By Lahav Harkov, JPost—
Israeli democracy is in a state of emergency, and a government must be formed as soon as possible, President Reuven Rivlin said at the 22nd Knesset’s inaugural meeting, which was overshadowed by the political uncertainty on Thursday.
Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein addressed the long period of political uncertainty, which saw the 21st Knesset be inaugurated and dissolved in a period of less than two months, less than six months ago. They both said the solution is a unity government.
“We are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob, an emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy,” Rivlin said. “Forming a government is not only the wish of the people. More than ever, in times like these, it is an economic and security need the likes of which we have not known for many years.”
Rivlin said a broad governing coalition would allow Israelis “to put the disagreements between us to one side and work on finding areas of agreement…to give us all an opportunity to breathe a little, to heal.”
The President listed a number of “real life” areas that the government must address, from combatting the Iranian threat to making day-care cheaper to tacking rising crime in Arab communities.
Rivlin also asked Israelis for forgiveness if he did anything that hurt them, as is customary before Yom Kippur, which is next week.
Edelstein was practical in his speech, addressing remarks to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz: “My office is a few meters away. Sit. Talk. Turn over every stone until you find a formula. We can bridge the gaps. We can repair the tears. We certainly can reach unity.” Continue Reading….