Which Labor and Jewish Home Knesset Members were Socially Conscious?

This Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, members of the Labor and Jewish Home parties will have the opportunity to vote for their party’s’ candidate list for the elections to the 20th Knesset. As part of its efforts to inform the voting public, the Social Guard in the Knesset, a non-partisan Israeli non-profit, is releasing the results of its Social Index, a ranking of Members of the Knesset based on their votes on socio-economic issues, for the Labor and Jewish Home parties.

The full results of the Labor Party are available here, while those for the Jewish Home party are available here.

The Full Ranking of Jewish Home MKs
The Full Ranking of Jewish Home MKs
The Full Ranking of Labor Party MKs
The Full Ranking of Labor Party MKs

Standouts for Labor and the Jewish Home 

Knesset Member Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli scored the highest of all Jewish Home MKs on the Social Index. Mualem-Rafaeli returned a score of 37.3 on the Index, almost three times higher than the score of the next highest faction member, Zvulun Kalfa (a member of Tkuma). MK Mualem-Rafaeli also attended a high number of votes on socio-economic issues – 241 of 425, or 57%.

Minister Uri Orbach comes in third place among Jewish Home MKs on the Index, with a score of 13.3. He attended a relatively low number of votes, perhaps due to his position as a Minister, but when he did attend votes, voted in a much more socially conscious way than many other members of the party. 

Eitan Cabel was the most socially conscious member of the Labor Party faction during the 19th Knesset, according to the results of the Social Index. Cabel received the high score of 96.1 – close to the maximum possible score of 100 – in part due to his frequent presence at Knesset votes. Cabel also came in first place in the Labor Party faction for his presence at votes – he appeared at 67% of the 425 votes that appeared – significantly higher than the Labor Party average of 43% participation.

The five highest-scoring members of the party were Eitan Cabel, Moshe Mizrahi, Nachman Shai, Merav Michaeli, and Mickey Rosenthal. Among these five, of particular note is Merav Michaeli, who scored highly despite a relatively low presence at votes, meaning that she had a high “effectiveness” rating. Michaeli also comes in as the highest-rated female Member of Knesset.

Points of Weakness: The Least Socially-Conscious Members

Meanwhile, Erel Margalit, who scored second to last among Labor MKs, participated in less than a quarter of all eligible votes (104 of 425), and ended up with a score of 69.5, a number surpassed by coalition MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid). Margalit is attempting to sell himself as a senior minister in the next government – but it appears he forgot that he first needed to excel at his job as a Member of the Knesset. Another relatively weak member of the faction is general secretary Hilik Bar, who did roughly the opposite of Michaeli – he showed up to the third most number of votes of party members, yet came in sixth place on the Social Index.

Nissan Slomiansky, Chair of the Knesset Finance Committee, came in second-to-last place among all Jewish Home MKs on the Social Index, attending a similar number of votes as Orbach, but with a much different result: he ended up scoring a negative 8.4 for his anti-socially conscious votes. In last place in the party, Avi Worzman scored a negative 15.4. Worzman has sought to brand himself as socially conscious during the primary campaign due to his experience as Vice Minister of Education, but his voting record tells a decidedly different story – he comes in as the least socially-conscious of all MKs who served the full term of the 19th Knesset.

About the Social Index:

The Social Index is published at the end of each Knesset session and examines how Members of Knesset voted on socio-economic bills. Votes that align with the values of the Social Guard in the Knesset win Members of the Knesset positive points, while those that clash with the Social Guard’s values lead to negative points. Non-votes do not affect the ranking in either direction. The index of the 19th Knesset includes all of its sessions, with votes weighted based on in which session they occurred and on their perceived importance to create a range of possible scores from 100 downward. A list of all the bills that were examined in the Social Index is available in Hebrew here.

About the Author
Born and raised outside of Wilmington, Delaware, Harris Engelmann currently resides in the Florentin neighborhood of southern Tel Aviv and serves as the Knesset Social Guard's Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator as part of his participation in the NIF/Shatil Social Justice Fellowship.
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