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Israel's favorite circus opens its 20th session Tuesday.

The 20th Knesset opens up its doors Tuesday for what the Opposition fears may be a stable and long-lasting government dominated by three sectors to which it is allergic – settlers, Haredim and reformers.

Yuri Edelstein of the Likud is to be re-elected Speaker of the Knesset, a position that often is better fit for a bouncer when one considers some of the belligerent behavior by several circus performers disguised as Knesset Members.


President Reuven Rivlin, former Speaker, will open the session with great pomp and circumstance before the Knesset gets back to its usual routine of slapstick.

A small number of the MKs whose expertise is at lying will do so off the bat by stating:

I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.

Several Arab Knesset Members, and so this won’t be considered a racist statement it is possible to include one or two Jewish MKs, publicly state that Israel should not be a Jewish state, HaTikvah should not be the national anthem, and young men and women should not serve in the “occupation” army.

But to be fair, if that is how they pledge allegiance to Israel, then they are faithfully fulfilling their duty as a fifth column.

Like it not, HaTikvah will be sung by most of the MKs as the Arab MKs walk out. Perhaps they will be joined by Labor – make that “Zionist Union” – MK Stav Shaffir, who once called it a racist song and said at a protest:

I had no problem with the flag [of Israel]; I had a problem with ‘HaTikvah.’ Not all citizens of the state are Jewish.

The MKs, including 39 novices, will get on the soapbox on Wednesday for their first speeches while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to line up his potential coalition partners.

Netanyahu’s favorite hobby is playing political games. One of his surprise announcements during the election campaign was to declare that former Likud MK Moshe Kachlon, who now is chairman of his Kulanu party, will be finance minister in his government.

Kachlon has since shown his credentials as master at political games and an egomaniac, two conditions for becoming Prime Minister.

He has balked at becoming Minister of Finance because Prime Minister Netanyahu decided that Haredi MK Moshe Gafni of Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) will head the Finance Committee.

Kachlon yelled “foul” because he thinks that Netanyahu needs him so much that he can also be at least half a prime minister.

Netanyahu needs Kachlon because the Kulanu party has 10 seats, but Kachlon also needs Netanyahu because the alternatives of a left-wing coalition or a national unity government with the “Zionist Union” are not real alternatives.

Negotiations still are going on and it remains to be seen who will be the first to reach an agreement – the coalition or Iran.


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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.