During a ceremony held Monday in Chagall Hall, Albert Sakharovich officially replaced Ronen Plot as the director general of the Knesset.

The ceremony was held in the presence of Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, ministers, MKs, Knesset employees and the families of Sakharovich and Plot, who was recently elected mayor of Nazareth Illit.

”Two months ago, when you decided to step down as Knesset director general and seek a new challenge, many people thought you were crazy,” Edelstein told Plot. ”You were not leaving for a guaranteed position. You entered a cruel election campaign in order to become mayor of Nazareth Illit. Those who have known you over the years were not surprised by your chase after a new challenge or by your love for the city in which you prospered for decades while holding various positions, and as a resident.”

Albert Sakharovich assumes office as Knesset director general following moving farewell from Ronen Plot

(Ceremony in Chagall Hall)

”Your work can be seen in every corner of the Knesset – beginning in the hall we are sitting in, the plenary hall, and more. As Speaker of the Knesset, I always knew that the moment we made a decision, I could be calm knowing that the job would get done. This is how the `Green Knesset` project and the [new look] of Weil Plaza were born, and for this I wish to personally thank you.”

Turning to Sakharovich, Edelstein said, ”Everyone is telling you that you have big shoes to fill, but therein lies the [challenge] – to follow someone who has done so much, and to do even more.”

In his farewell speech, Plot said: ”I wish to thank everyone for three years of cooperation. We have implemented major reforms, including a new labor agreement in the Knesset, and launched numerous projects, headed by the `Green Knesset` project, which is known to all of the world`s parliaments. We`ve signed cooperation agreements with some 30 countries. This is very important, particularly for the State of Israel.”

Albert Sakharovich assumes office as Knesset director general following moving farewell from Ronen Plot

(Speaker Edelstein presents Plot with ”Key to the Knesset”)

”My decision to run for mayor of Nazareth Illit was not a simple one,” Plot continued. ”I have been working with Yuli Edelstein for 20 years, and we are also good friends, and this is why, each morning when I came to work I thought of ways to improve and do good things, because I knew that my success was his success. At first Yuli tried to talk me out of running for mayor, but when I told him that I am going to a city that is on the brink of collapse and that this was an ideological matter for me, he hugged me and said, `Ronen, I am with you,` and for this I wish to thank him.”

Sakharovich thanked Speaker Edelstein for his trust, ”which I hope to justify.” The new director general said he was ”proud to be a part of the parliament building, which is one of the three pillars of Israeli democracy.”

Sakharovich noted that he has been working under Edelstein for the past 15 years. ”We are inspired by you,” he told the Knesset Speaker. ”I am assuming charge of a Knesset that is greener and more transparent and accessible than ever before. I have accepted this mission and I will do all I can so that the Knesset will be able to continue practicing democracy at its finest.”