Labor MK Itzik Shmuly.
(photo credit: KNESSET)
Nine of the top 10 most socially-minded MKs are from Labor, according to the “Social Index,” a ranking of activity in the Knesset’s summer session by transparency and civic participation NGO The Social Guard, released Tuesday.
The Social Guard ranked MKs according to how they voted on social issues. A vote is considered “social” if, according to the NGO’s staff, it meets one of the following criteria: ensuring housing for all; employment rights; food and water; physical and mental health; education; social security or the ability to make a living; just distribution of resources and fair management of the economy; and preventing discrimination and allowing democratic participation.
MK Itzik Shmuli (Labor) came in first place in the entire index, as well as in the opposition, with 61 points.
MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) was the highest- ranking coalition lawmaker, as he was in the previous ranking, with 35 points.
All of the legislators in the ranking’s top 10 are from Labor, except for MK Dov Henin (Hadash) who came in seventh place.
Knesset Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) is the lowest-ranked MK overall with -8 points, and the lowest-ranked lawmaker in the opposition is MK Eli Yishai (Shas) with 0 points.
The most social minister is Welfare Minister Meir Cohen with 12 points and the least is Health Minister Yael German with -3 points.
In the previous ranking, Meretz was the most social faction overall, with all of its members ranking higher than anyone in the coalition, but this time they had an average of 22.3 points, falling behind Labor, which averaged 38 points.
In fact, no Meretz MKs participated in the vote on canceling VAT for a couple’s first home, even though party leader Zehava Gal-On called the bill “outrageous and unconstitutional.”
Coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud) topped the attendance ranking for votes on social issues, whereas Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman did not participate in even one related vote.
Labor is the faction with the highest attendance rating for social votes, averaging 48.3, while Meretz dropped from first place in the previous ranking to sixth place.
Social Guard director-general Boaz Rakocz said “many MKs will try to make excuses and connect their low score to the security situation in the South, but the public shouldn’t get confused.
The MKs apparently forgot that the Knesset summer session was almost over when Operation Protective Edge began.”
Rakocz added that he is most disappointed in opposition MKs, saying they only debate the government in TV studios on diplomatic and defense issues while abandoning votes on social issues.