in the Knesset, such as guaranteeing a certain number of protected Knesset seats or setting a special threshold for minority groups. One example of this kind of tool is the “Serbian Law” which states that political parties recognized by the Central Election Commission as representing minority groups are exempted from the threshold that is set for other political parties.
Additional background Information on this issue.
ACRI’s position paper – as sent to Committee Members.

Prohibition on Using Nazi Symbols and Monikers


Bill for the Prohibition on Using Nazi Symbols and Monikers

Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs

Sunday, 14/01/2014 | Determining the Government’s Position


ACRI’s Position: This bill seeks to implement a sweeping ban on the use of “inappropriate” names and symbols associated with Nazis and the holocaust. This would be enforced through the imposition ofprison sentences. ACRI believes this bill would severely restrict public discourse in Israel and damage the constitutional right to free expression.
The holocaust is a painful and emotional subject, and the insensitive use of holocaust symbolism can indeed cause pain to many people. However, freedom of speech includes the right to say harsh and even offensive things. It includes the right to give expression to crude feelings, thoughts and positions and the right to use tasteless rhetoric and provocative imagery. The question of the social legitimacy of holocaust symbolism within political and public discourse is big question that deserves to be fully and freely aired and discussed amongst the wider public. It is not a question that should be addressed through criminal law.

Issuing Restraining Orders to Right-Wing Activists


Administrative Orders

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee

Sunday, 12/01/2013 | Committee Discussion


ACRI’s Position: The use of administrative restraining orders, for Israeli and Palestinians alike, is unacceptable. Expelling a person and restricting his movement through the issuance of non-judicial orders, without the benefit of a trial, and based on confidential materials, constitutes a draconian enforcement measure and violates several fundamental rights including freedom of movement, the right to a fair trial, freedom of employment, the right to personal liberty, human dignity, and more. The use of secret evidence also inflicts serious damage to the public interest of monitoring government activities.
It is the government’s duty to act vigorously against those who break the law in the Occupied Territories, and especially against those who commit price tag attacks. Yet in dealing with these symptoms, acceptable legal channels should be used – standard criminal proceedings, based on visible public evidence that substantiates suspicion of criminal activity, whilst respecting the suspect’s right to due process and giving him the opportunity to refute the claims asserted against him.
Five Questions & Answers on Administrative Detention and Control Orders in the Occupied Territories.

In the Spotlight:


A special event in Tel-Aviv – Gaga for Human Rights!

Tuesday, January 21


Ohad Naharin – the Artistic Director of the prestigious Bat Sheva Dance Company, will be leading a mass Gaga lesson for up to 1,000 people with the assistance of the Bat Sheva dancers.
Hangar 11 | Tel Aviv-Port | 7pm.
Tickets cost NIS 50 and all money raised over the course of the evening will be donated to ACRI.
We’d love to see you there!


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Categories: Anti-Democratic Initiatives, Democracy and Civil Liberties, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Movement

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