Israeli Labor party Platfrom 2013
|מפלגת העבודה שלישי, 15 ינואר 2013 09:43|
Israeli Labour party plarfrom in English (Visit followinf link, for full Herbew version of Labor Platfrom).
Civil Society, Democracy and the Rule of Law
The Labor Party sees the principles of the rule of law, separation of powers, and independence of the legal system as the cornerstones of Israeli democracy. The Labor Party places the highest value on the civil, political, and social rights of Israel’s citizens, as these were granted to them in the framework of the Knesset’s Basic Laws and Supreme Court rulings. These rights are the lifeblood of a just and unified society, and they are at the basis of the State of Israel’s existence.
The Labor Party will work to strengthen Israeli democracy and its ideological and educational foundations.
The Labor Party will work to impart the values of democracy and equality to the entire Israeli public.
The Labor Party will aspire to create dialogue among all sectors and groups within Israeli society in order to reach broad agreement on the guiding civil and social principles around which the entire public can unite.
The Labor Party denounces all forms of racism and will fight against racism and all expressions of it.
The Labor Party believes in equal enforcement of the rule of law for all Israeli citizens.
The judicial system
The Labor Party sees the judiciary as professional, autonomous, and independent.
The Labor Party will defend the autonomous and independent status of Israel’s legal and judicial institutions, including the courts, the attorney general, the state prosecutor, and the state comptroller.
The Labor Party sees the Supreme Court as the highest judicial institution in the State of Israel, responsible for maintaining the values of justice, equality, freedom, and the human and civil rights of Israel’s residents.
The Labor Party will work to fortify the institutional status of the Supreme Court and maintain its authority.
The Labor Party sees public faith in the judicial system as a democratic and civic value of the highest importance, and will work to maintain it.
The Labor Party supports making legal services accessible to the entire Israeli public. The Party will encourage expanding legal services provided to the public, including legal aid, translation, consultation and representation, such that the gates of justice will be open to all citizens in need of the legal system, even if they are unable to finance the costs involved.
The Labor Party will work to improve the legal services provided to citizens in the framework of the public judicial system, and to reduce the prolongation of legal proceedings and delay of justice. This goal will be achieved by strengthening the legal system, reducing judges' workloads, creating positions for additional judges and establishing additional courts, so that the Israeli public can benefit from a professional, efficient and accessible public legal system.
Establishing a constitution
The Labor Party will work to establish a constitution in Israel. Civil and human rights will be enshrined in the constitution, alongside social rights that will ensure the right of each person to high quality education, proper health, and living in dignity.
The Labor Party is obligated to represent its voters and the general Israeli public faithfully and honestly while maintaining maximum transparency and high standards of good governance.
The Labor Party condemns any instance of government corruption and sees it as a misuse of the position and public mission of a publicly-elected representative, and a fatal blow to Israeli democracy. The Party will work to define and adopt government norms based on integrity and good governance, and also towards increasing transparency of decision-making processes.
Protecting individual freedom
Protecting the individual’s right to a private and autonomous space is part of the lifeblood of a democratic society. In light of this, the Labor Party emphatically opposes the creation of a biometric database in Israel. The Party will work to repeal the Biometric Database Law and to promote legislation that will guarantee that no entity in the country – be it a government, public, or business sector entity – will be allowed to hold such undemocratically centralized information which has the potential to strike a fatal blow to the individual freedom of Israeli citizens.
One of the basic obligations of a democratic country is to protect the lives, personal wellbeing, and safety of all its citizens and residents. This responsibility obligates the operation of a professional, efficient, and strict law enforcement arm able to defend the public from anyone who threatens to harm the right to life, freedom, or property.
In recent years, the Israel Police – the body charged with achieving this goal – has faced challenges that have increased its difficulty in carrying out its work properly. The number of police relative to the population that they are meant to serve is one of the lowest in the Western world. The budget provided to the police, as part of the general neo-liberal policies of the Israeli government and its consistent and continuous decrease in public expenditure, is expressed in a serious lack of personnel. In addition, the police budget crisis has led to disproportionately low wages of police and officers relative to the demanding nature of the work, and severely impairs the organization's ability to attract high-quality recruits.
As a result, the Israel Police is having difficulty dealing with the challenges that is faces in terms of crime in general and organized crime specifically, growing waves of violence, and security threats which it must continuously handle.
This trend leads to significant harm to the personal safety of Israeli citizens.
The Labor Party will strive to raise the budget of the Internal Security Ministry in a manner that will allow significant reinforcement of Israel Police manpower and raise the status of the police force. The Party will also strive to codify in law police officers' right to establish a professional union through which they will be able improve working conditions and protect their rights as workers.
Religion and state
Israel is the state of the Jewish people and draws on the Jewish heritage which has preserved the existence of the Jewish nation for thousands of years. The Labor Party strives towards cooperation and respect among all streams of Judaism in Israel and draws many of its social values from Jewish sources. The values of equality, freedom, and mutual responsibility are the foundation stones of Jewish culture.
The Labor Party will work so that the State of Israel, as a Jewish and democratic state, will realize these values through the expression of the following principles:
The Labor Party recognizes the social importance of an agreed-upon rest day for all sectors of the public, the social meaning of the Sabbath as a pillar of Jewish tradition, and the national value of an official shared public space as a unifying factor for the various sectors of society. Therefore, the Party advocates the preservation of Saturday as the general day of rest in Israel.
The Labor Party is in favor of holding cultural, leisure, and recreational activity on Saturday.
The extent of commercial activity on Saturday will be decreased in a manner that expresses the preferences of the residents of each area.
The Labor Party supports operating public transportation on Saturday in a framework that will be limited by agreements determined by local authorities according to the needs and character of their constituent populations.
The Labor Party will work in order to ensure that those who work on Saturday will be properly protected and their rights preserved.
The Labor Party will work firmly to prevent any sign of exclusion of women from the public sphere in Israel.
The Labor Party advocates promoting the value of contributing to the country through army or civilian service among all sectors of Israeli society.
The Labor Party recognizes the importance of Torah study for the ultra-orthodox sector and all of Israeli society. The Party will work to replace the Torato Omanuto [“Torah as a career”] arrangement with an alternative arrangement in the spirit of the "Ben-Gurion Framework", according to which exemptions will be given to a limited quota of yeshiva students, and the rest will be obligated to complete a full term of national service – military or civilian.
The Labor Party will work to integrate the ultra-orthodox population into all economic and social systems in Israel.
The Labor Party will work towards establishing an agreed-upon definition of a core curriculum which will amount to 30% of the total curriculum. The eligibility of schools for government funding will be subject to the curriculum’s implementation.
The Labor Party will work to strengthen the constitutional status of local governments in Israel and work to replace the current British mandate-era legislation regarding municipalities, local and regional councils, with progressive and modern legislation which will provide local governments with the proper status of government authorities. The primary goal of such legislation is the creation of a stable and independent local government system that works in coordination with the national government and its policies, and which is able to implement local vision and policy for the benefit of the residents, their quality of life, and their environment.
The proposed legislation will provide an answer to the needs of the local authorities for governance and independence – needs that derive from their goals, from tasks that the Knesset and the government impose on them, and from areas that they themselves choose to advance in the local democratic system. The legislation will ensure the balance between responsibility and authority and will also provide for significant decentralization from various government ministries to local authorities in Israel while creating a system of controls that will ensure local government transparency.
In order to ensure that all local authorities operate effectively, and in order to decrease the socio-economic disparities between strong and weak localities, the Labor Party will work to significantly raise the balancing grants, to bring back the development budget, and to complete the enactment of the Strong Cities Law. In addition to this, the Party will strive to define the municipal service basket – an obligatory basic standard to which every resident of a local authority in Israel will be eligible. Thus the Party will work towards significant change in the matching method which prevents weak local authorities from utilizing government budgets.
The Labor Party will work to streamline the work of local authorities in Israel, including through the creation of authorities, metropolitan municipalities, and city unions which will simplify planning, coordination, and implementation processes between multiple authorities within the same metropolitan area. These authorities and unions will operate on the basis of economic efficiency, decreasing operational expenses, and simplifying bureaucratic processes.
Immigration and absorption
The State of Israel is an anchor for the Jewish people throughout the world. Since the earliest days of Zionism, aliyah has contributed to the upbuilding and strengthening of Israel. In recent decades, we have been blessed with significant and extensive immigration from the former Soviet Union and from Ethiopia. The continuation of aliyah is critical for the growth of Israel and for ensuring its future strength. The Labor Party is concerned about the decrease in aliyah and calls for Jews wherever they are to immigrate to Israel. The Party will advance policy that will place high priority on encouraging aliyah and ensuring the integration of olim [immigrants] into power centers and their ability to influence Israeli society.
Since the beginning of the large waves of aliyah in the 1990s, Israel has gone from a centralized absorption policy organized by the government to a “direct absorption” policy according to which olim are eligible for cash grants as their initial assistance in acclimatization, after which they are abandoned to their fate. This policy, consistent with that of privatization, has brought about a situation in which a large proportion of the olim lack a substantial affinity to Israeli society in terms of language, culture, and feelings of identity and belonging. The majority of olim who made their homes in Israel during the 1990s arrived in Israel from countries in which they were strictly forbidden from expressing their connection to the Jewish people, from recognizing Judaism and Zionism and from acting to fulfill them. But it was precisely here, in Israel, where they could finally be given the opportunity to express their Jewish identities, that the opportunity was lost because of the policies described above.
Social development is one of the dominant aspirations among the olim population. During the last decade, it has become common to see a wide variety of organizations established by olim as alternatives to the services that the government should have developed. For example, there are theatres in which most of the actors are olim, a national education network in which most of the teachers are olim and the students are children of olim, and means of communication such as local newspapers and television networks in various languages. This trend shows that a significant part of the olim population does not see the State of Israel as a country to place trust in, as providing answers to their daily needs, and primarily – as opposed to the veteran Israeli population – does not feel a deep and meaningful affinity to Israel.
In light of this, the Labor Party will work to change the absorption policy so that the government institutions will take an extensive part in the integration of olim into Israeli society.
The absorption policy that the Labor Party will promote will allow olim from the former Soviet Union, the Baltic States, South America, Europe and Ethiopia – who still deal with difficulties integrating into the country – to feel that they are an inseparable part of society in all its parts without losing their identity and honor.
The Labor Party will work to right wrongs that stem from a lack of sensitivity towards the special needs of the olim from the former Soviet Union in terms of social rights, including old-age pensions; housing for seniors, young couples and the disadvantaged; and subsidized kindergartens and after-school activities for single-parent families.
The Labor Party will work to assist olim in the following fields: easing conversion, ensuring the right to marry in the manner of one's choosing, assistance in finding adequate employment, and in training and career changes.
The Labor Party will work to eradicate racism against olim from Ethiopia which has taken root in parts of Israeli society and is expressed by unequal treatment against Israelis from Ethiopian origin in residential areas, workplaces, schools, and places of recreation.
The Labor Party will work to implement the Affirmative Action Law in employing Ethiopian olim academics in government ministries, in government companies, and in local authorities.
The Labor Party will work to provide an extensive answer to the difficulties in the absorption of Ethiopian olim and integrating them into Israeli society in the best possible way. This goal will be achieved by closing gaps in education, assisting in professional training and finding adequate employment, paying thorough attention to the problem of domestic violence, making neighborhoods that are primarily occupied by Ethiopians more heterogeneous, and ensuring affordable housing for young couples of the community.
The Labor Party will strive to rehabilitate the trampled dignity of the Kes (the spiritual leaders of the Ethiopian community) and to preserve Ethiopian history and culture among the younger generation of Ethiopian olim and Israeli society in general. The Party will fight any expression of discrimination against Ethiopian olim and will work to promote social tolerance and openness towards their culture, and to accept and include them in the Israeli identity as a whole.
Agriculture, Kibbutzim and Moshavim
The Labor Party will work to strengthen agricultural settlements in Israel by encouraging agriculture and farming. In this manner, the future of agricultural lands will be ensured and the development and suburbanization pressures currently operating on them will be moderated.
One of the critical means for ensuring that agricultural settlements will continue to fulfill their national mission is a perpetual land lease included in the community’s agricultural allotment. The farmers’ rights to their land must be enshrined in a perpetual lease conditioned on continuing to work the land.
The Labor Party will work to protect the profitability of agriculture, as is common in Western countries, by enacting protective customs to be determined subject to international trade agreements. The Party advocates government supervision of this customs policy mechanism and of the cost of agricultural products to consumers by providing antitrust exemptions to agriculture (“the agricultural exemption”).
The Labor Party will work to preserve and strengthen the dairy industry based on the plan outlined in the Dairy Law.
Arab, Druze and Circassian citizens of Israel
“I must admit that for years and years our attitude towards Arabs and Druze has been mistaken. Today, 45 years after the establishment of the State there are significant disparities between the Jewish and Arab communities in many areas. In the name of the new government, I find it fitting to promise to the Arab, Druze and Bedouin populations that that I will do as much as possible to close these gaps. We will try to take a significant leap forward in order to ensure the wellbeing of the minority populations who have tied their fate with ours.” (Yitzchak Rabin’s address at the opening session of the 13th Knesset, July 13, 1992).
The policy of drying up budgets and unequal legislation have caused deterioration in the relationships between the various national and ethnic groups in Israel and have harmed the delicate social fabric of coexistence between them within the framework of a Jewish and democratic state.
The Labor Party – a Party of Jews, Arabs, Druze, and Circassians – will work to establish wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary, and long-term government policy to diminish the economic disparities within the general population, and eradicate all types of racism and discrimination, out of a belief in the equality of human value and dignity for all populations and cultures.
The Labor Party will strive to preserve coexistence in Israel by taking the following measures:
Israel and Diaspora Jewry
For the Jewish people, the State of Israel is a sovereign space in which their children can fulfill their national identity completely and safely, and work together with all Israeli citizens to create a texture of shared life in every aspect. The strength of the Jewish people is dependent on the social, economic, and diplomatic strength of Israel. The Labor Party will work to strengthen the State of Israel as the physical and spiritual center for the Jewish people from all Diaspora communities. This center must be an exemplary society based on the values of equality, justice, freedom, and peace in the spirit of the vision of the prophets.
The Labor Party calls for all Jews interested in this vision to continue the Zionist revolution and immigrate to Israel, tie their fate to the fate of Israeli society and participate in the historic and ongoing mission devoted to establishing, strengthening, and preserving the sovereign existence of the Jewish people in its homeland. The Labor Party advocates that any Jew who chooses to immigrate to Israel will take an equal and active part in Israeli democracy and will exercise all the rights given to citizens of the country, including taking part in elections to the Knesset. The Labor Party opposes granting the right to vote to Jews abroad who are not citizens of Israel.
The Labor Party sees encouraging aliyah among diaspora Jews as of the utmost importance. The Party will strive to strengthen Israel’s relationship with world Jewish communities, including strengthening programs such as Birthright, Masa, and Na’aleh.
In addition, the Party will work to strengthen Zionist education and the study of Hebrew language and culture in the Diaspora, especially through the Zionist youth movements.
Guaranteeing equal rights for people with disabilities
In spite of the formal equality enshrined in law for all Israeli citizens, in practice people with disabilities are excluded from the public sphere due to the lack of sufficient budgeting, planning, enforcement, and awareness about everything required to make that space accessible to them. Similarly, people with disabilities suffer from systematic and structural discrimination against them in the labor market and business world because there is as of yet no consolidated political, economic, and social policy in place to ensure their ability to fully utilize their skills without being impinged upon by the challenges with which they are forced to deal.
The Labor Party sees the phenomena described above as a severe blow to the equality of human value and to human dignity and freedom. The Party is committed to ensuring the full and substantial equal rights of people with disabilities, and in order to realize this objective will advance legislation which will include, inter alia, the following key points:
Establishing a center for entrepreneurship to specialize in assisting people with disabilities in being self-employed or operating businesses.
Making the study of accessibility a compulsory part of academic study programs in architecture and engineering, as is common worldwide.
Gender and the status of women
The Labor Party will strive to advance gender equality and freedom in Israeli society in all aspects of life, for women and men alike. In order to do so the Party will work to increase the representation of women in all areas of government: in the Knesset, in government ministries, in the courts, and in local authorities. This activity will include legislation ensuring representation in various positions, additional funding for the representation of women, and increasing the proportion of representation guaranteed to women in Party institutions, lists for the Knesset, and local authorities.
Setting Party policy on budgetary and other subjects will include consideration of the influence of law on gender roles (gender mainstreaming), based on the aspiration to promote equality of the sexes.
Women are the weakest link among all workers. They earn the lowest wage in the labor market, are more likely than men to be employed part-time or as contract workers, and have less job security. The Labor Party will fight to close the wage gap between men and women. Within that, the Labor Party will work to increase the enforcement of existing labor laws in this and other areas. Additionally, it will advance the institution of working hours suited to raising a family for both men and women in the private and public sectors.
The Labor Party will promote establishing free education from the age of three months under the full responsibility of the Education Ministry, with the goal of allowing parents to best integrate into the labor market. Likewise, the Labor Party will work to strengthen other institutions of the welfare state whose erosion has further distanced women from participation in the labor market. These include health institutions, education, geriatric care, care for people with disabilities, internal security and policing and more. Strengthening these institutions in order to promote equality between the sexes is also necessary given that in some of them the majority of positions are held by women.
The Party will promote equal investment in the field of health while placing emphasis on the development and funding of gynaecology, and funding of treatments and medications in this field in the subsidized medical basket.
Along with striving for future gender equality, the Labor Party will fight to develop mechanisms for compensating women for existing power inequalities which exist in society today, and for maintaining the existing mechanisms which protect women. Legislation will be promoted which supports women in the labor market, in owning property and capital, and in political representation.
The LGBT community
The Labor Party is committed to promote full, substantial equal rights for the LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender – community in Israel, based on an uncompromising faith in the equality of human value. The Party will work to rescind all legislative or procedural discrimination based on sexual identity, and to eradicate physical and verbal violence and incitement against the community in Israeli society.
The Labor Party will promote State recognition of marriage ceremonies conducted according to the culture and preference of the couple marrying, and recognition of same-sex marriage, among all relevant bodies.
The Labor Party will work to secure in legislation that which the LGBT public has achieved thus far via legal rulings, administrative guidelines, or practices of various government authorities.
The Labor Party will work to promote education towards tolerance in Israeli society, inter alia by implementation of pluralistic, LGBT-related content in the formal and informal education system, and promoting explanatory activity on this matter in public and private institutions.
Absorption and dealing with labor migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees in Israel
Over the last two decades the number of foreign residents in Israel has increased, including authorized foreign workers, foreign workers whose authorization has expired, asylum-seekers, and refugees.
The State of Israel has the sovereign right to determine who will enter its gates. The Labor Party advocates preserving the character of Israel as the State of the Jewish people. At the same time, the Party is committed to preserving the rights, safety and dignity of every person in Israel, whether the person's arrival in Israel was arranged in order to work for a limited period, the person is seeking asylum, or even if the person entered Israel illegally – until the person's departure is arranged.
"And a stranger shall you do no wrong, neither shall you oppress him; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22:20)
"One law shall be to him that is homeborn and unto the stranger that dwells among you." (Exodus 12:49)
The State of Israel was among the first signatories to the UN Refugee Convention, but until today it has refrained from defining in law its procedures regarding asylum-seekers and their rights. The refugee phenomenon is a global issue for which the nations of the world are responsible. The Labor Party will therefore support the State of Israel's participation in the formation of international solutions to the refugee issue and the allocation of resources to deal with it. This comes from the moral stance that a people that knew exile and statelessness for thousands of years must take a central role in promoting such solutions. The Labor Party will promote setting clear, legally-mandated policy regarding the status and rights of asylum-seekers, refugees, and those who are found not to be eligible for refugee status. This policy will include the following key points, among others:
The Labor Party is committed to promoting culture in Israel, in all of its forms. The Party attributes the highest importance to citizens’ access to high culture and therefore will strive to substantially increase public subsidization of the various fields of culture. The Labor Party will work towards increasing public allocations for culture in accordance with UNESCO recommendations.
Based on its view of cultural creation as a free and spontaneous activity, the Labor Party will support establishing frameworks for artists and independent cultural groups in all fields of culture, and protecting freedom of expression and freedom of creation against government and corporate interference.
The Labor Party will work to support and promote artists and cultural groups which advance community culture.
The Labor Party supports public broadcasting and the operation of an independent, worthy, and high-quality public network.
The Labor Party will work towards ensuring benefits and pensions for artists. To do so, it will support establishing a governmental support fund for authors, poets, artists, and composers and creating a support framework by the government for artists, businesses, small organizations, and self-employed persons in all fields of culture. Additionally, the Party will promote proper State artists' unions and their right to conduct negotiations about their working conditions.
The Labor Party believes that sports develop the physical and mental resilience and vitality of human beings, contribute significantly to public health, and are an essential instrument in conveying the value of social cooperation to children and teenagers. The Party will work to strengthen the public infrastructure which enables gaining experience in different fields of sport, and training athletes in these fields.
The Labor Party will work to encourage the trend of sports clubs that are owned by their fans.
The Labor Party will work to establish suitable sports infrastructure for people with disabilities and to train suitable professionals to work in such facilities.
|עודכן לאחרונה ב- שלישי, 15 ינואר 2013 09:59|