MK Dov Khenin Announces He Won’t Run in Upcoming Elections

Hadash lawmaker Dov Khenin (Joint List), announced yesterday, Tuesday, January 1, that he will not be running for the Knesset in April 9’s general elections.

Khenin made the announcement at a press conference in the Knesset after having previously informed the heads of Communist Party of Israel (CPI) of his intention to leave Israel’s parliament after 12 years as a legislator. MK Khenin is a long-time member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPI.

Hadash MKs Dov Khenin, left, and Ayman Odeh (Chair of the Joint List), center, in a demonstration held in Central Tel Aviv on October 9, 2015. Khenin's placards reads: "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."

Hadash MKs Dov Khenin, left, and Ayman Odeh (Chair of the Joint List), center, in a demonstration held in Central Tel Aviv on October 9, 2015. Khenin’s placards reads: “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies.” (Photo: American Jewish Peace Archive)

Khenin first entered the Knesset in 2006, and was reelected by large majorities in all of Hadash’s internal elections for the Knesset slates before the ensuing elections.

MK Khenin is currently a member of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee and Science and Technology Committee and chair of the Subcommittee for Public Transportation and he heads the Knesset’s Joint Committee on Environment and Health. In the past he has also chaired Knesset lobbies for Society and Environment (the Knesset’s largest), Holocaust Survivors, Direct Employment, Housing, Public Health, and the Promotion of Green Energy.

Khenin’s legislation focuses mainly on issues pertaining to human rights, working class and social rights, ecology, and social change. He has often been outspoken in his disagreement with the far right and neo-liberal Israeli government’s policies, speaking out against occupation, exploitation and environmental and humanitarian issues.

In addition, Khenin is a supporter of broader ecological legislation. In 2012, he proposed setting up an “environmental court” for the country. He envisioned a court that would watch over the country’s natural resources, as well as safeguard wildlife and ecosystems. Recognizing the municipality’s lack of authority over traffic regulations, Khenin acted in 2008 to pass legislation that would have communities create their own policies. This legislation, aimed at allowing a more direct and local solution to automotive pollution problems, allows effective public transportation changes to be implemented on the smaller scale. Khenin also battled against industrial pollution in Haifa. In 2014, He headed a subcommittee calling for stricter environmental standards to be imposed on privatized Haifa’s oil refineries located along its port. The panel demonstrated a link between pollution from the refineries to increased risk of cancer among residents in the area.

As a veteran activist in peace and anti-occupation movements, Khenin is a clear supporter of Palestinian national rights. During the Israeli army’s deadly Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, Khenin expressed vehement opposition to the war, placing complete blame on Prime Minister Netanyahu. During the summer of 2014 Khenin spoke out against the operation both in the political and social sphere. At a protest in Tel Aviv, he posed a question to a crowd of 7,000: “We must ask directly, has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”

As an Member of the Knesset, Khenin has been deeply involved in social and environmental issues and is very active in protests organized by workers striking or otherwise demanding improved working conditions; for social justice in general; for peace; for protecting the environment; for gender equality; and for LGTB rights.

Related: Posts on the parliamentary work of MK Dov Khenin