Netanyahu to Abstain from Vote on Recommendations Law

Recommendations Law
Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Recommendations Law is hurtling towards a second and third reading for passage within a week, but Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Welfare Minister Haim Katz will abstain due to potential conflicts of interest, according to media reports on Wednesday night.

Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon made the disclosure in response to a Movement for Quality Government petition against the Recommendations bill, which would prohibit police from publicizing recommendations for indictment. As Netanyahu and Katz are both currently under police investigation, they will have to disqualify themselves from the Knesset vote.

Meanwhile, the bill’s sponsor, MK Dovid Amsalem (Likud), and Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) were aiming for the final vote as early as next Monday, which would mean concluding the entire legislative process inside of a week, an unusually short time considering that most bills take weeks and months.

“Even if there’s a last minute delay, the bill will go to a vote on Wednesday at the very latest,” said a source in the Internal Affairs Committee.

If passed in its current form, the law would apply to already existing investigations, which would mean that police would be barred from notifying the public if they believe Netanyahu should be indicted in any of the ongoing corruption cases, according to Ynet.

This would explain the legislative haste, a race to head off any formal recommendations for indictment against Netanyahu and others.

Opposition MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) and others sought to slow down the process, insisting more time was needed to study the matter.

“It would have been appropriate to allow MKs to hold a respectable discussion and consider the matter seriously before voting on the second and third readings,” they argued in an appeal to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

But to no avail. Edelstein, relying on an opinion from Yinon, informed them that the accelerated legislative process violated no rules and he could do nothing to slow it down.

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