The Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein sent a Happy New Year message to the Members of Knesset:

My colleagues, the Members of Knesset,

This past year was tense, a year of elections and decisions. A year that included not only the every-day challenges of security, but also passing a new budget, and dealing with painful social issues.

Although we have had some blunders, the 19th Knesset quickly became one of decision makers. I would especially like to note the quick and smooth integration of the new Mks into parliamentary action.

As public service messengers and representatives, we have more responsibility for our actions. We must be careful how we speak, we must learn how to express ourselves, and to learn when is the time to speak out, and when it is time to be silent. Public service is a task that requires commitment. Those elected have to adopt an ability to see the whole picture, a pleasant demeanor, and a dignified way of acting and speaking.

As public service representatives we must not act in haste. We must not lead the public to fake threats of ‘cultural wars’. We must not discriminate between the majority and the minority. We must act out of moderateness and thought, patiently, while seeing the good of the whole society before us. We must not hope for immediate results, or for the defeat or disgrace of our rivals. Every debate about budgets, or land, about the land of Israel or about peace must be done with dignity and within the proper framework.

The second session of the 19th Knesset, which will begin after the holidays, will include discussions about conflicted topics. The question of equality of burden, the land arrangements in the Negev, and the peace process can all tear society into pieces. Combined, all these issues will bring the Knesset to much tension.

I fully believe that we have the power to argue without fighting, to object without temper tantrums, to lead processes with respect to those who oppose them. I call upon you to act out of respect to the Knesset and to the democratic process. I believe that this is within our means.

At the start of the month of repentance and forgiveness, the days of justice and mercy of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I wish to us all that we will be able to appreciate our friends’ strengths and not notice their weaknesses. Be gone the year with her curses, begin the year with her blessings.

Wishing a good year,

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

Speaker of the Knesset