For the first time, the Knesset is releasing a series of TV infomercials dealing with the work of the Israeli parliament. The new campaign presents the legislative work that is carried out in the Knesset and the transparency of this work. The infomercials were produced by the Government Advertising Agency. The campaign, which will be launched on Tuesday, costs NIS 1.8 million.

The need for the infomercials arose from repeated claims by the public that the Knesset`s real work was not exposed to the public. The majority of Israelis are not familiar with the essence of the legislative work that is being done in the Knesset, nor are they familiar with the other roles the Knesset plays. Studies indicate that the Knesset`s image is constantly being damaged, in part due to the public`s lack of familiarity with the Knesset`s work and its exposure, often times, to gimmicks and insignificant issues which gain a lot of coverage. Therefore, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein instructed Director-General Ronen Plot to work with professional elements in order to better explain the Knesset`s work to the public.

Alongside the commercials, the Knesset is making additional efforts aimed at improving its image. These include a series of educational projects marking the 50th anniversary of the Knesset building, which were launched over the summer and will continue for a whole year; the Knesset speaker`s initiative to grant a special award to the most respectable Knesset member; increasing the number of visits to the Knesset and emphasizing the educational aspects of these visits, and more.

Speaker Edelstein said, ”The deterioration in the image of the Knesset poses a real and tangible threat to democracy in Israel. The Knesset is one of the most active and legislating parliaments in the world. It is an advanced parliament with a dramatic influence on Israeli society, and it has been involved in every major event in the country`s history. There is no better time to try to show and explain that the Knesset`s work and its actual influence in legislation significantly outweigh its image.”

Director-General Plot said the campaign was ”relatively modest, in advertising terms, because the Knesset is being careful with public funds and also because this is an experimental measure on our part. I believe that, through the ads, we will succeed in presenting the true, beautiful face of the Knesset, because the manner in which the Knesset`s work is presented to the public is a continued injustice.”

Following consultations between the Government Advertising Agency and the Knesset`s Legal Department, it was decided that the five commercials in the current series, which will be aired on the major TV channels, will highlight ”The Right to Work While Sitting Law”, which obliges employers to ”provide the employee in the place of employment with a seat for work”; ”The Consumer Protection Law”, which states that the ”dealer shall do nothing—by an act or an omission, in writing, by word of mouth or in any other manner—likely to mislead a consumer as to any matter material to a transaction”; the ”Textbook Lending Law”, which is meant to ”significantly reduce the price of textbooks for a million and a half students”; ”The Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Law”, which is meant to ”open the gates of society to persons with disabilities”; and the increased transparency of the Knesset through its website. This past year the Knesset`s Hebrew-language website has launched a ”national legislative database”, a database of the questions asked of ministers during plenary debates, and new portals for the Knesset`s committees. The Knesset website features a vast amount of material on the parliamentary processes and the various Knesset units. It also offers up-to-date news items about the goings on in the Knesset.

Click on the following links to view the ads (in Hebrew):

”The Right to Work While Sitting Law”

”The Consumer Protection Law”

Transparent Knesset

”The Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Law”

”Textbook Lending Law”