Bill to Make Knesset Interactive Passes First Reading

YERUSHALAYIM -
Labor MK Hilik Bar. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Labor MK Hilik Bar. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Israelis who complain about the unresponsiveness of the Knesset will soon be able to do something about it, if a bill enabling people to sign petitions on the Knesset’s website becomes law.

The bill seeks to make the Knesset more interactive by providing for any citizen or group of citizens to submit a petition to the Knesset that relates to national issues or directly influences the signatories’ lives.

However, that does not mean the MKs will automatically take up the petitions and turn them into bills. A review committee will determine whether the petitions are acceptable or not. Those finding favor in reviewers’ eyes will be referred to the relevant committee for further discussion.

All acceptable petitions will be published on the Knesset website and citizens will be able to add their signatures to them.

“This is an unprecedented, historic bill that changes the way we relate to the citizens who sent us to the Knesset to represent them and their involvement in our work,” declared MK Hilik Bar (Labor), who sponsored the bill. The idea was borrowed from the European Parliament.

“Not all the wisdom in the country is found in its 120 MKs — it can mostly be found in the public,” Bar said.

The bill passed its preliminary reading Wednesday with 40 in favor and one opposed.