A document released by a rightist organization on Thursday indicates a 50% rise in support for settlement building among right-wing Knesset members.
Produced by the NGO Mattot Arim, the survey rates MKs and cabinet ministers according to the aid they provided to the settlement movement and to the "national camp" as a whole. The report encourages and compliments those who garnered especially high scores, with survey authors saying the report was a tool to reward those "elected officials who truly represent their public." The report breaks down the legislative, lobbying and media activities of the MKS – from bills preventing the boycott of settlement goods, to media interviews.
In addition, ministers are lauded for harnessing their ministries for pro-settlement development, such as improving the internet and cellular networks in the West Bank.
According to the report, which has been published every six months for the past five years, there have been 150 events (listed as national “activities”) in which Knesset members have supported a slew of nationalist initiatives, as opposed to 100 listed in the previous report.
This latest survey covered the period between July and December 2011, listing 100 parliamentary achievements attributed to the various MKs, and revealed the often unpublicized activities taking place on the ground to advance West Bank settlements and the rightist patina of the 18th Knesset.
The report is divided into several sections. Under the section titled “Jerusalem,“ Knesset members were praised for promoting the building of 930 housing units in East Jerusalem, shortening the drive from Givat Ze’ev and from Road 443, and aiding “redemption of land.“
Under the "Diplomacy" section, the MKs receive recognition for putting pressure to postpone concessions as part of the peace process, demanding members of Congress to investigate the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and putting forth demands for the release of Jonathan Pollard. A large number of MKs received high marks for preventing an Israeli apology to Turkey over the 2010 flotilla incident. MK Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) over a PR campaign under the slogan “The settlements are legal, there is no occupation, we have a right to Judea and Samaria.“
A section dedicated to settlements in the West Bank and the Golan Heights praises the work of Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar (Likud) and coalition head Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) for raising money dedicated mostly to West Bank settlements. Sa’ar is also lauded for promoting student trips to Hebron and preventing “leftist organizations“ from speaking to students in the city. Furthermore, Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat (Likud) was praised for bringing theater performances, concerts, building reconstruction, and upgraded parks to the West Bank, and Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) was applauded for increasing tourism to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
One section titled "The struggle against the hostile left-wing and the nationalist faction of the Israeli Arab sector," was dedicated to praising the Knesset Ethics Committee for its decision to strip MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) of her parliamentary privileges for her role in the 2010 in the Gaza flotilla, the inauguration of a Jewish school in Jaffa, dedicating more government funds to strengthening the Jewish community in Lod and promoting trips of Jewish students to Jaffa.
In addition, the report investigates the activities of “leftist bastions" such as Israel’s High Court of Justice, the attorney general and legal advisers. MKs are praised for condemning the High Court of Justice, as well as promoting the Grunis Law and a law that would change the makeup of the Judicial Appointments Committee.
The following is a list of the "top ten" MKs in terms of "activity of a national character" (number in parenthesis indicates number of "national" activities):
Ze’ev Elkin (Likud, 47)
Uri Ariel (National Union, 39)
Michael Ben-Ari (National Union, 39)
Daniel Hershkovitz (HaBayit HaYehudi, 37)
Danny Danon (Likud, 34)
Aryeh Eldad (National Union, 33)
Moshe Kahlon (Likud, 31)
Yariv Levin (Likud, 28)
Yuval Steinitz (Likud, 27)
Tzipi Hotovely (Likud, 26)
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