A new initiative by Israel’s parliament will soon allow every Israeli citizen to share his or her proposal for new legislation by cellular phone text messaging.
The “Knesset SMS” program, conceived by MK Israel Hasson (Israel Our Home), will be activated and managed by his bureau. Hasson will select the best suggestions and will officially propose them to the Knesset.
So how will all this work? A citizen who wants to propose an amendment to a particular law or advance an idea for a new law can send a brief summary of his idea over the phone. The SMS must open with the word “law”, followed by the written proposal.
The message must be sent to the phone number 5454, at a cost of 40 Agorot (about 10 cents) per message.
The proposals will automatically be presented on MK Hasson’s Web site. Every few weeks, Hasson will sift through the suggestions while consulting with legal advisors and his office colleagues. He will present those deemed suitable to the Knesset as law proposals.
“Every year, Knesset members get many requests from citizens who want to propose a law,” Hasson explained.
“We are constantly asking the public to be more involved in order to influence life in the State. There is no better way than this to fortify our connection to the civilian population. It is especially important in these times, when the public's faith in its elected officials is at such a low point.”
Hasson added that the initiative stemmed from “the real desire to draw new ideas from the public. SMS technology is part of our lives, and like everything in life, you need to exploit its effective and advantageous qualities."
" We will have a professional team examining the various proposals, and there is no doubt they will comprise important and interesting ideas pertaining to all aspects of life,” he said.