Knesset Members Reject Commitment to Act Fairly

Many Israelis say they can no longer trust Knesset if its members won’t commit to fairness

Israel Knesset
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Politicians, right?

Israel might be a hyper-democracy, but its non-representative form of government means the same folks end up holding the same seats of power for decades, with little accountability and almost no motivation for them to behave in a way voters would consider “fair.”

In an effort to remedy that situation, the Israel Center for Promotion of Fairness (ICPF) last month proposed adding to the Knesset oath of allegiance that all lawmakers take a clause obligating them to act fairly.

Sadly, and tellingly, a mere 12 Member of Knesset agreed to the proposal.

A survey conducted by Israel’s Geocartography research institute found that 84.4 percent of Israelis were irritated by their lawmakers’ unwillingness to commit to fairness.

Among those who responded to the poll, 45.6 percent said they were unsurprised that Members of Knesset refused to commit to fairness, while 38.8 percent said they no longer feel they can trust the nation’s lawmakers. Just 7.4 percent said that “fairness is not a requirement to serve in the Knesset. Some 4 percent said that Knesset Members are already acting fairly, and were therefore likely offended by the proposal.

When the ICPF tried to test the waters regarding the pledge, it reported that the offices of as many as 90 MKs had responded positively. But when the Israeli daily newspaper Ma’ariv conducted a survey among Member of Knesset, just 12 said they would vote in favor of such a change to their oath of allegiance. A shameful 71 MKs refused to address the topic at all.

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