New Knesset speaker swears in 33rd Israeli gov't

New coalition approved by vote of 68-48; PM presents 33rd government, says it has opportunity to enact domestic reform.

March 18, 2013 19:49
Knesset swearing in ceremony

Knesset swearing in ceremony. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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The 22 ministers of the 33rd government swore to be faithful to the State of Israel and its laws in doing their job on Monday evening, as the opposition accused them of detachment from the public and making secret political deals.

The Knesset meeting opened with the election of Yuli Edelstein as Knesset speaker, followed by speeches by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor).

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“As prime minister, I have a major responsibility to the one and only Jewish state. Our existence here cannot be taken for granted, and our presence here is not coincidental,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister called for the new government to act “in the spirit of cooperation and partnership,” and promised it will serve all of the Israeli public, including those outside the coalition.

While acknowledging internal challenges, like lowering housing costs, Netanyahu said he cannot ignore threats outside of the state’s borders.

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