Ha'aretz today has an article on the new intake of Israeli members of parliament, who are due to be sworn in tomorrow. Among the newbies:
"I'm really excited," freshman MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) said. "It's the first significant ceremony of my life." Yachimovich has invited her family to the ceremony. "My mother is proud of me," she says.
Yachimovich declares that in the Knesset she will continue to deal with the same issues she tackled as a journalist, "economics and labor. My ambition is to bring back terms like 'organized labor,' 'collective contracts,' 'right to strike,' to defend workers' rights. That's the most important area, which also can lead to disaster."
The title of "most diligent MK" for the 17th Knesset goes to Dov Hanin (Hadash) [Communist (ed)]. Two days before the swearing-in and he already has 80 bills ready to be introduced. They deal with Hanin's areas of interest: social welfare, the environment and human rights. Two examples: "The Polluter Pays," which Hanin says is "a law designed to prevent a situation where it is profitable to pollute the environment in Israel, and a law that would make employers, rather than contractors, responsible for upholding workers' rights." Hanin adds, "I'm optimistic. I found people in the Knesset who aren't close to me politically but who have the will and the energy to effect change. I hope we can find areas in which party obedience will not be significant..."
Amen to that.