Achievements During the Eighteenth Knesset
Yisrael Beteynu’s greatest achievement during the Eighteenth Knesset was placing at the forefront the central importance of the issue of allegiance and citizenship in Knesset discourse.
When Yisrael Beytenu first raised this issue a few years ago, it faced criticism from different sides of the political spectrum. Members of Likud, Shas, Kadima and others, are trying to show the public that they are taking leading roles on making allegiance part of good citizenship. We are pleased that our message has spread. Today, the notion that civil rights are a function of loyalty to the state, something that applies in most democratic countries, is gaining greater currency in Israel.
Within this huge issue, we can point to a few specific Yisrael Beytenu achievements:
- A law doubling the grant to 20,000 NIS for soldiers upon the completion of service
- The “Nakba Law,” denying rights and funding to authorities who choose to mark Israel’s Independence Day as a day of sorrow
- The giving of preference to those who served in the army in acceptance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ cadet course
- A law revoking the citizenship of one convicted of espionage or terrorism
Yisrael Beytenu, as the senior partner in the government, ensured that nationalist policies prevail. Below are but a few examples of achievements in this area.
- The decision to grant the Academic Center in Ariel full university status is the most recent example of our achievements. It was one of our conditions for joining the coalition government.
- The moratorium on construction in Judea and Samaria was not extended ecause of our staunch opposition, and despite heavy international pressure.
- Because of our opposition there was no shameful Israeli apology to Turkey, which would have been an affront our national honor. But more importantly, such an apology would have endangered our soldiers and incriminated them in the eyes of the world.
- The international Palmer Committee set up to investigate the Marmara affair was the fruit of the efforts of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). The Palmer report is officially recognized by the UN and justifies Israel’s conduct regarding the flotilla and the naval blockade of Gaza.
- The MFA prevented the Palestinian Authority from declaring a state at the UN and foiled other planned flotillas.
- The MFA successfully negotiated Israel’s accession to a series of international organizations, including the OECD.
Yisrael Beytenu is making its mark on civil matters as well. Even before the High Court decision overturning the “Tal Law” was handed down, Yisrael Beytenu brought to prominence the issue of the equal sharing of the burden of service. The campaign is still underway, but we are confident that it will succeed. Yisrael Beytenu made great strides regarding the “Conversion Law,” the “Tzohar Law,” civil marriage law, and more.
Every ministry headed by a Yisrael Beytenu member can boast outstanding achievements relating to all aspects of life. Below is a list of specific achievements of each ministry during the Eighteenth Knesset.
Foreign Ministry led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman:
- Palmer Commission findings unequivocally established the legality of the Gaza naval blockade.
- Preventing another flotilla and “flytilla” through consistent dialogue with many countries
- Frustrating the Palestinian petition before the UN Security Council
- Goldstone publishing a renunciation of his findings against Israel.
- The Australian Parliamentary decision that demonstrations and boycotts against Israeli businesses are a criminal offense
- Dutch Parliamentary decision to recognize IHH as a terrorist organization
- A change the Universal Jurisdiction Law to curb the risk of arrest of Israeli officials in Britain
- Tightening sanctions on Iran
- The rejection of most Western countries of the Durban Conference
- Signing of cooperation agreements leading to economic, commercial and scientific cooperation, such as CERN and the OECD
- Opening eight new offices (Munich, Sao Paulo, St. Petersburg, Wellington, Accra, Guangzhou, OECD and Ashgabat)
- Additional offices to open in Bangalore, Kinshasa and the Caribbean
- The Establishment of Diplomatic relations with South Sudan
- A new criterion giving preference to those applicants to the MFA Cadets Course who have served in the IDF
- Placed the issue of Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries on the international agenda
Energy and Water Ministry headed by Minister Uzi Landau:
- The water system is undergoing an accelerated development program. Israel currently desalinates 300 million cubic meters of water a year. Within three years that amount will double to 600 million.
- Construction of private power plants to create competition in the electricity market and reduce the price for consumers.
- Overseeing the natural gas revolution and developing its use to generate electricity as a petrol substitute.
- Huge investments in infrastructure – particularly in the sewage systems in Israel’s periphery to make sure that every part of Israel enjoys comparable infrastructure standards.
- Moving Israel toward energy independence
Ministry of Tourism headed by Minister Stas Misezhnikov:
- Visa cancellation agreement with Ukraine
- Consistent year on year increase in tourism to Israel for the past four years, strengthening the economy and creating jobs.
- Significant increases in the governmental budget allocation in tourism development and infrastructure.
- Establishment of a fund to give grants to tourist cities and finance a maximum of 30% of the construction of new hotels and the renovation of pre-existing hotels.
Ministry of Public Security headed by Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch:
- Securing a police pay-rise after years of wage stagnation
- The establishment of hundreds of new positions in the Israeli Police Force
- The development of the infrastructure for the establishment of an Enforcement Department in southern Israel.
- Establishment of a network of security cameras to monitor and reduce vandalism and other crime
- Expansion of the project ” A City without Violence” to the majority of local authorities
- The “Urban Police Project” operating in dozens of cities and local authorities throughout Israel
Immigration and Absorption Ministry headed by Minister Sofa Landver:
- 4000 public housing apartments for new immigrants to be built – 2000 in the coming two years and 1000 in each of the following years.
- Increasing the monthly rental assistance from 650 NIS to 1250 NIS
- Financial aid to new immigrant students- 6594 immigrants received a scholarship and other assistance
- Established a program for youth-at-risk in 50 local authorities throughout the country
- Launched a program for new immigrants to tour heritage sites throughout Israel
Major Laws passed by Yisrael Beytenu in the 18th Knesset:
- MK Moshe (Mutz) Matalon: Doubling the IDF release grant to 20,000 NIS
- MK Alex Miller: Exemption of soldiers and senior citizens from paying the television fee to the Broadcasting Authority
- MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov: Revocation of citizenship of those convicted of terrorism or espionage
- MK Orly Levy-Abecassis: Extension of maternity leave to mothers of newborns requiring extended hospitalization.
- MK Faina Kirshenbaum: Elimination of clause denying alimony payments to a parent who travels abroad.
- MK Lia Shemtov: The granting of income support to disabled senior citizens who otherwise would not be eligible for such a financial benefit.
- MK Hamad Amar: Alcohol Law preventing any doubt as to the blood alcohol concentration limit for drivers in high risk groups.
- MK Faina Kirshenbaum: The granting to terror-victims’ families a leave of absence from work on Memorial Day
- MK Alex Miller: “Nakba” Law, denying the any benefits or budget to authorities to mark Independence Day as a day of mourning.
- MK Orly Levy-Abecassis: Prevention of the employment of sex offenders
- MK Anastassia Michaeli: The banning of the sale of textbooks sold in a multipack of a workbook and textbook instead of individually
- MK David Rotem: Civil Marriage Law, allowing for the first time those defined as “without a religion” to marry without the Rabbinate
- MK Robert Ilatov: Amendment of the Disengagement Plan – Revised compensation for businesses and employees
- MK Alex Miller: Compulsory Education Law Amendment prohibiting the employment of children and youth during school hours
- MK Robert Ilatov: The provision of service in government offices in multiple languages