The main item on the Knesset's agenda Tuesday may have been the vote over the Economics Arrangement bill, but the general topic of conversation was the emergence of the so-called 'Knesset ghost.'
Although there have been no direct sightings of the ghost since it was first spotted by a security official over the weekend, Knesset members from across the political spectrum were sounding off on the sneaky spook.
"We need to call in a rabbi to investigate the appearance of this unholy spirit," said MK Yitzhak Vaknin (Shas), who said he consulted with Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, his party's spiritual advisor.
"It is clear that the ghost appeared because we disrupted the ancient graveyard with all this new building," said a National Union MK. "We need to do more than shut our windows, we need to make peace with the disturbance we have caused in the cemetery."
Several months ago, construction workers uncovered an ancient cemetery as they began building a new wing of the Knesset building. Although construction on the site has since been halted, all windows on that side of the building have been sealed shut, so as to prevent wind from blowing "unclear air over the graves and into the Knesset where it might be inhaled by people and soil them," said a Knesset spokesman.
Likud MKs, meanwhile, attributed the ghost to the spirit of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.
"He is probably disgusted by the state of Israeli democracy," said one Likud MK. "Ben-Gurion has finally risen from the grave to scare us all back into our senses."
Guards were alerted to the ghost's presence when a security alarm sounded over the long Shavuot weekend. As they conducted a series of checks, one of the guards noticed an odd figure on a security video. In the two-minute video, a white sheath-like image bobbed and then swirled in the far corner of the Knesset parking lot, hovering for a brief second before drifting from the screen.
"I couldn't believe my eyes, I got spooked and called another guard to confirm what I was seeing," said the guard who first saw the video.
Security guards conducted a thorough check of the building, and said they found no alien bodies in the vicinity.
"Whoever, whatever it was, clearly left very quickly," said the guard. "We are very strict about security here."
With its first ghost sighting, the Knesset joins other government bodies around the world that have reported paranormal happenings.
In Washington DC, the upper hallways of the White House are said to be haunted by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, while the basement is haunted by a black cat which is said to have predicted national tragedies such as the JFK assassination and the crash of the stock market in the 1920s.
England's House of Commons is rumored to be haunted by a number of specters of disgruntled members of Parliament.
If the Knesset wants to rid itself of the spirit, it might take its cue from the Parliament House in Suva, Fiji, where in the Fall of 1997, security cameras recorded a ghost for five minutes. Following a national outcry over the ghost, the prime minister ordered an official exorcism.
"There is no exorcism type of thing planned at the moment," said the Knesset's head of security, Yitzhak Shazar. The guard said that they would only take the matter into consideration if it appeared to pose a security threat.
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