The three most Zionist lawmakers in the 18th Knesset – according to the
Institute for Zionist Studies think tank – are the Likud’s Yariv Levin, Habayit
Hayehudi leadership candidate Zevulun Orlev and, ironically, Hadash MK Dov Henin
– who does not identify as a Zionist.
Upon receiving notice of his
ranking, Henin told the think tank it is “mistaken in its essence.”
decision to include democratic legislation in your index creates a strange
result, because you connect two values that are opposed and contradictory,”
“I am proud of the democratic laws I passed in the Knesset,
but there is a deep and significant contradiction between them and ‘Zionist
laws’ that you support.”
The Hadash MK added that he is proud of his
party that supports Arab-Jewish partnership as opposed to “nationalism and
racism that is dominant in Israeli society.”
In the Zionist Legislation
Index released this week, the think tank measures laws that promote not only
Israel’s Jewish character, but also its democracy. The Institute for Zionist
Studies listed categories such as defending citizens’ security, preserving
Jewish and democratic identity, demographics and immigrant absorption, and
Henin proposed eight such laws, including an
amendment to the Retirement Age Law, which the index said “promotes equality
between men and women,” and an amendment to the Employment Services Law, which
is meant to “prevent harming freedom of trade.”
Levin topped the index
with nine Zionist bills, including the Boycott Law, which makes it illegal to
boycott Israeli products based on where they were manufactured, and a bill
regulating government funding to museums in memory of former prime ministers
Menahem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin.
“It is a great honor for me to be a
leader in Zionist legislation,” Levin said.
“I see steadfast and
consistent activity to promote Zionist values, an essential and central stage in
building the State of Israel and strengthen it to face the future.”
seven Zionist bills Orlev proposed include one establishing an Ethiopian Jewry
Heritage Center and another aiding citizens removed from their homes following
the Gaza disengagement.
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