Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli gives birth to her eighth child.
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
The 3.4 kilogram baby boy lying in the nursery at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer does not realize it yet, but in the early hours of Sunday morning, as he drew his first breath, he was making Israeli history.
The baby, born to freshman Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli, was the first in Israel's 61-year history to be born to a serving MK.
But for Michaeli, childbirth is nothing new - the latest addition joins his seven older brothers and sisters - David, 11; Rami 10; Yehonatan, 9; Raheli, 8; Tali, 6; Eli, 4; and Michal, one and a half.
Michaeli - who has periodically emphasized the importance of motherhood to her - said that she would combine her time with the baby with her Knesset duties, including taking the baby to committee meetings and trying to get to the plenum in time for key votes.
Michaeli is to be followed Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel, who is expecting her first child in September.
Due to the two pregnancies, the Knesset's Ethics Committee debated the rights of MKs who give birth.
The committee ruled that MKs are not defined legally as employees, and they are thus not automatically entitled to the 14 weeks of maternity leave granted to working mothers.
However, out of consideration for the importance of the mother-infant bond, they would be granted a similar status. Their absence will not be counted against the attendance records maintained for every MK.
The committee also called upon the MKs' parties to be considerate of the new mothers' status, and to use proper discretion when calling on the new mothers to maintain their involvement in party politics.
But in Michaeli's case, it seems as though the baby was already taking the party's interests into consideration. The new arrival diligently waited beyond his due date and was born on the birthday of party chairman and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
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