Israeli government votes down 2 anti-terrorism laws

The bills were formulated with the “Choosing Life” Forum of  Bereaved Families, who slammed the results.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The new government coalition, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, voted down two laws put forward by the opposition that called for various sanctions against terrorists.

The first law called for the revocation of the citizenship of terrorists who receive stipends after committing acts of terrorism.

The Palestinian Authority pays life-long stipends to convicted terrorists, including those with Israeli citizenship.

The coalition also voted against a similar bill that gave the Minister of Welfare the authority to order the freezing of all benefits paid from the state coffers to terrorist operatives and their families with Israeli citizenship if it is proven that the PA pays them wages for committing terrorist acts. A majority of 57 voted against the law, and 50 voted in favor.

The bills were put forward by Members of Knesset Avi Dichter (Likud), Miki Zohar (Likud), and Orit Strook (Religious Zionism), and were formulated with the “Choosing Life” Forum of  Bereaved Families.

Before the vote, Minister of Interior Ayelet Shaked, the Yamina party’s #2, asked to postpone the vote on the first bill to another date. Opposition members accused her of a dirty maneuver and of rejecting their proposal to postpone the vote for two weeks for the sake of dialogue and an attempt to reach agreements.

The law on revoking the terrorists’ citizenship fell despite the fact that at the Knesset plenum, Shaked stated that the law was a proper one and that she supported it in principle, which she previously signed and promoted before being appointed minister.

MK Betzalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism part, saidd that “this is what happens when you depend on supporters of terrorism for the survival of your government. Sad and outrageous.”

He was referring to the fact that Bennett’s coalition includes the Islamist Ra’am party, which is closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Choosing Life Forum stated that “all along we have warned that joining Ra’am is a danger to Israel’s security, and today this has been proven. We do not have many words to say to the Knesset members who promised us and signed the law for us [and then voted against] other than ‘shame on you.'”