Dov Khenin

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Dov Khenin
Date of birth (1958-01-10) 10 January 1958 (age 57)
Place of birth Petah Tikva, Israel
Knessets 17, 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2006–2015 Hadash
2015– Joint List

Dov Boris Khenin (Hebrew: דב חנין‎; born 10 January 1958) is an Israeli political-scientist, lawyer, and member of the Knesset for the left-wing Hadash party. He is a member of the central committee of Maki (the Israeli Communist Party and the largest faction within Hadash), an activist for socio-economic equality and an environmentalist. His father was David Khenin, one of the leaders of Maki.


Dov Khenin was born in 1958 in the city of Petah Tikva, the son of David Khenin, a leader of Maki. His first name, Dov Boris, is after his father’s brother, who was killed in World War II. In his youth, Khenin began to be involved in the Banki Youth Movement and other leftist youth circles that were active in Tel Aviv.

From 1984 to 2004, Khenin worked as a lawyer in the office of Amnon Zichroni. This professional framework led Khenin take on some of the key cases dealing with human rights violations in Israel and in the Territories. In the mid-eighties, he represented Yitzhak Laor in a petition to the High Court against the banning of his play “Ephraim Returns to the Army,” which was censored by the Israeli Committee on Film and Theatre. Following the case, the Supreme Court annulled the ban and permitted the performance of the play. In 2003, Khenin took on the case, pro-bono, of five left-wing military refusers.

In the year 2000, he received a Ph.D. in political science from Tel Aviv University. His doctoral thesis was entitled, “Discourse and Hegemony in the Eretz Yisrael Workers’ Party and in the British Labor Party: Changing Patterns of Preservation and Conversion.” That same year he participated in the first cycle of the “Environmental Fellows Program” at the Heschel Center for Environmental learning and leadership, as a research fellow at the Porter School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University. In 2002 he completed his post-doctoral work on the relationship between society and environmentalism at Oxford University.

Khenin is married with three children.

Political career[edit]

During his studies at the Hebrew University, Khenin headed the left-wing Jewish–Arab movement on campus. He was also active in the peace movement, pushing for a shared Jewish-Arab political partnership. Additionally, Khenin was heavily involved in the struggles for human rights and workers' rights.

For years, Khenin has been active in numerous environmental organizations. He also coordinated the Israeli research team that worked in cooperation with the Global WorldWatch.

In 2002, he was chosen to be Chairperson of the umbrella environmental organization, Life and Environment, an activity center for more than 100 environmental organizations. He was also active in a number of environmental struggles, such as the fight for the Ayalon Park, as well as in the struggles against the Safdie Plan, and against the building projects in Timna and on the Palmachim Beach. Khenin resigned from his position as chairman when he presented his candidacy for the Knesset, running on the Hadash list.

Khenin has published numerous articles on the subject of “environment and society.” He also edited the book series, “Signs of Life” which deals with these same issues. At the end of 2005, he delivered a series of lectures on the topic of, "The Globalization Crisis", to the Israeli program, Universita Meshuderet on Army Radio (Galatz). From the years 2004 to 2006, he served as the Academic Director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Tel Aviv University.

Since 1990, Khenin has been a leading member of the Israeli Communist Party. During the elections for the 16th Knesset, he held the number four spot on the Hadash-Taal list. At the time, the party was only about 500 votes short in order for Khenin to be able to enter the Knesset. On January 14, 2006, Khenin placed third on the Hadash list, and was subsequently elected to the 17th Knesset.

Khenin is currently a member of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, and he also heads the Knesset’s joint committee on Environment and Health. Additionally, he served as chairman, alongside Knesset member Rabbi Michael Melchior, of the social-environmental lobby, the largest lobby in the 17th Knesset.

In the 18th Knesset, Khenin headed the social-environmental lobby together with MK Nitzan Horowitz.

Khenin was the mayoral candidate for the Ir Lekhulanu ("City for All") party which was supported by the Jaffa Jewish-Arab list Yafa (whose partners are Balad and Hadash) and endorsed by the Green Movement[1] in Tel Aviv's 2008 municipal election, but lost to the incumbent mayor Ron Huldai with 34.3% of the vote, compared to Huldai's 50.6%. Khenin vowed to continue battling Huldai's policies from the Knesset and Tel Aviv's opposition.[2]

In 2010 he received the Knight of Quality Government Award on behalf of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel.


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