Fun Knesset facts for swearing in day

Some 39 new MKs will swear allegiance to the Knesset, along with 81 veterans on Tuesday afternoon in the 20th Knesset’s celebratory first meeting.

March 31, 2015 05:51
1 minute read.
The Knesset

The Knesset building in Givat Ram, Jerusalem. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The 20th Knesset will have its celebratory first meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Here are some facts you may have not known about Israel's legislature:

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• The longest Knesset was the third, which lasted four years and four months. The shortest was the fourth, which lasted only a year and nine months.

• On average, Knesset elections are held every three and a half years.

• The first, 11th, 12th and 15th Knessets had the largest amount of factions – 15 – and the eighth, 10th, 13th and the 20th had the smallest – 10.

• The smallest coalitions were the 25th, led by Yitzhak Rabin, and the 26th led by Shimon Peres, which had three parties each. The largest were the 13th, led by Levi Eshkol, and the 29th, led by Ariel Sharon, with 10 each.

• Eshkol’s government also had the largest coalition ever, with 111 MKs, though it was formed with 75 members. The Rabin-led 17th government and the 24th, headed by Yitzhak Shamir, were the smallest, with 61 members.

• The shortest-lasting government was the 16th, headed by Golda Meir, which governed for three months.

The 15th government, which Meir also led, was the longest, lasting four years and three months.

• Yosef Sprinzak was the longest- serving Knesset speaker, holding the position for 10 years. He was speaker from the Knesset’s first meeting until he died, during the third Knesset. Sprinzak’s replacement, Nahum Nir, was speaker for eight months, the shortest tenure in the job.

Nir was also the oldest Knesset Speaker, at age 75.

The youngest was Avraham Burg, who began the job at age 45.

• Dalia Itzik was the only woman out of 16 Knesset speakers.

• Shamir was the only speaker to become prime minister, and Reuven Rivlin was the only one to become president.

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