4 new MKs give first addresses

Speeches part of Acting Speaker Michael Eitan's plan for all 31 freshmen MKs to introduce themselves before new government sworn in.

knesset plenum 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
knesset plenum 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Four new MKs made their first trip to the Knesset podium on Monday as part of Acting Speaker Michael Eitan's plan for all 31 freshmen MKs to introduce themselves and their agendas before a new government is sworn in. The first five new MKs delivered their maiden addresses last week. At Monday's session, MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi) pledged to remain loyal to a Greater Israel and to improve the image of religious Zionism. "It is symbolic for me to deliver my first Knesset speech on the day the Fast of Esther is marked," Orbach said, "because religious Zionism, of which I am a member, seems to me like Queen Esther. It is aware of the importance of the mission, but a bit afraid. It feels it is not a regular guest in the king's house and moves between aspirations toward kingship and the feeling... that [kingship] is too much for it." Orbach described members of religious Zionism as people who "walk around with the feeling that we are not acknowledged in proportion to our value." MK Yariv Levin (Likud) announced that his mission would be to revolutionize the justice system. "Not everything can be judged in courts, and judges who hold extreme views that contradict the basic values shared by the most of the people of Israel are unfit to decide in matters policy and world view," Levin said. "Make no mistake - the justice system is important to all of us and the intention is not to ruin it, as the people who control it claim," he went on. "On the contrary, I seek to participate in the effort to save the justice system from some of those who lead it and are ruining the democratic system of separation of powers." MK Danny Danon (Likud) said he would work to assist Gush Katif evacuees, "who live among us and day after day, hour after hour, pay the price for this country's mistakes." Danon added that he would breathe new life into Zionism and its symbols, and strengthen settlements and the status of Jerusalem in the eyes of Israeli youth. MK Ze'ev Bielski (Kadima) believed it was important to improve the image of Knesset members. "I find myself speaking in an apologetic tone when I explain my decision to leave a comfortable position and come here, to the Knesset, because people keep asking me what was wrong with my life," Bielski said. "I pray that what they say won't happen to me. They say that I will change, but I don't plan on changing." I hope we'll make changes for the unemployed and the disabled and for the people who need us."