Fewer Women and Arabs, More Religious and LGBT: 21st Knesset to Be Sworn In

A series of special events will be held at the Knesset, in an attempt to imbue a regal and ceremonial atmosphere as 49 fresh members prepare to take their seats in the plenum

New Knesset members taking a selfie, April 29, 2019
Olivier Fitoussi

The members of the 21st Knesset, including 49 freshman members, will be sworn in Tuesday at 4 P.M. with a festive opening ceremony in Jerusalem.

Following the ceremony, a regular plenary session will be held, during which the 21st Knesset speaker will be elected and members will be appointed to the Arrangement Committee, which is responsible for approving various Knesset committees until the final formation of the coalition and opposition bloc.

The Knesset is expected to go into session following Israeli Independence Day, which falls on May 9.

>> Israel's new Knesset: Fewer women and Arabs, more religious lawmakers

A series of special events will be held Tuesday at the Knesset, in an attempt to imbue a regal and ceremonial atmosphere. President Reuven Rivlin will arrive at the Knesset accompanied by a motorcade and, along with the new Knesset speaker, will watch a procession of the Knesset Guard, accompanied by the military orchestra.

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Rivlin's entrance to the Knesset hall will be marked by three trumpet blasts. The president will open the session and give a speech. Following Rivlin's speech, the acting Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, will declare his allegiance, which will allow the proceedings to be transferred over to him. Edelstein will read a declaration of allegiance and all 120 members of the Knesset will stand in turn and accept their obligation.

The celebratory session will close with a singing of the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikva", and immediately afterwards the Knesset will enter into its first plenary session to elect a new Knesset speakers. Edelstein, the candidate from the Likud, is expected to be chosen for an additional term.

The opening festivities of the 21st Knesset will conclude with another event at the Chagall lounge of the Knesset building, during which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the candidate entrusted with building the coalition, will give a speech.

During the event, as is tradition, a photo will be taken of all 11 party leaders. There will also be a toast to all the Knesset members and their families.

Rolling out the red carpet at the Knesset, Jerusalem, April 29, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi