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Yariv Levin

(1969 - )

Yariv Levin was born in Jerusalem on June 22, 1969, to Gail and Aryeh Levin, an Israel Prize laureate for linguistics, His mother’s uncle, Eliyahu Lankin, was commander of the Altalena ship and member of the first Knesset representing Herut, whilst Menachem Begin was the Sandek at Levin’s circumcision ceremony.

Levin studied at Boyar High School in Jerusalem. During his national service he joined the IDF Intelligence Corps as an Arabic translator and later served as commander of an Arabic translation course. In 1995, he published a dictionary of economic terms translated between Hebrew-Arabic-English, Arabic-Hebrew-English and English-Arabic-Hebrew, which won an award for outstanding work in the field of Arabic language studies.

Levin gained an LLB from the Hebrew University and worked as a lawyer in the field of civil-commercial law.

Levin began his public activities in Likud’s student faction at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he served as Spokesman and later as deputy chairman of the faction. In 1997, he headed a team that established the Likud branch in Modi’in and, in 2003, he was appointed chairman of the branch. He also represented the opposition to the disengagement plan from Gaza in the supervising committee of the Likud members’ poll on the plan, and represented the Members of Knesset who opposed the plan in various legal proceedings.

In 2006, Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Levin to head the Likud committee for oversight of government authorities in order to coordinate Likud’s opposition activities against the government and its then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Levin filed an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Prime Minister which resulted in the appointment of a Minister of Social Welfare after a long period of time during which this position was unoccupied.

In addition to his public activities in Likud, Levin took part in establishing the New Young Lawyers Faction, which participated in the elections for the Israel Bar Association institutions for the first time in 1999. Levin, who headed the Faction list, was elected Member of the National Council of the Association and Member of the Jerusalem District Committee representing the Faction. In the National Council elections, Levin was elected Vice Chairman of the Israel Bar Association. Levin was also appointed Head of the Bar Association’s salaried lawyers committee.

In the 2003 elections for the Bar Association’s institutions, the New Young Lawyers Faction increased their power and Levin was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Bar Association (2003–2005). During his work in the Bar Association he took part in its legal aid project Sachar Mitzvah and led reforms in the rules of ethics for lawyers. Levin was among the initiators of the survey examining the conduct of judges in the courtrooms. The Bar Association published the results of the survey.

Between 2003 and 2006, Levin was member of the board of directors of the Company for the Development of East Jerusalem Ltd., and, between 2003 and 2004, he was member of the board of directors of Hapoel Sports Association

In the Likud primaries prior to the 2009 Knesset elections, Levin was elected to represent the central region. He was placed in the twenty-first seat on the Likud list and entered the 18th Knesset as the party won 27 seats. He was re-elected in 2013 after winning seventeenth place on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list. On August 3, 2009, Levin was appointed Chairman of the Knesset House Committee. Levin also served as the Knesset representative to the committee for selecting candidates for Attorney General.

In the elections held for the Likud’s list of candidates for the 19th Knesset Levin was elected to the 9th place, placed in the 17th place in the joint LikudYisrael Beiteinu list and was once again elected to serve in the Knesset. On March 18, 2013, Levin was chosen to serve as the head of the coalition and leader of the Likud – Yisrael Beiteinu faction. On June 3, 2013, he was elected again as the Knesset‘s representative on the committee to locate candidates for the position of Attorney General. Levin served as the Chairman of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset along with MK Orit Strock. Levin also served as the Knesset representative to the committee for selecting candidates for Attorney General.

He has chaired the Lobby for the Advancement of Public Transport in Israel, the Lobby for the Prevention of Illegal Immigrants to Israel, and the Lobby for Eretz Israel. In the 20th Knesset, he served as Minister of Public Security, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Aliyah and Integration.

On May 17, 2020, a majority of 71 MKs voted to elect Levin as Speaker of the 23rd Knesset.

Following the 2022 election, Levin was appointed Minister of Justice.

Levin opposes the creation of a Palestinian State and believes in the right of Jews to settle in all parts of the land of Israel. Levin often criticizes the court system in Israel, claiming a small elite has taken over the system and tries to use it to define the values all citizens must live by..

He is married to Yifat, the daughter of former Knesset Member Ya’akov Shamai. They have three children and live in Modi’in.

Sources: The Likud.
The Knesset.
Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Yair Levin,” Wikipedia.

Photo: Reuven Kapuchinski licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.