Ilan Gilon

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Ilan Gilon
Ilan Gilon1.jpg
Date of birth (1956-05-12) 12 May 1956 (age 64)
Place of birthGalați, Romania
Year of aliyah1965
Knessets15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
Faction represented in Knesset
2019–2020Democratic Union

Ilan Gilon (Hebrew: אִילָן גִּילְאוֹן‎, born 12 May 1956) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the Meretz and the Democratic Union alliance in two spells between 1999 and 2020.


Born in Galați, Romania,[1] the son of Abraham Goldstein. Gilon suffered from polio at the age of seven months, leaving him with a leg disability. He made aliyah to Israel with his family at age nine, and grew up in Ashdod. At age 18, he was exempted from conscription into the Israel Defense Forces due to his disability, but he fought to be allowed to serve, and at age 24 was recruited for a short voluntary service in the IDF Education and Youth Corps. He studied international relations and political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, but did not complete his studies. During his youth, he chaired the Mapam youth group, before becoming the first Meretz Youth coordinator in 1995. Between 1993 and 1999 he served as deputy mayor of Ashdod, in which he was responsible for education.

Prior to the 1999 Knesset elections Gilon was placed eighth on the Meretz list,[2] and entered then Knesset when the party won ten seats. Gilon devoted most of his activity in the Knesset to social affairs, as part of his ideology, which he calls "Orthopedic Socialism". He was a member of the committees on the Economy, Interior and Environmental Affairs, Child's Rights, Labor, Welfare and Health and the special committee to the problem of Foreign Workers. During his first term in the Knesset Gilon passed over 15 laws and amendments, including an amendment to the social insurance law that improved handicapped rights, a law that required paying waiters the minimum wage, regardless of tips, and an expansion of the Handicapped rights law, adding a chapter that involved making structures accessible to handicapped people. Gilon was the only Meretz MK to vote against Ehud Barak's budget, stating it is "Anti-Social in a most profound way". As a response to Ehud Barak's call after the publication of the Poverty Report, to "Open the refrigerators", Gilon said "For those sorts statements you need a refrigerators technician, not a Prime Minister".

For the 2003 elections he was placed seventh on the Meretz list,[3] but lost his seat when the party was reduced to six MKs. After leaving the Knesset he owned a restaurant called "Beit HaAm" in which the waiters wore shirts of Israeli youth movements. He was placed eighth on the party's list for the 2006 elections,[4] but missed out on a seat as the party was reduced to five MKs. Prior to the 2009 elections Gilon won second place on the Meretz list,[5] and returned to the Knesset when the party won three seats. He served as head of the Meretz faction in the Knesset, and was ranked as one of the five top legislators of social laws according to the Social Guard index.

In February 2012 Gilon ran for the Meretz leadership, finishing second with 37.7%, behind Zehava Gal-On (60%) and ahead of Ori Ophir (2.8%). He was re-elected in 2013, and again in 2015 after being placed second on the party's list.[6] In 2018 he won the Henry Viscardi Achievement Award for leaders in disability sector.[7] In February 2019, Gilon won the most votes in Meretz's first-ever primaries.[8] He retained second place on the Meretz list for the April 2019 elections, in which the party won four seats. Meretz contested the September 2019 elections as part of the Democratic Union alliance, with Gilon retaining his seat as the fifth-placed candidate on the alliance's list.

For the 2020 elections, Meretz ran on a joint list with Labor and Gesher. Gilon was placed eighth on the list, but lost his seat as the parties won only seven seats.

Gilon is married to Yehudit, and is a father of four. He also has grandchildren, and lives in Ashdod.


15th Knesset[edit]

  • Equal Rights for People with Disabilities-1998
  • Land Law (fix number 23)-2001: A fix that defines who is a handicapped person in the Land Law according to the Handicapped Rights Law which was legislated in 1998.
  • Employment Services Law (fix number 12)-2002: A fix which adds a disabilities section in the according law. "The minister, in negotiations with the Handicapped Rights commission and with organizations who deal with promoting the rights of handicapped people and with approval of the Knesset's Work, Welfare and Health comity, will determine rules and plans according to integration and promotion of people with disabilities in work places.
  • Freedom of Information Law (fix number 3, A subsidiary of Municipal Corporation)-2002

18th Knesset[edit]

  • Patients' Rights Law (fix number 4)-2010
  • Handicap Parking Law (fix number 5)-2012: A parking inspector would be obligated to document the parking offence of the handicapped person's car as a proof
  • Equal Rights for People with Disabilities (fix number 9)-2010: Postponing the date the obligation of accessibility
  • Retirement Age Law (fix number 3)-2011: Cancellation of the retirement age raising for women
  • Tax Ordinance Amendment Law Municipality and Government Taxes (fix number 21)-2012: An exemption from paying general property tax or fee to daily frameworks which provide employment, training or rehabilitation to mentally disabled who turned 18 and were sent to by the Health ministry, like places of worship, Mikveh, Cemeteries, recognized educational institution, day care center, shelter for battered women, Care center for children at risk and in distress, Structure held by a youth movement and Zionist religious seminary for Judaism and Israel Studies.


  1. ^ I'm just an ars from Ashdod: Ilan Gilon interview Walla, 22 December 2016 (in Hebrew)
  2. ^ Parties and Lists Archived 2001-04-18 at the Wayback Machine The Jerusalem Post
  3. ^ Candidates for the 16th Knesset Archived 2007-07-12 at the Wayback Machine Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  4. ^ List of Candidates: Meretz Knesset website
  5. ^ Meretz primaries: Ilan Gilon takes top spot Ynetnews, 15 December 2008
  6. ^ Meretz list Central Elections Committee
  7. ^ 2018 Henry Viscardi Achievement Awards Announced Viscardi Centre
  8. ^ "Meretz primary results". Ynetnews. 2019-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-16.

External links[edit]