Knesset Roundup | December 2

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Anti-Infiltration Law – Version 3.0

 

Internal Affairs and Environment Committee

Tuesday-Thursday, 2-4/12/14

Preparation for a Second and Third Reading

 

ACRI’s Position: Following the High Court of Justice’s invalidation of the second version of the anti-infiltration law, the government is preparing to legislate a third version of the law. The key aspects of this new law include:
 

  • A compulsory initial detention period of three months for all new asylum-seekers.
  • A detention period of twenty months at the Holot Facility. Holot detainees will be required to be present for a daily head count and stay in the facility every night. Violating these provisions will result in jail time.
  • Increased sanctions against employers who hire Holot Facility detainees.
  • A portion of all asylum seekers’ wages will be collected by the state and returned only after they leave Israel.

 

This new proposal fails to abide by the court’s previous rulings, which acknowledged the rights of asylum seekers to freedom, personal autonomy and dignity. Effectively, this bill is an attempt to bargain with the court so as to violate human rights to the maximum extent the court will endure. What is clear is that these new legal arrangements will not improve the lives of the residents of South Tel Aviv, and do nothing to protect the rights of people fleeing from torture and persecution.
 

ACRI calls on the government and the Knesset to shelve this law, and promote in its place a policy that encourages the employment of asylum seekers and ensures that they have access to health care and social welfare. Such a policy would comply with Israel’s moral and legal obligations, and enable the dispersal of asylum seekers throughout the country.
 

Update: This bill passed a first reading of the full Knesset Plenum with a vote of 43 for and 20 against.
 

Additional Materials

Background information on earlier versions of this bill.

Security Guards Bringing Guns Home

 

A More Lenient Policy for Issuing Gun-Licenses to Citizens

Internal Affairs and Environment Committee

Tuesday, 25/11/14 | Committee Discussion

 

ACRI’s Position: Following the recent deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem, and the recent attack on a synagogue, authorities have announced their intention to allow off-duty security guards to carry their weapons while away from their posts. In August 2013, the Ministry of Public Security began to enforce a prohibition on security guards carrying weapons outside of their stations in an attempt to prevent domestic violence. There have been no private deaths caused by these weapons since this prohibition was enacted. Prior to its inception, eight deaths were recorded in a comparable time-span from July 2012 – July 2013.
 

Though we feel great sorrow for those who lost their lives in the recent attacks, and the bereaved families and orphans who have been left behind, we must remember and cherish the lives that have been saved by the policies that protect us on a daily basis. It would be a mistake to alter such an effective policy due to momentary events, especially when there is no factual basis suggesting that any change is needed.
 

(ACRI’s position is expressed through its membership in the Gun-Free Kitchen Table Coalition.)
 

For background information on efforts to prevent domestic murders by security guards, click here.

Silencing Criticism of the IDF

 

Draft Law for the Prohibition of Defamation – 2013 (MKs Yoni Shetboun, Yariv Levin and Nachman Shai)

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee

Wednesday, 26/11/14 | Preparation for a First Reading

ACRI’s Position: This bill is a reaction to the 2002 film “Jenin, Jenin” directed by Mohammed Bakri, and the Supreme Court’s subsequent decision to reject a defamation suit filed against Mr. Bakri by a group of soldiers who served in Jenin.
 

This bill seeks to create a new legal fiction whereby publishing any criticism of the IDF’s operational activity will allow any soldier or combat officer in the force to launch a civil lawsuit for defamation – even if his or her reputation was not harmed. According to the original bill’s explanatory notes, the proposed law is necessary in order to prevent “serious harm to Israel resulting from false accusations against the IDF.” This claim is inconsistent with the values of the state and violates the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom.
 

In the initial suit in 2002, the Supreme Court warned that the privatization of the right to sue for public defamation will encourage baseless claims and have a chilling effect on the debate of important public issues such as the state’s use of military force. The threat of this silencing could affect, in addition to publications like “Jenin, Jenin,” anyone at all who dares to criticize or publish testimony about the IDF, or express an opinion on excessive use of force.
 

For more information on the original bill – click here.

In the Spotlight:

 

One Rule, Two Systems of Law:

A Conference on ACRI’s new report on the dual legal system in the West Bank

 

Tel Aviv University – Thursday 11/12/2014

 

ACRI is proud to launch its “One Rule, Two Legal Systems” report at an upcoming conference held at Tel Aviv University. The event will be held in Hebrew, and is open to the public with prior registration (register here). A keynote speech will be given by Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni.
 

The conference will include three round-table discussions on issues raised in the report with prominent members of academia and the legal and political realms. The report outlines the legal regime currently operating in the West Bank: two systems of law are applied in a single territory: one – a civilian legal system for Israeli citizens, and a second – a military court system for Palestinian residents. The result: institutionalized discrimination.
 

After reviewing the prevailing legal situation in the West Bank under Israeli rule, the report goes on to explain how decades of “temporary” military rule have given rise to two separate and unequal systems of law that discriminate between the two population groups living in the one territory – Israelis and Palestinians. The legal differentiation is not restricted to security or criminal matters, but touches upon almost every aspect of daily life.
 

For more information on the conference, click here.

To register for the event, click here.

To read the full report, click here.

 

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Categories: Freedom of Expression, Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

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