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  • ACRI

Knesset Roundup: November 12, 2018

The Knesset

"The Loyalty in Culture Bill"; Prevention of Workplace Abuse; Transgender Rights; The Medical Institute for Road Safety’s Conduct; Death Penalty for Terrorists

"The Loyalty in Culture Bill"

Proposed Art and Culture Bill (Amendment No. 2), 5779-2018 - Preparation for Second and Third Readings

Education, Culture and Sports Committee | Sunday, 11.11.2018 at 13:00, Monday 12.11.2018 at 11:30 | Preparation for second and third readings

ACRI’s position: The Loyalty in Culture Bill will grant the minister of culture and ministry officials with the power to intervene in creative content, entailing blatant interference in freedom of artistic expression. Such political interference in the field of art and culture, which is one of the important aspects of freedom of expression, shrinks democratic space in Israel, harming freedom of expression at large and freedom of artistic and political expression in particular. It will also harm the rights of all state residents and citizens to dignity, equality, and culture.

Workplace Abuse

Bill for the Prevention of Workplace Abuse, 5775 - 2015

Labor, Welfare, and Health Committee | Monday 12.11.2018 at 10:30 | Preparation for first reading

ACRI’s position: In recent years, “workplace abuse” has increasingly been taking shape as a criminal offense among employee-employer relations. Thus far, the formulation and definitions have been devised in the framework of labor court rulings, and have even been adopted as guiding principles by the state’s civil service. Yet in reality there appears to be a need to advance orderly legislation defining the offense and its characteristics, to establish a clear uniform law. Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli’s bill is currently being discussed.

ACRI has joined the case initiated by the caretaker of the Prime Minister’s residence regarding his terms of employment, as a “friend of the court” (amicus curiae). The overarching claim is that the cause of action regarding workplace abuse is not new, but rather has a long history in Israeli law.

Transgender Rights

The transgender community in Israel requests the state comptroller’s opinion on the topic of: the State of Israel’s treatment of the transgender community - fifth follow-up meeting

State Control Committee | Tuesday, 13.11.2018 at 11:00 | Discussion

ACRI’s position: Over the past 20 years, awareness of the rights of transgender people in Israel has increased thanks to the work of community activists and organizations. Awareness has also been accompanied by several legal changes and achievements, and a significant positive change in the representation of transgender individuals in the media and among public discourse. Yet the daily reality for trans people living in Israel remains challenging. The transgender community remains among the demographics most vulnerable to rights infringement, suffering from high rates of poverty and unemployment, incrimination, and systemic barriers restricting access to healthcare and education, along with other social services.

The Medical Institute for Road Safety’s Conduct

The Medical Institute for Road Safety’s procedures and fees - follow-up

Special Committee for Public Inquiries | Tuesday 13.11.2018 at 13:00 | Discussion

ACRI’s position: Every year, doctors report thousands of drivers to the Medical Institute for Road Safety (MARVAD) to inspect driver fitness. In order to regain their licenses, these drivers, some of whom are disabled and live off of mere stipends, are compelled to contend with ongoing bureaucratic entanglements, and to pay very high fees for each stage of the procedure. They are not entitled to representation on behalf of the State during MARVAD committees, and are therefore required to pay large sums of money to private lawyers.

MARVAD’s decisions are not explained, such that those whose licenses are revoked are unaware of the rationale, impairing their ability to appeal the decision. MARVAD has only two branches, one in Tel Aviv and one in Haifa, which are solely open for public inquiries twice a week for two hours. Following years of criticism regarding MARVAD’s conduct, a fundamental change must be implemented.

Death Penalty for Terrorists

Proposed Penal Law (Amendment - Death Sentence for Murderers Convicted of Terrorism), 5778 - 2017

Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee | Wednesday, 14.11.2018 at 9:00 | Preparation for first reading

ACRI’s position: ACRI strongly opposes the death penalty, which is a violation of the most basic right - the right to life. Even when it comes to those convicted of murder and of taking lives themselves, the State cannot kill them.

The death penalty is a controversial issue in many countries around the world, in part because of the risk that it will become clear that the person who was executed was not guilty, in spite of their conviction. Such cases have already occurred in other countries. In other case s, convicted prisoners have waited for many years for the sentence to be executed, and to their great fortune, their innocence became clear before the punishment was carried out. This bill seeks to annul the mere possibility, preventing the mitigation of the sentence following the conviction. Such an extreme irreversible action is not an appropriate sentence to be ruled by any court in Israel, or at all.


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