Israel’s leadership in the hands of the Knesset

November 22, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Israel’s President Reven Rivlin has told the Knesset that the decision of who will form government is in their hands.

Speaker Yuli Edelstein and President Reuven Rivlin  Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

He told the Knesset: “Mr Speaker, yesterday MK and former IDF Chief of Staff Benjamin Gantz informed me that he was unable to form a government. Mr Gantz is the second candidate who has tried and failed to form a government after the outgoing prime minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a government. This is the first time in the history of the State of Israel that we have got to this point.

I would like to remind you that this miserable political situation comes after a second round of elections, forced on Israeli citizens after the 21st Knesset decided to dissolve itself. This means, according to law, that from today and for 21 days, the decision who will form the government is in the hands of the members of Knesset. And so I would like to turn to each and every member of Knesset. This is one of the most important times for soul-searching the State of Israel has known.

At the opening of the 21st and the 22nd Knessets, I called on you to put down the cudgels of elections and to wipe the slate clean. I implored you to understand that political considerations can no longer be your only guide. And that we do not just need a government that can rule, but also a sense of sovereignty, statehood and responsibility for this entire, dear people – all its tribes and sectors – living on its land, and which you lead. Today, there are former MKs sitting at home, bitterly regretting their decision to vote to dissolve the Knesset. The people have shown a red card, sending some of the players off the pitch.

Let there be no illusions: this politics of disruption has to stop. Your political fate is no more important than the old person in hospital, than the children in special education, than the victims of violence in the Arab sector, than the residents of the south – Jewish, Arab, ultra-Orthodox and secular – who need protection from rocket fire, and than the women who need shelter. Over these next 21 days, do not be blocs or parties. Each one of you should look to their conscience and answer one question: What is my duty to the State of Israel. Good luck.”

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