MKs Mitzna, Rozin win IDI Outstanding Parliamentarian Award

On Knesset's 65th birthday, public faith in legislature at 13-year high, but it is still least-trusted public institution.

Amram Mitzna 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Amram Mitzna 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
MKs Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) and Michal Rozin (Meretz) won the Israel Democracy Institute’s Outstanding Parliamentarian Award Monday.
The annual honor promotes excellence in the Knesset, which a study on Monday said is, 65 years after its founding, the least-trusted of all public institutions respondents were asked about.
The IDI chose Mitzna and Rozin out of 10 candidates. The selection was based on many criteria, including: participation in committee meetings, proposed legislation, motions for the agenda, speeches, requests for assistance from the Knesset Research and Information Center, attendance of Knesset sessions and reprimands from the Knesset Ethics Committee.
Mitzna, chairman of the Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee, took the opportunity to note her accomplishments.
“I’m happy to have the opportunity as an MK [to lead the committee] and put topics on the public agenda,” she said.
“Since I entered this position, I focused on closing the gaps between the center and the periphery, granting equal opportunities, as well as strengthening public education and teachers. It’s important to show that parliamentary work is first and foremost a tool to serve the public that elected us.”
Rozin, chairwoman of the Knesset Special Committee on Foreign Workers, expressed excitement “to know that my hard work and investment is recognized and appreciated.”
“I promise to continue fighting with my hard-working fellow party members for human rights and for women’s rights with the same persistence in 2014. That’s what we’re here for,” she said.
The award committee is headed by former Supreme Court Justice Theodor Or and made up of former MKs Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, Yair Tsaban, Rabbi Yitzhak Levy, Issam Makhoul and Prof. Yuli Tamir, as well as former ambassador to the UN Prof. Gabriela Shalev.
Meanwhile, a joint study by Haifa University and Ben-Gurion University found that the public has more trust in the Knesset than at any time since the poll was first conducted in 2000 – on a scale from one to five, with five being the most trustworthy and one the least, the parliament ranked at 2.45.
Knesset members ranked at 2.29 and ministers at 2.35, also their highest ranking ever in the annual poll.
“It could be that [the rise in trust in the Knesset] reflects optimism about the makeup of the current Knesset, which brought new faces to the political environment that target their messages to the middle class,” Prof. Eran Vigoda-Gadot of the Haifa University School of Political Science said. “Only time will tell if their hopes will become reality or not.”
However, the public still has less trust in the Knesset and MKs than all other public institutions in the study.
On Tuesday, the Knesset will celebrate its 65th birthday, which is on Tu B’Shvat, with an open house involving activities for children and adults, such as story time with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and discussions of current events with MKs.