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Yariv Levin

(1969 - )

Yariv Levin is an Israeli lawyer and politician. He currently serves as a member of Knesset for Likud, Minister of Public Security and Minister of Tourism.

Levin was born in Jerusalem 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.

Levin gained an LLB from the Hebrew University and worked as a lawyer in the field of civil-commercial law. He married Yifat, daughter of former Knesset Member Ya'akov Shamai. They have three children and live in Modi'in.

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 aide 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.

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 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 the 18th of March 2013 Levin was chosen to serve as the head of the coalition and leader of the LikudYisrael Beiteinu faction. On the 3rd of June 2013 he was elected again as the Knesset’s representative on the committee to locate candidates for the position of Attorney General. Levin serves as the Chairman of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset along with MK Orit Strock. Levin also serves as the Knesset representative to the committee for selecting candidates for Attorney General.

Levin holds hawkish views with respect to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He 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 in order to define the values Israel lives by.


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