Yariv Levin

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Yariv Levin
Yariv Levin (cropped).JPG
Ministerial roles
2015Minister of Internal Security
2015–2020Minister of Tourism
2018–2020Minister of Aliyah and Integration
2022–Deputy Prime Minister
2022–Minister of Justice
Faction represented in the Knesset
Other roles
2020–2021Speaker of the Knesset
2022Speaker of the Knesset
Personal details
Born (1969-06-22) 22 June 1969 (age 53)
Jerusalem, Israel

Yariv Gideon Levin (Hebrew: יָרִיב גִּדְעוֹן לֵוִין, born 22 June 1969) is an Israeli lawyer and politician who serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice.[1] He served as Speaker of the Knesset in December 2022, previously serving that role from 2020 to 2021.[2] He currently serves as a member of Knesset for Likud, and previously held the posts of Minister of Internal Security, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Aliyah and Integration.


Levin was born in Jerusalem to Gail and Aryeh Levin, an Israel Prize laureate for linguistics. His mother's uncle, Eliyahu Lankin, was commander of the Altalena ship and member of the first Knesset, representing Herut, whilst Menachem Begin was the Sandek at Levin's circumcision ceremony.[3]

Levin studied at Boyar High School in Jerusalem. During his national service, he joined the IDF Intelligence Corps as an Arabic translator, and later served as commander of an Arabic translation course. In 1995 he published a dictionary of economic terms translated between Arabic, English and Hebrew.

Levin gained an LLB from the Hebrew University, and worked as a lawyer in the field of civil-commercial law. He married Yifat, daughter of former Knesset Member Ya'akov Shamai. They have three children and live in Modi'in.[3]

Political activities[edit]

Levin began his public activities in Likud's student faction at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he served as Spokesman and later as deputy chairman of the faction. In 1997, he headed a team that established the Likud branch in Modi'in, and in 2003, he was appointed chairman of the branch. He also represented the opposition to the disengagement plan from Gaza in the supervising committee of the Likud members' poll on the plan, and represented the Members of Knesset who opposed the plan in various legal proceedings.

In 2006, Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Levin to head the Likud committee for oversight of government authorities in order to co-ordinate Likud's opposition activities against the government and its then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Levin filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister, which resulted in the appointment of a Minister of Social Welfare after a long period of time during which this position was unoccupied.

In addition to his public activities in Likud, Levin took part in establishing the New Young Lawyers Faction, which participated in the elections for the Israel Bar Association institutions for the first time in 1999. Levin, who headed the Faction list, was elected Member of the National Council of the Association and Member of the Jerusalem District Committee representing the Faction. In the National Council elections, Levin was elected Vice Chairman of the Israel Bar Association. Levin was also appointed Head of the Bar Association's salaried lawyers committee. In the 2003 elections for the Bar Association's institutions, the New Young Lawyers Faction increased their power, and Levin was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Bar Association (2003–2005). During his work in the Bar Association, he took part in its legal aide project Sachar Mitzvah, and led reforms in the rules of ethics for lawyers. Levin was among the initiators of the survey examining the conduct of judges in the courtrooms. The Bar Association published the results of the survey.[citation needed]

Activity in the 18th Knesset[edit]

In the Likud primaries prior to the 2009 Knesset elections, Levin was elected to represent the central region. He was placed in the twenty-first seat on the Likud list and entered the Knesset as the party won 27 seats. He was re-elected in 2013 after winning seventeenth place on the joint Likud Yisrael Beiteinu list. On August 3, 2009, Levin was appointed Chairman of the Knesset House Committee. Levin also served as the Knesset representative to the committee for selecting candidates for Attorney General.

Levin chaired the joint committee of the House Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on the Referendum Bill. This bill states that a referendum must be conducted in the event of a plan to relinquish sovereign land. The bill passed second and third readings in November 2010, and became a law. 40 bills proposed by MK Levin during the term of the 18th Knesset were passed on the Second and Third Readings, and were entered in the Statute Book, an all-time record for a Member of Knesset during a single Knesset term.[citation needed]

Activity in the 19th Knesset[edit]

In the elections held for the Likud's list of candidates for the 19th Knesset, Levin was elected to the 9th place, placed in the 17th place in the joint Likud – Yisrael Beiteinu list, and was once again elected to serve in the Knesset. On 18 March 2013, Levin was chosen to serve as the head of the coalition and leader of the Likud – Yisrael Beiteinu faction. On 3 June 2013, he was elected again as the Knesset's representative on the committee to locate candidates for the position of Attorney General. Levin serves as the Chairman of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset, along with MK Orit Strock. Levin also serves as the Knesset representative to the committee for selecting candidates for Attorney General.[citation needed]

28 bills proposed by MK Levin have been approved thus far in the 19th Knesset, passing a second and third reading and entering into law.[citation needed]

In February 2014, a bill, sponsored by Levin, was approved that officially recognized Christian Arabs as a distinct legal minority in Israel.[citation needed]

Despite being affiliated as a Secular Jew himself, Levin criticized Reform Jews, especially those living in the United States, after the Israeli government's decision to expand the egalitarian section of the Western Wall. Levin said that "Reform Jews in the United States are a dying world. Assimilation is taking place on a vast scale. They are not even tracking this properly in their communities. It is evidenced by the fact that a man who calls himself a Reform rabbi stands there with a priest and officiates at the wedding of the daughter of Hillary Clinton and no one condemns it, thereby legitimizing it."[4]

Activity in the 20th Knesset[edit]

Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed Levin as Minister of Public Security and Minister of Tourism after the 2015 elections. He gave up his Public Security portfolio after 11 days, when Netanyahu appointed Gilad Erdan to the post.[5] On 24 December 2018, he was appointed as Minister of Aliyah and Integration.[6]

Activity in the 23rd Knesset[edit]

Following the formation of the Thirty-fifth government of Israel, Levin was elected Speaker of the Knesset on 17 May 2020 with 71 votes in favor.[7] He was replaced in the twenty-fourth Knesset by Mickey Levy on 13 June 2021.[8]

Activity in the 25th Knesset[edit]

Following the 2022 election, Levin was elected Speaker on 13 December with 64 votes in favor.[9] He announced his resignation as speaker on 27 December, which came into effect on 29 December.[10]

Minister of Justice (2022–present)[edit]

After Israel's right-wing bloc emerged victorious at the 2022 Israeli legislative elections, Levin was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice in the incoming thirty-seventh government of Israel.

in January 2023, Levin unveiled a governmental plan for a legislative overhaul of the country's judicial system. The plan seeks to weaken the Supreme Court of Israel by granting the government effective control over the Judicial Selection Committee, prohibiting the court from ruling on the constitutionality of certain laws and regulations, and granting the Knesset the power to override any court ruling by a simple majority.[11][12]

Levin's proposed changes to the judicial system sparked intense controversy, with some opposition leaders arguing that the plan amounts to an attempt at regime change and anti-government protests commencing shortly after the plan's unveiling.[13][14][15] Levin fiercely defended the plan, frequently arguing that the supreme court's power to strike down legislation is un-democratic, having stated that "time after time, people who we didn't elect decide for us".[11]

In March 2023, a controversy arose when Levin was seen attending a Purim party at the home of Raffi Chaim-Kedoshim, a known criminal.[16] Chaim-Kedoshim had been convicted of various crimes, including kidnapping and extortion, and had served prison time. It was later revealed that other senior Likud members, including Israel Katz, Miri Regev and Dudi Amsalem, were also present at the event.[16]

Political opinions[edit]

Levin holds hawkish views with respect to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He opposes the creation of a Palestinian State, and believes in the right of Jews to remain in all parts of the land of Israel.[17]

Levin often criticizes the court system in Israel, claiming a small elite has taken over the system and tries to use it in order to define the values Israel lives by.[18] Levin explained the need in changing the supreme judges appointment system by pointing out that the present judges are not in favor of residential segregation “Arabs buy apartments in Jewish communities in the Galilee and this causes Jews to leave these cities, because they are not prepared to live with Arabs. We need to ensure that the Supreme Court has justices who understand this ”[19]


  1. ^ "חבר הכנסת יריב לוין". Knesset (in Hebrew). Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  2. ^ Keller-Lynn, Carrie. "Yariv Levin elected 'temporary' Knesset speaker, will facilitate crucial bills". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b Yariv Levin MK Likud
  4. ^ Netanyahu raps statements by gov’t ministers, lawmakers attacking liberal Jews JTA, 3 Feb 2016
  5. ^ Hofmann, Gil (25 May 2015). "Israel's answer to the BDS movement - Gilad Erdan". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  6. ^ Yariv Levin named new Aliya and Integration Minister The Jerusalem Post, 23 December 2018
  7. ^ "נתניהו ראש הממשלה, גנץ ראש הממשלה החליפי: הושבעה ממשלת ישראל ה-35". הארץ (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  8. ^ Azulai, Moran (13 June 2021). "לפני השבעת הממשלה: מיקי לוי נבחר ליו"ר הכנסת". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  9. ^ Hilai, Sivan; Tsimuki, Tova (13 December 2022). "יריב לוין נבחר ליו"ר הכנסת; נתניהו: "מינוי זמני מאוד"". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  10. ^ "כדי שיוכל להתמנות לשר בהשבעת הממשלה: לוין התפטר מתפקידו כיו"ר הכנסת". Ynet (in Hebrew). 27 December 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  11. ^ a b Jerusalem (4 January 2023). "Israel unveils controversial plans to overhaul judicial system". The Guardian. Associated Press. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  12. ^ Kingsley, Patrick (12 January 2023). "Netanyahu Surges Ahead With Judicial Overhaul, Prompting Fury in Israel". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  13. ^ "Israel plan to curb Supreme Court's powers sparks outcry". BBC News. 5 January 2023. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  14. ^ staff, T. O. I. "Netanyahu shrugs off protest, says millions of voters demanded judicial overhaul". Times of Israel. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Explained: Netanyahu Government's Plan to Weaken the Justice System". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 January 2023.
  16. ^ a b ""שחקן מרכזי בסניף, כולם חוששים ממנו": זה העבריין שאירח את לוין ובכירי הליכוד". Ynet. 21 March 2023. Retrieved 25 March 2023.
  17. ^ "Losing by Winning: The Rupture of the Israeli Center". www.washingtoninstitute.org. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  18. ^ Lis, Jonathan (7 August 2018). "Israeli Minister Explains Why He Led the Effort to Pass the Nation-state Law". Haaretz. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  19. ^ TOI STAFF (29 May 2023). "Levin said to call for judges who 'understand' why Jews don't want to live near Arabs".

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