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Photo: the Knesset Communications
President Rivlin during his speech at the opening ceremony of the 21st Knesset
Photo: the Knesset Communications

New Knesset sworn in, Rivlin urges coalition to be ' honorable winners'

The president called on MKs to put political strategy behind and 'clean the dirt' after elections season; with traditional ceremonies, 120 Knesset members declared their commitment to the State of Israel

Israel's 21st Knesset was ceremoniously sworn in on Tuesday afternoon, including its 49 new members, while President Reuven Rivlin urged for unity and mutual respect.

 

 

Rivlin spoke at the opening ceremony and criticized the heated campaigns that preceded the April 9 elections, and pleaded MKs to put aside all differences, stop slamming their political rivals and have clean and honest debates which he called "the only thing that gives this home (of ours) a right to exist, and its status as a Jewish and democratic country a strong base."

 

Benny Gantz and other MKs take a selfie during the Knesset's opening ceremony (Photo: Amit Shabi)
Benny Gantz and other MKs take a selfie during the Knesset's opening ceremony (Photo: Amit Shabi)
 

 

"We've been through a rough campaign season. We've slammed others and got slammed ourselves," said the president. "Enough now. We must rise above, put our swords aside and clean the dirt. Political strategy can no longer be the only the sole compass."

  

Rivlin addressed both the coalition and the opposition and shared from his experience on both sides. "It is a great right to serve the people from the opposition, as much as it is a great responsibility," said the president.

 

President Rivlin during his speech at the opening ceremony of the 21st Knesset (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
President Rivlin during his speech at the opening ceremony of the 21st Knesset (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

  

Rivlin cited Menahem Begin, who was the opposition leader for several terms before he became prime minister, and told the crowd that during the swearing in of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1963, Begin gave everybody a lesson about the important role of the opposition.

 

"He (Eshkol) must know that we aspire to move him and his colleagues to the opposition, and it isn't only our right — it is our duty," cited the president.

 

A parade during the opening ceremony of the 21st Knesset (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)
A parade during the opening ceremony of the 21st Knesset (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)

 

To the opposition Rivlin said they must be "honorable winners."

 

"You are not in the opposition, you have been holding the reins of power and leadership for a long time now," said the president, referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 5th term in office.

 

"It is your duty to stop trying to finish off you rivals, let go of the victimhood, and reign with respect and love over all the different kind of citizens who live here," Rivlin concluded.

 

After all 120 MKs stood up and declared their commitment to serve, the national anthem, Hatikva, was sung by all but the Arab parties, who did not participate and left the hall.

 


פרסום ראשון: 04.30.19, 17:40
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