Israel’s system of government must change, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, addressing the first session of the next Knesset.
“We will have to reform major components in our system of government,” he declared. “This may be the 19th Knesset, but we will soon be forming the 33rd government. 33 governments in 65 years. It is simply unbelievable.”
“We have seen what happens when we have four years, when ministers can serve for four consecutive years, when Knesset committee chairmen can serve for four consecutive years, when Knesset Members and legislators can dedicate themselves for four consecutive years to a certain issue, study it and promote it,” he continued. “We have seen that we can effect great, important changes in the State of Israel.”
“We need stability to deal with the quality of living for the citizens of Israel, but also to guarantee something far more superior and important,” he concluded.
Netanyahu also called to pursue “security and peace” simultaneously. “No one will make peace with a weak and divided Israel,” he stated, “and even if we reach another peace agreement with our neighbors, we will have to be very strong to secure its viability, to deter those who will seek to destroy it and to defend ourselves in the event that it collapses.”
He warned the incoming MKs to put aside their political differences “in times of trial” in order to guarantee Israel’s safety.
Addressing the 48 new MKs, Netanyahu recalled his own excitement upon entering Knesset as an MK for the first time. “My hope for you, new Knesset Members, is that you will retain that feeling of excitement and exhilaration every day you serve at the Israeli Knesset; that you will retain both the excitement and the sense of responsibility, because we have great responsibility,” he said.