The Knesset - 63 years old
Photo: Gabi Menashe
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu: Israeli democracy thriving

PM says 'Israel has something to be proud of,' as Knesset celebrates 63rd birthday

The Knesset on Wednesday celebrated its 63rd birthday, with a special session called in honor of the event.


More than 4,000 people visited the Knesset as part of Wednesday's Open House events and attended a special meeting held under the headline "the Knesset as the people's House - one generation passes its heritage to the next."


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The  speakers at the special session included Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni.


Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of the robustness of Israel's democracy and said that it was "free and thriving, there is none so exemplary."


"I know there are those who claim that Israeli democracy is in danger, I disagree. The fact that you can say anything here, debate anything, is an example of Israel's strength. When we look around us we definitely have something to be proud of."


Rivlin said that these days we "need to be reminded of the Knesset's unrealized purpose, its 'original sin' if you will – the urgent need o for a constitution."


'Threat to humanity'

The Knesset speaker added that the Tal Law was Israel's constitutional test, saying: "Those who claim that the matter of haredi enlistment to the IDF can be solved through coercion are throwing sand in the public's eyes."


Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres  said: "Every time I come up to this podium I become emotional anew...I have had the privilege of being a member of this house for 48 years. Few parliaments in the world have made as many difficult decisions in such a short time."


Peres also chose to address the Iranian threat, stating that it "would have to be dealt with in a manner that combined reasoning and daring. Iran is not only a threat to Israel; it is a threat to humanity...The current Iranian regime has imperialistic lust to become a regional ruler."


Peres then addressed the Iranian people and said: "We were not born enemies and there is no need for us to live as enemies. The Iranian people need to know that they will not be left alone if they choose freedom and peace."




פרסום ראשון: 02.08.12, 18:08
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