Finance Minister Yair Lapid reading 370.
(photo credit: Noa Amir )
Voting on the state budget is not fun for MKs, to say the least.
are no speeches to interrupt with clever comments, just hour after hour of
responding to manual roll call votes called by the opposition to intentionally
drag out the legislative process as long as possible and exhaust the
So, how do MKs pass the time in the plenum? Some of the
government’s most senior ministers brought books to read.
Binyamin Netanyahu read The Last Lion
, a biography of his idol, former UK prime
minister Winston Churchill, in English, occasionally taking notes.
the marathon budget vote, Netanyahu approached Yesh Atid MKs Boaz Toporovsky and
Dov Lipman, who were reading Lipman’s book on Jewish philosophy Discover
Book of Daniel, respectively, and quipped: “We should thank the opposition for
giving us time to read.”
Although Economy and Trade Minister Naftali
Bennett has been known to quote Theodore Roosevelt, he chose a different former
US president to read up on – in English – during budget votes: Abraham
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yair Lapid chose a book by a fellow
MK, Labor’s Nachman Shai. Earlier this year, Shai published Media War: Reaching for Hearts and Minds
, a book about Israeli public diplomacy in
times of conflict.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon read Mishmar Ha’emek
Will Not Fall
, a book about the 1948 War of Independence.
Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz delved into The Wallet and the Sword
, a book by
former justice minister Daniel Friedmann on the complex relationship between the
judiciary and the executive and legislative branches of Israeli
MK Michal Biran (Labor) did not come prepared with a book,
but she took out a biography of Labor ideological forebear Berl Katznelson from
the Knesset library.
The Knesset’s resident Talmud professor, MK Ruth
Calderon (Yesh Atid), studied Mishna, as did Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev. MK Yifat
Kariv (Yesh Atid) read a book about Maimonides.
Not everyone was reading
in the plenum. Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir and Transportation Minister
Israel Katz were spotted playing the game “Flow” on Shamir’s iPad.