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Likud MKs' Rating Drops Because of Regulation Law, NGO Finds

The Knesset’s rejection of the recent regulation bill has caused the rating of several Likud ministers to drop.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/17/2012, 4:43 AM

Likud conference
Likud conference
PR photo

The Knesset’s rejection of the recent regulation bill, which was aimed at circumventing a court order to destroy five residential units in the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El, has caused the rating of several Likud ministers to drop.

According to a new report by Mattot Arim, a nationalist grassroots network numbering 20,000 Israelis, the rating of six ministers from the Likud has significantly dropped due to their voting against the law last month.

The ministers are Gilad Erdan (who dropped from 75 to 69), Benny Begin (who dropped from 76 to 70), Moshe Ya’alon (from 84 to 77), Moshe Kachlon (from 79 to 73), Limor Livnat (from 83 to 76) and Gideon Sa’ar (who dropped from 75 to 69).

Mattot Arim’s report documents the achievements and activities of elected officials – both ministers and Knesset members – at any moment since the beginning of their term in office. The report is aimed at giving the Israeli public a tool to track the activities of its representatives. The organization decided to give the vote on the regulation law a significant weight in measuring politicians’ ratings for the second half of 2012, as it was a crucial issue for nationalist voters.

The report used the special RANK calculation method to calculate the relative position of all elected officials, based on their accomplishments throughout the period of the current Knesset. A position was calculated for each elected official, ranging from 100 for first place to the legislator with the most accomplishments, to 99 for second place, 98 for third place and so on.

Referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s threat to fire ministers over a vote in favor of the Regulation Law, Mattot Arim rejected the mitigating claim that a minister was therefore not free to vote in favor of the law and against the eviction because of Netanyahu's threat. Those who make this claim are saying that, as such, a minister's vote against the law should not be considered when calculating his ratings.

“First of all that claim is incorrect, because a minister may vote against [the eviction, despite a threat of dismissal by the Prime Minister]. We checked the law,” said the organization. “Second, if a minister thinks he can contribute more to the national camp without being a minister, then he should give back the keys [to his ministerial office, -ed.]."

"As for the claim that certain ministers voted for the eviction in order to gain other achievements for the national camp in the future, there are two answers. First of all if these achievements will actually occur, they will appear in our next report and will neutralize the rating of a certain minister who may have damaged himself when he voted against the regulation law. Second, an ideological legislator should not refuse to support a preliminary reading of a law of such crucial national importance. The ministers should have supported the law while at the same time announcing that if some great and significant achievement is granted [to make up for the demolishment of the houses, -ed.], then they will consider voting against it in the second and third readings.”

The report noted that it is already possible to identify a small number of ministers and MKs who definitely deserve the support of nationalist voters. These are the legislators who have excelled in a high rank consistently through the entire tenure of the Knesset and the government so far. The highest ranking elected officials include: Ze’ev Elkin, Danny Danon and Yariv Levin, who all received a score of 98, Tzipi Hotovely who received 94, and three of the four National Union MKs: Prof. Aryeh Eldad, Uri Ariel and Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (who rank 96, 99 and 98, respectively).

There are six elected officials that, if they persist in their current activity pattern until the elections, are expected with high probability to be supported by voters. These are six MKs whose position average is 80 and over: Ofir Akunis, Zion Pinyan, Miri Regev and Reuven Rivlin from the Likud, David Rotem from Yisrael Beytenu, and Avraham Michaeli from Shas. It should be noted that Likud Minister Yuli Edelstein was ranked just one point below the 80 and over category (79), because he did not support the regulation law at the last minute.

Finally, the report notes that religious Jewish voters would be better off voting for the Jewish Home party rather than for Shas, because while the level of achievements of Shas stands at 67, lower than that of the Likud, the Jewish Home's level of achievements is 85. It should be noted that in the last election, a group of religious nationalists voted Shas to show their displeasure with the national religious parties.