Meretz MK seeks to make ‘social justice’ the law

Nitzan Horowitz: This is basis for all changes protesters are demanding. There is no reason for negotiations without accepting the basic principle.

August 9, 2011 04:30
2 minute read.
Nitzan Horowitz

nitzan horowitz 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) proposed on Monday a Basic Law that would serve as a legislative anchor for the “social justice” that protesters are demanding throughout the country.

“This law is the basis for all the changes that the protesters are demanding,” he explained. “There is no reason for discussions and negotiations without accepting the basic principle.”

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Horowitz said that he drafted Basic Law: Social Rights because “the job of elected officials is to translate the demonstrations into concrete steps.”

“If the government is serious, it will accept this challenge,” he added.

The proposed Basic Law is meant to address the fact that basic social rights are not protected in Israel, Horowitz said. According to the Meretz MK, the bill is the first step to implementing new social policies, by giving them constitutional support.

Among the rights mentioned in the Basic Law are “the right to live in dignity,” “the right to work, and a fair salary,” and “the right to higher education.”

Horowitz explained that the Basic Law, if passed, will serve as the legal standard for all social bills that the government would seek to pass.

Each government office would be legally required to abide by these rights.

He also emphasized that “social rights will be ensured, but will be subject to reasonable economic limitations, according to the state’s economic capabilities.”

Horowitz’s bill is supported by MKs Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), Shlomo Molla (Kadima), Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Eitan Cabel (Labor).

The bill also deals with workers’ rights, allowing for them to form unions and to strike when other rights are violated. In addition, Basic Law: Social Rights includes the right to equality in the workplace, regardless of gender or ethnic origin.

“In Israel, employers’ rights are protected by Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation, while the social rights of workers are not part of a Basic Law, and therefore, are not protected,” Horowitz said. “This fact creates a twisted situation, which causes gaps to be deepened and leads to more and more Israelis falling into poverty.”

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