Edelstein welcomes new MKs: ‘Being here is a privilege’

The Knesset Speaker encouraged MKs to take part in the Knesset’s international delegations.

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September 26, 2019 06:01
1 minute read.
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein with the new Members of Knesset

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein with the new Members of Knesset. (photo credit: KNESSET SPOKESPERSON'S OFFICE)

Members of Knesset should remember who sent them there and work hard for Israelis, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told the 22nd Knesset’s eight new lawmakers on Wednesday.

The new MKs are Waleed Taha, Jaber Asaqla and Sami Abou Shahadehof the Joint List, Matan Kahana of Yamina, Yair Golan of the Democratic Union, Moshe Aboutbul of Shas and Alex Kushnir and Marc Ifraimov of Yisrael Beytenu.

“The Knesset tests every one of us,” Edelstein said. “The decision is yours. You can spend time here without making an effort. There is no boss to yell at you… Your boss is the citizens – which is good, but amorphous. Or you could be like most MKs and make the opposite decision. You can say that if I have this privilege, I will work day and night.”

Edelstein told the MKs not to “forget that we have a privilege most Israelis don’t have,” to be a member of the Knesset. He also explained to them that the Knesset itself is important, and while they may have aspirations to become ministers, they should be active legislators.

The Knesset Speaker encouraged MKs to take part in the Knesset’s international delegations.

Asaqla, who worked with NGOs for Israeli Arab rights in the past, said: “I’ve been here many times before in my previous jobs so I don’t think it’ll hit me until I really start work.”

Kahana called becoming an MK “a great honor and responsibility.”

The previous Knesset had 49 new MKs, who spent barely a month on the job before the parliament was dissolved, heralding a second election this year – such that the amount of inexperienced lawmakers is 57, even though only eight took part in the second orientation day this year.

The new MKs were taught about the Knesset’s departments, found their seats in the plenum and learned the ropes of legislating. There is also a smartphone app, launched after April’s election, to help the newcomers acclimate to their new job.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.



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