Avi Gabbay was elected the 12th Chairman of Israel’s Labor Party, the second largest party in the Israeli parliament (Knesset), in July 2017. Prior to that, Gabbay served as Minister of Environmental Protection for one year, resigning in May 2016 due to fundamental ideological differences with the government. Gabbay joined politics after a long career at Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecoms company, culminating in his position as CEO from 2007-2013. During his term as CEO, Bezeq became one of the most profitable global communications companies, despite a dramatic transition into a competitive market environment. Gabbay resigned from Bezeq and business activities in 2013, and shifted his focus to public service. He became the Acting Chairman of the Board of Appleseeds Academy, a non-profit organization that brings technology to underserved communities in Israel and later joined the Israeli Labor Party. Gabbay holds a B.A. in Economics, and an MBA, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is a native Jerusalemite and the son of Moroccan immigrants.The seventh of eight children, Gabbay was the first person in his family to be born in Israel. Today he is married to Ayelet, an immigrant from
Austrlia, with whom he has three children.
Formerly Chairperson of the Israel Students’ Union and member of the General Assembly of the European Students’ Union. Among the leaders of the Tent Protest in the summer of 2011, among the leaders of the struggle for Equality in Sharing the Burden, leads the Students’ Union project in Lod.
Holds a B.Ed. degree in Special Education from Oranim College and is in the midst of his Masters’ studies in Public Policy, in the program for exceptional students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In line with his outlook on life that young people too must act and be part of the change that they wish to see in Israeli society, he lived in Lod and led the broad program to strengthen the city.
Serves as a member of the Knesset Finance Committee and also of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee. In addition, serves as the Chairperson of many lobbies in the Knesset. Among the most prominent of them: Chairperson of the Pensioners’ Lobby, Chairperson of the Lone Soldiers’ Lobby, Chairperson of the Lobby against the “Price Tag” activities and the Lahava organization, and Chairperson of the Animal Rights Lobby in the Knesset.
Led and leads many social struggles in the Knesset, among them the struggle for the integration of persons with disabilities in the occupational market, the struggle against the Water Corporations, against their cutting off the water supply for low-income families, the struggle for regularization of the Collective Nursing Insurance for pensioners, and the struggle for regularization of the standing and rights of contractual workers. All these and more gave him the title of “The Most Socially Active Member of the Knesset” for four year in a row, from the Social Guard Organization, and also the prize as the Outstanding Parliamentarian from the Israel Democracy Institute.
Member of Parliament Stav Shaffir is the youngest female parliament member in Israel’s history. Now in her second term in Parliament, she chairs the Transparency Committee, as well as the Social Justice Caucus. In 2017, she founded the OECD’s Forum on Integrity and Transparency and chaired its first meeting.
Shaffir led a reform for budgetary transparency and strategy, exposed the government’s secret money transfers, and fought to end corrupt usage of tax-payer money. Shaffir is formally a journalist and peace activist, who became one of the leaders of the Israeli social movement that brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets in the summer of 2011, and became Israel’s biggest-ever protest – focusing on housing, social services, equality and democracy. Following the protest and in an effort to continue the change from within, Shaffir entered politics. Before the 2011 protest movement began, Shaffir worked as an editor for Yedioth Aharonoth’s website and studied for her master’s degree in the Philosophy and History of Science and Ideas Department at Tel Aviv University. She has a BA in Journalism and Sociology from City University London, where she was the recipient of the Olive Tree Program scholarship, a unique initiative for young leaders from the Middle East.
Leader of the social-economic struggle for a just society in Israel. Has had 46 of her laws for the betterment of the public enacted. Former head of the opposition. In the past was a prominent journalist and writer.
Shelly Yachimovich (born March 28, 1960). Member of the Knesset from the Labor Party. Before entering politics, she was a journalist, a radio and television personality and a writer. Served in the IDF as a Women’s Corp NCO on the Hatzerim Air Force base, as a Adjutancy Officer at the Etzion Base and as the Service Conditions Officer of the Lavie Project. She is a graduate of the Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology) Department at Ben Gurion University. Daughter of a construction-worker father and a mother who was a teacher – Hannah and Moshe – both of whom were Holocaust survivors from Poland. Mother of Gal (22) and Rama (17), lives in the Kerem HaTeimanim neighborhood in Tel Aviv.
Journalist: Shelly was for many years a journalist and media presenter for “Al HaMishmar”, “Reshet B”, IDF Radio and the Channel 2 Television News Company. In these positions she often dealt with social and economic issues from a social-democratic point of view and on subjects connected with Women’s rights. On November 29, 2005, she announced that she was leaving journalism and entering politics, and that she would be a candidate for a place on the Labor Party’s list for the 17th Knesset. Was chosen for the 9th place on the list and after the election, became a Member of the Knesset. She was an outstanding member of the Knesset Finance Committee and the State Control Committee. Until 2008, was the head of the Special Committee for the Rights of the Child. In the Labor Party primary elections in December 2008, was chosen for fifth place in the party’s list for the 18th Knesset. In this Knesset served as the Chairperson of the Ethics Committee and was a member of the Finance Committee and the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee.
Is considered to be an outstanding member of the Knesset. She leads dozens of important struggles and has had 46 of her laws enacted, which are meant to protect the weak and the middle classes, close gaps in society and restrict the power of Capital. Among the struggles she has lead: the struggle to increase the gas royalties, the struggle to rein in the salaries of senior officials, the struggle to stop the privatization of State Lands, the struggle to prevent the privatization of the prisons, the struggle to cancel the Wisconsin Program, the struggle to reduce employment of contractual workers, the struggle against the tax exemption for “non-taxable income of international companies”, the struggle against privatization of the Hostels for Wards of the State, the struggle against the privatization of the Mental Health System, and others.
Among her laws that were enacted are: the Law for the Right to Work Sitting-Down (the “Cashiers’ Law”), the Law for the Protection of Whistle-Blowers, the Law for the Protection of Salaries, the National Health Insurance Law for Those who were Absent from the Country and have Returned, the Lobbyists’ Law, the Law to Lengthen Maternity Leave, the Law on Public Transportation Information, the Security Services Textile Law, the Flag Law and many other laws.
Chairperson of the Labor Party from September 21, 2011 to December 21, 2013.
MK Amir Peretz was born in Morocco, immigrated to Israel at the age of 4 and was educated in Sderot. Served as an officer in the IDF Paratroop Brigade. Was seriously injured during service in Sinai and was released from the IDF with the rank of Captain.
After his release, set up a farm together with his wife Ahlama on Moshav Nir Akiva. The couple has four children.
In 1984, was elected as the mayor of the City of Sderot and was one of the first development town mayors belonging to the Israeli Left.
Already In 1984, as opposed to the trend in Israel at that time, openly supported the establishment of a Palestinian state. Initiated and led an educational program in Sderot for promoting co-existence between Jews and Arabs.
In 1988 was elected to the Knesset, where he has served in various parliamentary positions. Over the years, has been a member of nearly all the Knesset committees, served as the Chairperson of the Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, where he promoted revolutionary social laws, of which the most outstanding were: the National Health Law, the Law for raising the Minimum Wage, Protection for Workers employed by Manpower Companies, the Ringworm Victims Compensation Law., and more.
MK Peretz is considered to be the one who brought social issues to the forefront of the public agenda and caused all the Israeli political parties to make them part of their platforms.
In 1995 became the Chairperson of the Israel General Federation of Labor – Histadrut, in the stormy period of social struggles, which brought about many achievements for both the working public and also for the weaker populations.
In 2006 was elected Chairperson of the Labor Party, which he led to achieving 19 seats in the Knesset elections, despite a difficult campaign against Arik Sharon and the Kadima Party.
Peretz led the Labor party into a combined coalition with Kadima, headed by Ehud Olmert. Together they established a government based on the principles of striving for social justice and peace. Served in this government as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
As Minister of Defense, led the reorganization of the IDF after the Second Lebanon War. He put into place a program of training that returned the IDF to a fit status, a program for rehabilitation of the Emergency Warehouses and together with the Deputy Minister of Defense Ephraim Sneh, established the National Emergency Authority (RAH”EL). At the same time, MK Peretz insisted upon and brought about the development and equipping of the IDF with the “Iron Dome” System. At that time, this decision was opposed by the Defense Establishment. In time, this became an important part of the Home Front’s defensive system, and a proud Israeli achievement in the eyes of the world.
Peretz continues to support the Peace Process, and the promotion of a solution with the Palestinian people, based on the concept of Two States for Two People.
In addition, he continues to promote many social issues as part of his integrated outlook that there can be no social justice without peace, and no peace without social justice. In his opinion, peace must come from within society, as a “popular” item and not something that belongs to the elite.
On December 6, 2012, on the background of differences of opinion with MK Shelly Yach , Amir Peretz announced that he was joining “The Tnua” (Movement) headed by Zippy Livne.
In the 19th Knesset, Peretz served as the Minister of the Environment.
In the 20th Knesset, Peretz serves as an MK from the Zionist Camp, Chairperson of the Subcommittee for the Readiness of the Home Front of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and a member of the Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality.