What We Do
Inside the Knesset: The Social Guard invites citizens to register on its website and receive a weekly newsletter, which describes the latest legislation and gives next week's committee schedule. People choose the discussion which interests them (some come once or twice, others have become weekly attendants). A special team obtains permits for these visitors; invitations are issued at our request by the committee chairpersons. Our research team then provides monitors with detailed information about the discussion they will attend.
Monitors are asked to write their personal commentary. Since each one of them has a different perspective, each testimony thus presents a unique point of view. Moreover, we are able to follow dozens of discussions each week and gain a broad and complex perspective.
We have also spearheaded successful campaigns for transparency and accountability in the Knesset, MLC campaign and the campaign to shorten the summer recess.
The Social Index: At the conclusion of each session of Parliament, the Social Guard publishes its Social Index, a non-biased “report card” which grades each MK and party according to their social-economic voting patterns. For each examined period and its Social Index, dozens of civilians decide which bills promote "Fair Distribution of Wealth", "Civic Equality", "Active Citizenship" and the "Re-establishment of the Welfare State". Based on the results, the Social Guard provides an effective instrument for all Israeli citizens, civil society organizations, journalists and party-members, assisting them in comparing and ranking the most socially-committed parties and party-members. See for example, 2014 social index summer report.
The Jerusalem Post – March 26, 2014: MKs Lipman, Cabel top Knesset 'Social Index'
The Jerusalem Post – Dec 29, 2014: Elkin ranked least socially-minded in Likud, but most right-wing
Haaretz – August 13, 2014: FM Avigdor Lieberman missed all 'social votes' in Knesset session (print version)
Arutz 7, August 12, 2014: 'Social Guard' Index: MK Shmuli Most Points; MK Slomiansky Least
Beyond The Knesset and Education: The Social Guard has begun to move beyond the Knesset in an effort to bring transparency and promote empowered civic engagement in Israeli society at large. In partnership with the IDC in Hertziliya, we developed an ongoing "Social-Legislation Clinic" which is now entering its second year.
The Social Guard is unique because our volunteers come from all parts of the political spectrum and Israeli society. This was made possible through professional work with academia as well as moderate PR and content design. Our website is going through a complete redesign and will become the most comprehensive database for social legislative issues in Israel, an address for all those who struggle for social justice and a stronger democracy.
The Social Guard is designed to include citizens of all descents, origins, faiths, and political affiliations. We have the potential to affect the lives of millions, both through legislation and through the citizens’ empowerment in parliament. The summer of 2011 showed that mobilization is only half the equation, and not enough to bring about sufficient changes in policy-making. The other half is continued engagement, with a growing number of diverse yet organized citizens showing up in the Knesset and reclaiming their rights in person.
A series of articles regarding Knesset's transparency and The Social Guard's part in the fight for change, on the Jerusalem Post:
April 17, 2014: Knesset committee public protocols lack key voting information
April 17, 2014: MK Horowitz: It’s a basic thing, to know how ministers voted
April 20, 2014: The info is there, but who can figure it out?
April 20, 2014: The lobbying dilemma