(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein hopes to stay in his role for a third consecutive term, his office confirmed Tuesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to accede to Edelstein’s request, as there will be stiff competition in the Likud over the ministerial portfolios that remain after coalition parties finish their negotiations.
If Edelstein remains Speaker, he will be tied with Kadish Luz for most terms in the position. Luz was also Knesset Speaker for three consecutive terms; no Knesset Speaker has served three non-consecutive terms.
Luz, a member of Labor forebear Mapai, was Knesset Speaker in 1959-1969. Edelstein has been Knesset Speaker since 2013, and therefore, will only break Luz’s record in terms of years if this Knesset lasts for four years.
Edelstein called on members of the 21st Knesset to keep their historic role in mind, at the launch of By All Accounts, a Hebrew book of major speeches in the Knesset.
“I hope that in the 21st Knesset, we will remember that MKs are given a voice to give speeches at a level that will be worthy of being included in the next book of speeches,” he said. “The speeches presented in the book were followed by grandiose actions like war and peace, and also, many things that touched citizens’ everyday lives.”
By All Accounts features 70 memorable speeches by MKs, including first prime minister David Ben-Gurion declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in which he said: “The State of Israel had and will have only one capital: The eternal Jerusalem.”
It also includes former primer minister Menachem Begin’s staunch opposition to reparations from Germany, during his time as an opposition MK: “The vote was already taken in Treblinka, in Auschwitz, in Ponary. There Jews voted by being tortured to death: Do not contact, do not negotiate with the Germans.”
Also in the book is former prime minister Golda Meir’s resignation after the Yom Kippur War: “I followed and listened to what is happening in the public... There is agitation that cannot be ignored.”
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s defense of the Gaza disengagement is also in the book: “We do not want to rule of millions of Palestinians forever.”
In addition, the book includes speeches by foreign dignitaries, including former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s hope for peace with Israel and former German chancellor Johannes Rau asking for forgiveness for the Holocaust.
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