Knesset bids a sad farewell to fashion cop in chief
For better or worse the previous Knesset's tenure was shaped by its speaker - Dalia Itzik.
After the pomp and circumstance of the swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, the new lawmakers and their hundreds of guests moved into the reception area where it quickly became apparent how much they preferred hobnobbing and food to lengthy speeches.
"If I were Dalia Itzik I would put this place in order in a second," outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sighed, referring to the now former Knesset speaker and fellow Kadima member.
For better or worse the previous Knesset's tenure was shaped by its speaker, who presided over decorating the new wing, floral arrangements and introducing a ban on wearing jeans, and yesterday the parliament also said goodbye to her chairmanship. Under her the Knesset became more serious, respectable and toned down than in previous terms.
"You brought dignity to the Knesset, Israeli democracy and the State of Israel," Olmert told Itzik." Many other lawmakers agreed.
"She ran the Knesset professionally and it was an honor working with her," MK Ahmed Tibi, who served as her deputy, said.
During her tenure Itzik had her fair share of critics who disliked her habit of scolding members of Knesset during the plenum meetings.
"Today I no longer have any authority so you don't have to listen to me, but those that can't shut up should simply leave," she sniffed at the Knesset swearing-in guests Tuesday.
Another contentious issue was her ban on wearing jeans on the parliamentary premises. Yesterday journalist Yoav Yitzchak was denied admission into the Knesset by Itzik's fashion police for wearing denim.
"I wasn't aware," Yitzchak said.
Channel 2 reported yesterday that one of Itzik's last actions was to organize an office space twice the size of most members of Knesset for herself, a sign that she doesn't plan on exiting the political arena yet.
"I'll be back," she vowed Tuesday.