Knesset cadets: IDF officers-in-training to give Knesset tours - exclusive

MKs to be sworn in today at 22nd Knesset’s inauguration ceremony.

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October 3, 2019 12:47
3 minute read.
Women in an IDF combat unit help one of their fellow fighters during a training exercise

Women in an IDF combat unit help one of their fellow fighters during a training exercise. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A group of female IDF officers-in-training will have to learn to give tours of the Knesset in order to rise in rank, starting in October.

The Knesset and the military announced the initiative ahead of the 22nd Knesset’s inauguration, set to take place on Thursday.

All IDF soldiers training to become officers will have the option of joining a special tour of the Knesset as part of their mandatory educational trip to Jerusalem. The tour will focus on how the legislature reflects the make-up and concerns of Israeli society.

As part of the tour, the cadets will learn about setting an example for Israeli society. One of the messages of the tour will be that in order to love one’s homeland and lead soldiers, one most know the country and its governing institutions well.

The tour will be mandatory for some of the cadets, who will be graded on it after receiving comprehensive training in the Knesset to guide their fellow trainees.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that he is “sure that the visit to the Knesset will allow the IDF’s future officers to learn about the Knesset and elected officials’ work up close. Every cadet has the responsibility to teach future soldiers of the State of Israel the basic values of the Knesset and the country, and there is no better place to learn them than in the Knesset. The Knesset is the heart of Israeli democracy, where the most important decisions influencing the Israeli public are made.”

During Thursday’s inauguration ceremony at the Knesset, the lawmakers are not expected to vote in Edelstein for another term as speaker, because there is no candidate who is agreed upon by the majority of the Knesset. Nevertheless, he will remain in the position on an interim basis.

Blue and White attempted to nominate former deputy Knesset speaker Meir Cohen as their candidate, but Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman assured Edelstein last week that he will not vote to depose the current speaker until the political situation becomes clearer.

Blue and White reached an agreement to have an MK from their party head the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee until a coalition is formed. The Likud will retain the powerful Arrangements Committee, the interim version of the House Committee that determines what goes to a vote until a coalition is formed and assigns committee chairmanships.

In addition, UTJ MK Moshe Gafni will remain at the helm of the Finance Committee. Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman railed against the move, saying Likud sacrificed Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter for haredi support and that Blue and White was cooperating with the Joint List, who support Gafni. 

Meanwhile, as coalition talks remain at an impasse, many in the political field wonder if the 22nd Knesset will be like the 21st and last for less than two months.

There are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, MKs will arrive at the Knesset, walk down a red carpet, receive a boutonnière and have a souvenir photo taken. In the afternoon, a celebratory reception will be held in the Chagall Hall.

President Reuven Rivlin is set to arrive at 3 o’clock at the Knesset, where he will be met by an honor guard and an IDF band. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and other top Knesset officials will meet Rivlin outside, where the IDF band will play “Hatikvah.” Rivlin will place a wreath on the memorial for Israel’s fallen soldiers before entering the Knesset.

The 120 MKs will then find their seats in the plenum, Edelstein will read the following: “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset,” and the newly sworn-in lawmakers will respond: “I pledge.”

The celebration will end with a toast and the traditional photo of the Knesset’s faction leaders.


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