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New Blood Infusion for Opening of 19th Knesset

The 19th Knesset opens Tuesday with new blood and totally different faces that may change Israel’s wildest tragic-comedy show into a more serious parliament.

More than one third of the Knesset is comprised of new legislators, the most prominent being Naftali Bennett, leader of Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home), and Yair Lapid, chairman of the Future (Yesh Atid) party.

Among the other 46 new legislators, there are orthodox rabbis who are members of parties whose platforms are not nationalist or religious.

Despite the modern look of the new Knesset, one tradition remains: President Shimon Peres will arrive accompanied by horsemen.

The new Israeli legislature also includes 27 women, and the average age of all 120 Knesset Members is younger than its predecessor.

The biggest immediate question is which parties will be in the ruling coalition, which Binyamin Netanyahu is trying to form.

He has a maximum of 42 days to accomplish the feat, but he cannot wait that long because the government’s life will end on April 1 if a budget, always a tough challenge,  is not approved before then.

Passover falls in the last week of March, timing which will force the government to move even quicker.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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