Nov 1: Slavery Law comes before Knesset

The Headlines: First Segregation, Now This?

> Every year, the Knesset votes on an “economic arrangements” package that accompanies the budget bill. These are supposed to be measures that have a budgetary impact, but the Finance Ministry uses the bill to try and pass reforms that will not otherwise have a majority in the Knesset. This year, however, ministry officials have outdone themselves. They are trying [Heb] to sneak into a law a measure Israel’s own Supreme Court has labeled “modern slavery”. The proposal will reinstate a practice, ruled illegal by the courts, by which a migrant worker can lose her permit if she switches employers. You thought Israel was stuck in the 1950s? Try the 185os.

> Defense Minister Barak’s (Labor) own migrant worker, long invisible to the police but highly visible for media interviews, has finally been located by the authorities. Barak’s wife will now probably face a criminal indictment and a stiff fine.

> Extensive coverage of the attempted bombing of US synagogues continues.

> Ultra-Orthodox education gets [Heb] a larger budget increase than secular schools, but this is largely due to a faster rise in student population. (Ma’ariv)

The Sidelines: Don’t Get Caught

> A soldier was sentenced [Heb] for five months in prison for photographing himself aiming a loaded rifle at a Palestinian detainee.

> Sources in Washington estimate that Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, might be replaced (Ma’ariv).

> A court awarded [Heb] several thousands of dollars in damages to a protester against the Gaza war, wrongly arrested by the police. The bulk of the damages were compensation for the violation of his right to free speech.

> Negotiations are underway to prevent a general strike over public sector pay.

> University students continue protests against benefits to yeshiva students.

The Bottom Lines: No Milk Today

> Since price control over milk products was canceled, their cost has sharply increased, badly hitting the poor (Ma’ariv, business section).

> The state continues to mistreat Holocaust survivors (Ha’aretz supplement).