Knesset vote 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Despite requests from Interior Minister Eli Yishai and various Kadima MKs to
postpone the summer recess, the Knesset was not in session for nearly two weeks,
and many MKs were clearly in the vacation spirit on Tuesday.
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has been undergoing renovations, and an emergency meeting in response to ongoing
nationwide protests began somewhat chaotically, as MKs searched for their seats
in a smaller auditorium.
Some MKs complained about the arrangements, with
MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) complaining that, although the National Union is in
the opposition, they sat in front of his party.
Other MKs ignored their
assigned seats entirely, with MK Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) joining his former
colleagues in the media for a quick chat.
The press benefited from the
new arrangement, sitting in the back of the auditorium, instead of on a balcony
in the plenum, high above the MKs. As politicians passed on their way in and out
of the meeting, they made comments and cracked jokes.
At one point, MK
Yoel Hasson (Kadima) sat in the back of the room near reporters, and began to
yell out comments, interrupting another MK’s speech. Rivlin, looking like a
teacher scolding a petulant student, told the Kadima MK to either go to his seat
or keep quiet.
The MKs seemed generally amused by the smaller quarters,
with MK Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) getting up at one point to take pictures of the
auditorium with his iPad. This, in turn, led to a stampede of photographers,
attempting to snap a photo of his antics.
“I thought we moved here to
identify with protesters – they’re in tents, and this is our version of a tent,”
MK Israel Eichler (UTJ) said of the temporary move.
While it is not
uncommon for male MKs to wear jeans to work, it is definitely a rarity among the
females. Yet Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) blasted the coalition from the auditorium’s
stage in a pair of stylish dark-blue skinny jeans, making a fashion statement
that said: “Yes, I’m at work, but I’m ready for the recess.”
the majority of MKs – especially those in the coalition – were not around at all
on Tuesday, a fact that Kadima made sure to point out.
Speaker Reuven Rivlin adjourned the meeting, it was clear that MKs wanted to
start their vacation. Although Kadima called for yet another emergency session,
many of the party’s members flew the coop immediately after Tuesday’s discussion
MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) stuck around, treating his two young
daughters to lunch in the Knesset’s meat cafeteria.
Unable to convince
his six year old to finish her chicken, he told the two tow-headed girls: “Go
run around in the lobby while I talk to this reporter.”
They preferred to
try to climb into his lap and listen.
Finally, Likud spokeswoman Noga
Rappaport sent a text message to the press.
It began: “[Opposition leader
Tzipi] Livni is panicking because Kadima’s poll numbers are
After 35 words slamming Kadima, Rappaport closed the quotation
and wrote a personal message to reporters: “Start your recess already!” – ending
the SMS with a winking emoticon.