Israel's new Knesset to be sworn in Tuesday

Sderot mayor turns down seat in parliament.

The red carpet is rolled out in front of the Knesset before the new MKs are sworn in. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The red carpet is rolled out in front of the Knesset before the new MKs are sworn in.
A new Knesset will be sworn in for the fourth time in two years on Tuesday in a festive ceremony that will be attended by President Reuven Rivlin and Supreme Court president Esther Hayut.
The 17 new members of Knesset took part in workshops and tours of the Knesset on Monday. They were taken to their temporary seats in the plenum and taught how to vote.
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) urged the new MKs to “argue with full force and no fear but with words that are respectful.” He urged them to become known to the public by working for the people and not via gimmicks.
A special egalitarian prayer service will be held at the Western Wall on Tuesday to celebrate the swearing-in of the longtime head of the Reform Movement in Israel, Rabbi Gilad Kariv, as a Labor MK.
“I am entering the Knesset on the right foot to proudly represent the liberal Zionist Left and Judaism with equality and integrity,” Kariv tweeted, along with a picture of him walking into the building.
On the other side of the political map, incoming Religious Zionist Party MK Itamar Ben-Gvir tweeted a picture of himself sitting in his chair in the plenum with the words: “I am going to work for you and thanks to you.”
Sderot mayor Alon Davidi, who was the third candidate on Yamina’s list, announced on Monday that he would remain mayor and would not enter the Knesset.
Davidi said he still supported Yamina and endorsed its leader Naftali Bennett’s effort to form the next government. The departure of the former Likud mayor raised speculation that he chose not to remain in the faction because Bennett is considering cooperation with left-wing parties.
But sources in the party said the decision was technical and personal, not political. They pointed out that Davidi is staying in the faction’s WhatsApp group and was put in charge of the party’s municipal division.
“He made the simple calculation that the mayor’s job will last longer than the 24th Knesset,” a Yamina official said. “He is still in line to be our third ministerial candidate if we do manage to form a government. The Likud can spin from here until tomorrow.”
Former MK Idit Silman, who was eighth on the list that won seven seats, will join instead, bringing the number of women who will be sworn in to a record of 31, more than a quarter of the Knesset.
The outgoing Knesset ended with the same number of women but only after male MKs who were sworn in resigned and were replaced by women.