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Keywords:

  • Lobbying regulations;
  • Israel

After some failed attempts to regulate the lobbying, the Israeli Parliament—the Knesset—passed the Lobbyist Law on April 2nd 2008. Although lobbying is a common and legitimate part of the democratic process, it raises issues of trust, equality of access, and transparency. What motivated the MKs to regulate lobbying—public interest, private interest, or symbolic politics? The MKs claimed that the law was needed for improving transparency whereas MK Yechimovich declared that it balances the strength of the rich, represented by lobbyists and the wide public. Assessing the achieved transparency in the comparative framework of other lobbying regulatory regimes, we see that the law confers tangible benefits on powerful interest groups, while providing only symbolic gestures to the public. Lack of information available for MKs creates a need for lobbyists for political intelligence and MKs need to identify the interests in play to guarantee for themselves the necessary legislative subsidy. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.