Thursday, May 14, 2020


Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.
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dne Jerusalem, May 14 - Israeli lawmakers pre-empted various proceedings today surrounding the imminent formation of a government, to draft and pass legislation assigning COVID immunity to their 120-strong group, to prevent the parliament from getting hit by the current worldwide pandemic.

The Coronavirus Act of 2020 sailed through its approval process Wednesday, from preliminary reading to three formal votes, each time with nearly unanimous support. The lone "nay" vote each time came from Opposition MK Ahmad Tibi.

In response to the continuing threat of the pathogen, the legislators came together in what many agreed represented a rare moment of near-unity in a body riven by ideological, personal, and political conflicts. Joint sponsors Ofer Shelah of the Blue and White Party and Michal Rozin of Meretz persuaded their colleagues to adopt the measure in the interest of maintaining the functionality of the political system.

"It's a gratifying moment, and something of a relief," breathed MK Rozin after the bill's third successful reading. "Knowing we're that little bit safer as a society because the Members of Knesset will still be able to do what we do, the citizens can have that much less anxiety in their lives at this stressful time."

"This is an important, even if limited, move," concurred Likud MK Yuval Steinitz, whose party often opposes Rozin's across the political and legislative board. "Perhaps we can move on the legislation that bans coronavirus from other critical places, such as nursing homes, but that might be a tad ambitious at this stage."

Lone dissenter Ahmad Tibi explained his opposition to the law. "There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it," he conceded, "but it simply doesn't go far enough, and I would hope my colleagues agree this falls far short of what should be in such a measure. There's no difference in the extent or expense of the enforcement mechanism for the law if it were also to apply to, for example, judges in the justice system, or even the staff of the legislators ourselves. Also, it makes no mention of any of the grievances of the Arab sector, which I am obliged by precedent to invoke in at least three interviews a day."

Even Tibi agreed further legislation remains possible to remedy the shortcomings of the current law. "This is actually a sound approach to numerous problems," he assessed. "I wonder whether anyone in Knesset has ever thought of passing a law to make all crime illegal."

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