Former prime minister Shimon Peres
will spend his first full day out of the Knesset since 1959 on Wednesday meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
, Wold Bank head Paul Wolfowitz
and outgoing US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan
Peres's resignation took effect shortly before 5pm on Tuesday, ending the longest consecutive tenure of any MK and one of the longest in the history of the world. Peres's spokesman Yoram Dori said that he did not feel odd sitting out Tuesday's Labor primary for the first time since the days of David Ben-Gurion
"Peres is looking forward to Kadima," Dori said. "Rice knows that she is meeting a regular Israeli citizen."
The number two man on Kadima's Knesset list, Peres quit as a precautionary measure due to a law that prevents MKs who switched parties from running for Knesset with their new party. Peres's replacement, former Labor MK Weizmann Shiri, will be sworn in next Thursday along with four other new MKs in a special session of the Knesset.
The government requested that the Knesset convene to discuss the fight against anti-Semitism on the occasion of the UN's International Holocaust Memorial day. Twenty-five opposition MKs also requested the session to discuss issues like poverty among the elderly, settlement outposts and Kassam rockets.
The resignations of Labor MKs Haim Ramon and Dalia Itzik will take effect at 9am on Wednesday. They are set to be replaced by former MKs Avi Yehezkel and Effi Oshaya. But Oshaya said he might decide not to enter the Knesset, in which case he would be replaced by Meimad MK Tovah Ilan.
The other MKs who have joined the Knesset but have not yet been sworn in are Sofa Landver, who replaced the retired Avraham Shochat
in Labor, and David Mena, who replaced Omri Sharon
in the Likud faction.
The Knesset House Committee will convene soon to consider setting a six-month minimum of service for former MKs to receive severance pay. Yehezkel and Shiri said they would donate part of their salaries and severance pay to the Friends of the IDF.