Dan Illouz (36), former Jerusalem City Council Member and aide to MK Yariv Levin, is running in the Likud primaries in the slot reserved for Olim.
He is running for a chance to take the 33rd spot on the Likud list which, based on recent polling, is likely to enter Knesset.
Illouz is a graduate of McGill University Law School and Hebrew University’s public policy master’s program and made aliyah from Canada 13 years ago. He was elected to the Jerusalem City Council in 2018 and has said that he prided himself as being a representative of Olim to the city council.
He resigned from the city council as part of a rotation agreement and then served as the Israel representative for the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).
In 2019, Illouz made news for successfully promoting an application by the Israeli Human Rights NGO Betzalmo to rename the Damascus Gate steps after two slain Israeli border police officers, Hadar Cohen and Hadas Malka. The two women were killed at the Damascus Gate during confrontations with Palestinian terrorists.
“I applaud the committee’s decision to approve the request for Ma’alot Hadar and Hadas,” Illouz said at the time after the decision was finalized. “We remember those who gave their lives for the defense of the people of the State of Israel, not only collectively but also as individuals – each with their own name.”
Both the outcome of the decision and the decision-making process itself generated controversy.
The Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) spoke out against the handling of the renaming. JLAC argued that the decision “violate[d] the principle of free, prior and informed consent stipulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.
Illouz has been outspoken about the need to preserve Israel’s history. As ZOA Israel Director, Illouz told The Jerusalem Post in March that “it is important to know that Jewish history did not originate in Tel Aviv, but in Judea and Samaria….Our enemies want to disconnect the Land of Israel from Jewish history in order to claim that we are a colonial power that came to a foreign land.”
Illouz also served as the chairman of the ombudsman committee on the city council where he prompted action against illegal and unauthorized construction by Arabs in east Jerusalem.
Commenting on his decision, Illouz said: "I am excited to declare my candidacy for the Likud list for the 25th Knesset, where I hope to continue my efforts in assisting Olim, extending sovereignty, and building a strong economy to the benefit of all the citizens of Israel.”