Dov Khenin

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Dov Khenin
Dovkhenin.jpg
Date of birth (1958-01-10) 10 January 1958 (age 58)
Place of birth Petah Tikva, Israel
Knessets 17, 18, 19, 20
Faction represented in Knesset
2006–2015 Hadash
2015- The 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 Joint List. 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.

Political career[edit]

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.

General Positions[edit]

One of Khenin's main focuses is the rights of workers, saying in April 2014 that, "the problem of low wages is the most critical of all. Not the price of cottage cheese and not even apartment prices".[1] In 2014, he initiated legislation to increase the minimum wage from 23 NIS to 30 NIS. This legislation received widespread, cross-party support, with backing from 61 of the 120 members of the 19th Knesset.[2] In December 2014, the minimum wage for workers was raised to 27 NIS through a contract agreement between the Histadrut labor union and the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Dov welcomed the progress, but vowed to keep pushing towards his original goal of a 30 NIS minimum wage.[3]

Khenin also works to keep the influence of money out of politics, supporting the campaign against the privatization of Israel's natural gas resources. In 2015, Prime Minister Netanyahu's cabinet voted to allow the development of natural gas harvesting off the coast of the Mediterranean sea. Khenin and other critics noted how this would give too much power to the American Nobel Energy group, as well as pose a conflict of interests to Netanyahu. In an effort to make the voting process more fair, Khenin along with MK Zehava Galon asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to exclude the Prime Minister from voting on the issue.[4] Dov also participated in the large protests in response to the deal. At a protest in Haifa, Khenin said, "this struggle is not only an economic struggle or a social struggle. It is also a struggle for democracy. There is no democracy where capital rules.”[5]

In addition to this, Khenin is also a supporter of broader ecological legislation. In 2012, Dov proposed setting up an "environmental court" for the country. He envisioned a court that would watch over the country's natural resources, as well as safeguard wildlife and ecosystems.[6] Recognizing the municipality's lack of authority over traffic regulations, Khenin acted in 2008 to pass legislation that would have communities create their own policies. This legislation, aimed at allowing a more direct and local solution to automotive pollution problems, allows for effective public transportation changes to be implemented on the smaller scale.[7] Khenin also battled against industrial pollution in Haifa. In 2014, Khenin headed a subcommittee calling for stricter environmental standards to be imposed on Haifa's oil refineries located along its port. The panel showed a possible link between pollution from the refineries to increased risk of cancer among residents in the area.[8]

In regards to past conflicts with Gaza, Khenin is clear that the fault is on Israel. During Operation Protective Edge, Khenin showed vehement opposition to the war, placing complete blame on Prime Minister Netanyahu.[9] During the summer of 2014 Khenin spoke out against the operation both in the political and social sphere. At a protest in Tel Aviv, Khenin asked a crowd of 7,000, "we must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”[10]

Mayoral Campaign[edit]

In 2008, Khenin was the mayoral candidate for the Ir Lekhulanu ("City for All") party. The party was supported by the Jaffa Jewish-Arab list Yafa (whose partners are Balad and Hadash) and endorsed by the Green Movement[11] in Tel Aviv's 2008 municipal election. Khenin's platform was largely focused on improving civil infrastructure. Public transportation, housing, as well as education equality and ecology were focuses of his campaign. Khenin also ran on a concept of promoting communities within Tel Aviv, saying in an interview, "the most important thing in the city is not the streets and the buildings, but the people and the communities."[12] Khenin lost the election with 34.3% of the vote to incumbent mayor Ron Huldai, who got 50.6% of the vote. Khenin vowed to continue battling Huldai's policies from the Knesset and Tel Aviv's opposition.[13]

Legislation[edit]

Khenin's legislation focuses mainly on issues pertaining to human rights, ecology, and social change. He has often been outright in his disagreement with the Israeli government's policies, speaking out against environmental,[14] military[15] and humanitarian[16] issues.

Human and Social Rights[edit]

  • Law for Adequate Prison Conditions – Bill to ensure adequate prison conditions that protect the health and dignity of prisoners, including medical treatment, proper care, a bed, mattress and blankets, a cabinet, suitable and healthy food, ventilation and light in the cell and daily walks in the open air. The law applies to all prisoners without distinction, including security prisoners.[17]
  • Transparency of Decisions of the Israel Lands Authority – Requires the Israel Lands Authority (ILA), which controls more than 90% of state-owned lands, to publish all its decisions immediately on the Internet, in order to prevent the possibility of corruption, discrimination, nepotism and the favoring of financial interests. Prior to the enactment of the law, only 51 out of 1800 administrative decisions of the ILA were published.[18]
  • Prohibition of Entrance Fees to Public Parks – An amendment to the Municipalities Ordinance that prohibits local authorities to collect entrance fees to public parks. Together with MK Moshe Gafni and MK David Azoulay.[19]
  • Prohibition of Attachments on Mobility Grants for the Blind – Mobility grants, which enable blind people to pay for assistance for basic mobility needs (e.g. shopping at the supermarket) and to integrate in society, will henceforth be protected from all types of attachments. Since a significant proportion of the blind in Israel live below the poverty line, many suffer from attachments on their accounts due to debts. Together with MK Meir Shetreet.[20]
  • Law for the Rights of Victims of Crime – Grants status to victims of hit-and-run crimes during the process of plea bargaining with the offender. Together with MK Zeev Bielski.[21]
  • Prevention of a Criminal Record for Military Offenses – such as the refusal of an order or absence without leave. In December 2010 this bill passed the preliminary reading together with a similar bill by MK Miri Regev and was sent to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.[22]
  • Relaxation of Mandatory Helmet Requirement for Cyclists – This law significantly narrows the law enacted by the 17th Knesset, which made cycling without a helmet a criminal offense. Under the new law, only those engaging in interurban and extreme sports cycling as well as children and juveniles are required to wear helmets. Together with MK Shelly Yachimovich.[23]
  • Law of Entry to Israel (Extension of Work Permit for a Foreign Caregiver) – Enables a foreign caregiver, under certain circumstances, to remain in Israel beyond the expiration date of their work permit. Together with MK David Azoulay.[24]
  • Amendment to the Traffic Ordinance (Duty to Provide Information on the Pledge of a Vehicle) – Provides that when transferring ownership of a vehicle, an automatic check will be made for information regarding the existence of a pledge on the vehicle. Together with MK Gideon Ezra.[25]
  • Municipal Tax Exemption for Institutions for the Rehabilitation, Training, or Employment of Handicapped Persons – Together with the members of the Hadash faction.

Worker's Rights[edit]

  • Employees Notification Law – An amendment ensuring that employees of manpower contractors receive information about the terms of the contract under which they are employed. This law is intended to correct a situation where the employee is not informed of the terms that were agreed upon between the contractor and the actual employer, and to ensure that the employee is informed at the start of their employment of the employment terms to which the contractor is obligated towards the actual employer. The law requires that the employee be provided with the information needed to realize the rights. Together with MK Haim Oron.[26]
  • Law for Amendment of the Mandatory Tenders Law (Prohibition of Discrimination Due to Age) – The law is intended to prevent discrimination against a person in a tender process due to their age. This generally refers to discrimination against the older population segment, which due to its relatively advanced age is at risk of prejudiced and discriminatory treatment compared to younger contenders for the tender. Together with MK Zeev Bielski.[27]
  • Prevention of Cyclic Dismissals – Prevents the engagement of employees under a contract for a fixed period, at the end of which they are dismissed and then rehired, in a cyclic manner, enabling employers to avoid their obligation to secure the social benefits of their employees, including severance pay. Together with MK Shlomo Molla and MK Shelly Yachimovich.[28]
  • Prohibition on Taking Securities from Employees – Under the law, employers who take securities – checks, notes or deposits from their employees are liable to be punished with imprisonment or a fine. The law also applies to employees of contractors. Together with MK Shelly Yachimovich.[29]
  • Inclusion of Prohibition on Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation, Parenthood or Pregnancy by the Employment Service – The law expands the scope of the prohibitions on discrimination by the Employment Service. Together with the Women's Lobby, MK Nachman Shai and MK Afou Agbaria.[30]
  • Grant of Authority to the Labor Court to Extend Filing Deadlines – The purpose of the law is to allow the Labor Court to extend the deadlines for submitting to the court claims against the National Insurance Institute and appeals against its decisions. Until now, the law did not allow the court the possibility to extend these deadlines, even on justified grounds.[31]
  • Labor Laws Enforcement Law – A private member's bill adopted by the government and passed as a government bill. The law contains effective protection mechanisms for employees of contractors, albeit thus far only in the cleaning, guarding and catering sectors. This is a further development of the Responsibility of a Purchaser of Services for the Rights of the Service Contractor's Employees, which imposes responsibility for protecting the rights of a contractor's employees not only on the contractor who is their employer but also on the institution that purchased the services. The law was prepared for the second and third reading towards the end of the term of the 17th Knesset and gave birth to the government bill.[32]

Women's Rights[edit]

  • Extension of Maternity Leave to 14 Weeks – MK Khenin was the first to initiate the law, which extended maternity leave to 14 weeks.[33]
  • Income Support Benefits for Battered Women in Shelters" – Battered women's shelters cannot serve the State as an alibi for divesting itself of responsibility. Women in these shelters need income support more than anyone, as they have no other source of income and arrive at the shelter penniless. Together with MK Zehava Galon.[34]
  • Prohibition on Advertising Prostitution Services – The law takes aim at the economic foundations of the prostitution industry. Together with MK Orit Zuaretz.[35]
  • Guarantee of Alimony Payments to Women Traveling Abroad – The new law forbids withholding alimony payments from the National Insurance Institute to a woman who travels abroad. Together with MK Faina Kirshenbaum.[36]

Children's Protection[edit]

  • Amendment to the Juvenile Law (Trial, Punishment and Treatment) (Alternative Processes) – Instead of sending juvenile delinquents to jail, where they will receive training as future criminals, the law provides for alternative processes in which the youth assume responsibility for their actions and engage in remedial activity within various frameworks. Experience around the world shows that this approach is more just and also more effective. Together with MK Zevulun Orlev.[37]
  • Law for the Provision of Information to Parents – Establishes the right of both separated parents of a child to receive information about the child. Together with MK Yariv Levin.[38]
  • Law to Extend the Activity of the Fund for At-Risk Children and Youth – The Fund for At-Risk Children and Youth was originally established as a means of dealing with the spread of poverty, economic hardship and social problems among children and youth following the slashing of child allowances. Over the years, the fund has developed a range of activities for aiding children and youth at risk, and its activity has garnered widespread praise. The fund was initially established under a temporary order that was due to expire at the end of 2007. The law extended the fund's activity for an additional year.[39]
  • Law to Prohibit the Sale of Lottery Tickets to Minors – The law prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to anyone under the age of 18, in order to protect minors from developing a gambling addiction and wasting large sums of money. Together with MK Ahmed Tibi.[40]
  • Prohibition on Cigarette Vending Machines – The law is intended to reduce the accessibility to youth of cigarettes and smoking products. Together with MK Uri Ariel.[41]

Environmental Protection and Health[edit]

  • The Polluter Pays Law – A general law that updates and amends all the environmental laws in Israel. The law contains advanced mechanisms for the economic punishment of polluters, including both administrative and criminal penalties. It increases the punishment meted out to bodies that pollute without a pollution permit and also establishes a collection mechanism for bodies that pollute within the framework of the law. This mechanism is intended to encourage factories to switch to cleaner technologies.[42]
  • Clean Air Law – The law was approved in the first reading by the 16th Knesset, and was reformulated in the 17th Knesset with MK Khenin's active involvement. This is a comprehensive law that fully regulates, for the first time in Israel, the issue of the discharge of pollutants into the air, tightening the ring around polluting industries.[43]
  • Environmental Enforcement Law – Confers broad search and investigation powers on inspectors of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and for the first time subjects the different security bodies to civil enforcement.[44]
  • Environmental Enforcement Law – Powers of Local Authority Inspectors – Empowers local authorities to enforce environmental laws, thereby simultaneously achieving two important goals – the one, environmental (increasing enforcement of environmental laws), and the other, social (injecting fine moneys collected from environmental polluters directly into the coffers of the local authorities whose residents are the main victims of pollution).
  • Law to Reduce Air Pollution from Transportation (Amendment 84 to the Traffic Ordinance) – The law creates a clear division of power between the government and the local authorities, putting an end to an impossible situation in which either side could paralyze initiatives of the other. The amendment obligates local authorities to act to reduce air pollution caused by transportation in every case where there is a high level of air pollution.[45]
  • Environmental Transparency Law – Duty to Report the Discharge of Pollutants – The law establishes a requirement of transparency over the discharge of pollutants into the environment, imposes on factories detailed reporting duties, sets up a register of discharged pollutants and mandates the publication of the data to the public. Experience has shown that environmental reporting duties change the behavior of polluting factories and that environmental transparency is a major democratic tool for mobilizing the public to act against pollution and pollutants. Evasion of reporting will be a criminal offense and will also result in significant administrative-financial penalties.[46]
  • Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings – Establishes a comprehensive mechanism for reducing energy use in the public sector. Among other measures, every public institution must follow a defined plan for the reduction of energy consumption. The law also lists a series of energy-saving measures, including the installation of energy-efficient light bulbs, replacement of electricity-guzzling equipment and implementation of a procedure for the economic use of electric equipment. Together with MK Nitzan Horowitz and MK Orit Zuaretz.
  • Duty to Install Water-Saving Devices in Public Buildings – Mandates the installation of water-saving devices, including flow regulators ("chaschamim"), in all public buildings. Together with MK Ophir Akunis.
  • Law for the Protection of the Gulf of Eilat Coastal Environment – The law for the first time extends the scope of the Coastal Environment Protection Law, which applies to the Mediterranean coast, to include the coast of the Gulf of Eilat.[47]
  • Kinneret Protection Law – The law extends the scope of the Coastal Environment Protection Law to include the shores of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), and establishes an authority (the Kinneret Conurbation) that is responsible for protecting the Kinneret and its shores.[48]
  • National Mine Action Authority Law – Establishes an authority with responsibility for clearing hundreds of minefields that are scattered throughout Israel. Together with MK Tzahi Hanegbi, MK Roni Baron and a group of MKs.[49]
  • Prohibition of Driving on Beaches – Establishes clear prohibitions and definitions with respect to driving on beaches, clarifies the penalties for violations of the law, and creates effective and modern enforcement mechanisms to deal with this phenomenon.[50]
  • New Deposit Law – Assigns direct responsibility to manufacturers, based on the principle of "the polluter pays".
  • Municipal Tax Exemption for Field Schools Law – Serves as a means for aiding environmental education institutions. Together with MK Zevulun Orlev.[51]
  • Electronic Waste Recycling – A law that originated in two similar private members' bills submitted by MK Khenin and MK Nitzan Horowitz. Subsequently, a government bill was submitted that adopted the main points of these bills. The law, which is predicated on the principle of "the polluter pays," provides for extended producer responsibility for the treatment and reduction of electronic waste that can cause soil and groundwater contamination, and makes arrangements for the collection and recycling of purchased appliances.[52]

Animal Protection[edit]

  • Prohibition on Import of Animal-Tested Cosmetics and Detergents – The law prohibits importing into Israel cosmetic/cleaning products, not for health purposes, and detergents that were tested on animals during their production. Together with MK Eitan Cabel and MK Nitzan Horowitz.[53]
  • Prohibition on Declawing Cats Other than for Medical Reasons – The declawing prohibited by the law is generally performed by cat owners who want to protect their home furniture. This is an irreversible surgical procedure that causes the animal great pain. Together with MK Eitan Cabel.[54]
  • Law for Neutering and Spaying Dogs – The purpose of the law is to deal in the most humane way with the phenomenon of the thousands of stray dogs abandoned every year to suffer from abuse or die a painful death, by encouraging dog owners to neuter or spay their pet in order to prevent unwanted births. Under the law, whoever neuters or spays their dog will recover the cost within two years by means of a discount on the dog license fee. Together with MK Eitan Cabel.[55]

17th Knesset[edit]

Committees[edit]

  • Member, Internal Affairs and Environment Committee
  • Member, Special Committee for the Rights of the Child

Knesset Lobbies[edit]

  • Chair, Civil Rights Lobby
  • Chair, Social-Environmental Lobby

18th Knesset[edit]

Committees[edit]

  • Chair, Joint Committee for Health and the Environment
  • Member, Internal Affairs and Environment Committee
  • Member, Interpretations Committee
  • Member, Subcommittee for Internal Security

Knesset Lobbies[edit]

  • Chair, Social-Environmental Lobby
  • Chair, Lobby for Direct Employment
  • Chair, Lobby for Public Housing

19th Knesset[edit]

Committees[edit]

  • Member, Internal Affairs and Environment Committee
  • Member, Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality
  • Member, Joint Committee to Discuss the National Insurance Law (Calculation of Childbirth Allowance for Independent Policyholder), 2014
  • Member, Joint Committee to Discuss the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Law, 2013

Knesset Lobbies[edit]

  • Chair, Lobby for Holocaust Survivors
  • Chair, Lobby for Public Housing
  • Chair, Social-Environmental Lobby

20th Knesset[edit]

Committees[edit]

  • Chair, Subcommittee for Public Transportation
  • Member, Economic Affairs Committee
  • Member, Science and Technology Committee
  • Member, Subcommittee for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses
  • Member, Arrangement Committee

Knesset Lobbies[edit]

  • Chair, Lobby for Holocaust Survivors
  • Chair, Lobby for Direct Employment
  • Chair, Housing Lobby
  • Chair, Lobby for Public Health
  • Chair, Social-Environmental Lobby
  • Chair, Lobby for Promoting Green Energy

Awards and Recognition[edit]

2010[edit]

  • Khenin received the Knight of Quality Government award from the Movement for Quality Government in Israel.[56]

2012[edit]

  • The Social Guard rated Khenin first for the winter session.[57]
  • Khenin was awarded the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award from the Israel Democracy Institute.[58]
  • Khenin was awarded the green globe award for public figures.[59]

2014[edit]

  • Unicef rated Khenin as the Parliamentarian most active in protecting children's rights.[60]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leftist Knesset member: Israelis want social justice but vote Netanyahu - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  2. ^ Zrahiya, Zvi (May 15, 2014). "Majority of MKs Back Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $8.68". Haaretz.com. Haaretz. 
  3. ^ Newman, Marissa (December 12, 2014). "Minimum wage hike agreed, averting strike". Times of Israel. 
  4. ^ Beck, Jonathan (June 28, 2015). "Cabinet overrides Antitrust Authority on natural gas". Times of Israel. Times of Israel. 
  5. ^ "Violent Clashes during Gas Deal Protests in Tel Aviv, Beer-Sheva". Maki. Communist Party of Israel. November 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ Tzimuki, Tova (June 14, 2012). "'Israel needs environmental court'". Ynetnews. Ynet. 
  7. ^ Rinat, Zafir. "'Clean Air Act' Puts City Hall in the Driver's Seat". Haaretz. Haaretz. 
  8. ^ Rinat, Zafrir (Aug 1, 2014). "Knesset Panel: Haifa Oil Refineries Air Pollution Must Be Cut". Haaretz. Haaretz. 
  9. ^ "Leftist Knesset member blames Netanyahu for Gaza war - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Thousands of Israelis Protest Gaza War in Rare Outpouring for Peace". The Forward. Retrieved 2016-01-05. 
  11. ^ The endorsement is in: Dov Khenin and “City for All” for the Tel Aviv Municipal Elections
  12. ^ Khenin, Dov (November 7, 2008). An Interview with Dov Khenin. Interview with Jesse Fox. 
  13. ^ Somfalvi, Attila (2008-11-12). "Khenin Loses to Huldai, Promises to Continue Battle from Knesset". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  14. ^ "Dov Henin calls on Israeli government to wait on Woodside deal". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
  15. ^ Khenin, Dov (February 12, 2009). An Interview with Dov Khenin. Interview with Josh Nathan Kazis. 
  16. ^ Yashar, Ari (2015-07-20). "Arab List's Jewish MK: Spare Illegal Arab Settlement". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 2015-12-22. 
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External links[edit]