Terrorists to Retain Half their National Insurance Benefits (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gil Ronen 02/20/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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The Knesset´s Labor, Welfare and Health Committee voted Monday in
favor of a bill that would cut 50 percent off National Insurance
benefits to citizens involved in serious terrorist crimes. Government
lawyers had opposed cutting off all benefits to terrorists and the
formulation is presented as a compromise between the state lawyers
and the bill´s initiators, MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov of
The bill would reduce by 50 percent the stipends to Israeli citizens
who were involved in terror activity and sentenced to at least ten
years in jail for it.
The stipends that will be slashed are those for people suffering from
work-related disabilities, accident insurance, unemployment benefits,
bankruptcy, old age pension and surviving relative stipends. It will
be brought before the plenum for its first reading.
MK Rotem said Monday, "This is a compromise I had no choice but to
agree to. The original bill I submitted included a complete cutoff of
stipends to anyone who was convicted [of terrorism]. The will to
protect the state´s citizens is not met with true understanding by
all of the advisors in the government´s ministries. When one seeks to
harm terrorists, ´constitutional problems´ crop up. The bill we have
before us is better than nothing."
Attorney Shai Somech of the Justice Ministry told MKs who voted on
the bill that "the use of stipends as a means of punishment creates
constitutional and legal difficulties." In addition, he
said, "punishment meted out after the jail sentence has been served
and the fact that the more a person is needy, the more severely he
will be punished – these are also problems. Even so, the bill´s
wording is acceptable to us despite the difficulties."
Uri Eldar of the Socialist Education Fund expressed opposition to the
bill. "What will happen to a person who does not receive stipends
after he completes serving his punishment? He will reach the welfare
authorities and a social worker will have to take care of him, so
what have we saved here? We need to act as a civilized country."
Welfare Committee Chairman MK Chaim Katz summed up the debate. "The
blood of Israel´s citizens cannot be shed freely. Let the terrorists
see this and know that their old age and welfare may be damaged, and
they will be deterred from terrorist activity," he said.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 02/20/12)
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