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5.6 POLITICAL SCIENCE
Lobbying in Israel was unregulated for 60 years. Scholars have decried the fact that high value is attached to the written decree, but implementation does not necessarily follow: quite a few laws have remained at symbolic level in Israel. There were two unsuccessful bills submitted to legislate lobbying regulation: first by Knesset Member (MK) Merom in 1993 and the second one by MK Naot in 2001. The bill submitted by MKs Yechimovich and Sa'ar in 2007 resulted in passing the Israeli lobbying regulations in 2008, but the Lobbyist Law displayed unexpected characteristics, and there was a 500% growth in lobbyist numbers. In 2012, a scandal shook the Israeli lobbying world as a crew from the Israeli Channel 2's investigative show Uvda (‘Fact’) infiltrated the training program of the Gilad Government Relations & Lobbying firm. Following the Channel 2 exposé, the Speaker of the Knesset MK Rivlin instructed Knesset employees to immediately forbid the entrance of all lobbyists to areas heavily used by MKs. These steps, taken almost 4 years after that the Knesset had passed a weak Lobbyist Law, scoring 28 points according to the Center of Public Integrity score, did not create more transparency but only set certain restrictions on the lobbyists' movements in the Knesset building. In 2013, MK Koll submitted a bill to further regulate the lobbying followed by another bill by MKs Yechimovich and Tsur in 2014. However, these bills were thrashed as the Knesset was dispersed in December 2014. This paper would analyze the bills from 1993, 2001, 2007, 2013, and 2014 by measuring their strength according to the Center of Public Integrity Index in order to explore the path that resulted in passing the Lobbyist Law in 2008 and in the following developments.
Veksler, A. (2016) Lobbying in the sunshine—hiding behind transparency?. J. Public Affairs, 16: 39– 49. doi: 10.1002/pa.1564.