MK Nino Abesadze at her tent office 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MK Nino Abesadze (Kadima) set up her new parliamentary office this week – in a
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“The concept is to take a tent, which has recently become very
symbolic, and turn it into a wandering office,” Abesadze told The Jerusalem Post
on Wednesday. “Every day I’ll go from place to place.”
The Kadima MK
first set up her traveling office with a table, chairs, laptop and a sign
reading “Parliamentary Bureau,” in the Rose Garden across from the Knesset on
Tuesday, and then moved to the Horse Garden in central Jerusalem on
Abesadze plans on pitching her tent in Beersheba on Sunday,
and will continue to Tiberias, Yokneam and other towns until the Knesset recess
is over, at the end of October. Her location will be announced each day on her
“Every day I will go somewhere else, during hours that are
convenient for the public, so I can hear what is really happening. I plan to
return to the Knesset with ideas that come from the people,” she
Abesadze said that “instead of a Ministerial Committee for
Legislation, I want my office to be like a Public Committee for Legislation.”
Each MK is allotted NIS 49,000 annually for work expenses, which includes
funding for “connecting with the public.” In addition, the MKs are able to spend
up to NIS 19,000 each year for a parliamentary bureau outside of the
Many MKs have offices around the country, but Abesadze used the
office funds for the first time to buy a tent.
“MK Doron Avital (Kadima)
and I proposed that the Knesset’s summer recess be canceled this year, but
unfortunately, the coalition opposed the idea,” Abesadze said. “In the current
situation, the Knesset has no right to have a recess.”
The Kadima MK says
that reactions to her initiative have been overwhelmingly positive. “People
completely unconnected to politics have said that this is a great idea.
Apparently, there really was a need,” she stated.
Abesadze told the Post
that she “arrived at the Knesset almost directly from the unemployment office,
so I know how people feel.”
According to Abesadze, this summer’s tent
protests were the realization of a dream she has had since she made aliya from
Georgia 15 years ago.
“I had this fantasy that people would stop buying
homes and cars and going on vacation until prices went down,” Abesadze, who
spent several nights in the tent city on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, said.
“We shouldn’t be living and working just to pay off a mortgage.”
called the protests “a baby that was born and grew to be a giant. Now everyone
knows that we shouldn’t just serve the state – the state should also serve us.”