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December 22, 1978 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-12-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


Scientist Proves Einstein Theory

Inexperience May Create Added
Problems for Israel's Knesset

(Copyright 1978, JTA, Inc.)

ways, some indefinable,
others more identifiable,
the Knesset seems to have
lost some of its prestige and
dignity during its present
term. The elections last
year brought to Israel's Par-
liament some 50 new mem-
One of the main objective
causes has been the peace
negotiations. Even though
the peace process started
with an impressive and
dramatic scene in the Knes-
set plenum (Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat's
speech) which brought the
Israeli Parliament into the
focus of world attention, the
peace process was sub-
sequently pursued behind
closed doors, far from the
public — and parliamen-
tary — eye.
The natural necessity for
secrecy during the delicate
negotiations prevented the
Knesset and even its
prestigious foreign affairs
and defense committee,
from being informed and
updated about the various
stages of the political talks
between Egypt, Israel and
the U.S.

committee, which is the
main parliamentary
supervisory organ over
the government's foreign
policy, could not play a
significant role in the
issue which has preoccu-
pied Israeli public opin-
ion over the past year.

Neither would the Knes-
set plenum fulfill this func-
tion; people knew that the
real events were taking
place on the Cabinet level
Another reason for the
waning of the Knesset's
prestige. was the gov-
erment's failure, espe-
cially during the early
months, to fill the par-
liamentary agenda with
legislative activity. '
During its first year, the
Ninth Knesset dealt with
relatively unimportant
bills, most of them aimed at
establishing changes in
existing fiscal laws. Only
towards the end of the 1978
summer session did the
government complete the
drafting of a number of new
bills (most of them origi-
nally initiated by the prev-
ious administration) and
present them in the Knes-
set. These bills will fill out
the Knesset's winter session
which commenced in No-
vember, with a respectable
mass of legislative business.

Bid the main cause of
the decrease in the Knes-
set's dignity is its per-
sonal comp9sition. For
the first time in its his-
tory, one of the present
MKs has a criminal past,
while another was pub-
licly under suspicion of
criminal activities.

Charlie Biton, previously
a "Black Panther" leader
and now a Knesset member
for the Communist Party,
was convicted several times

on criminal charges before
he became a member of the
Knesset. These charges had
no connection with his pub-
lic activity as one of the
Black Panthers.
Shmuel Flatto-Sharon es-
tablished a precedent in
parliamentary life through
his successful campaign for
Knesset election at a time
when he was wanted by the
French police on fraud
Flatto-Sharon has had a
negative impact on par-
liamentary life in a differ-
ent way. As an MK he did
virtually nothing.

Biton and Shmuel
Flatto-Sharon are ex-
treme examples of a
problematic situation
concerning the composi-
tion of the Ninth Knesset.-
There are other more
subtle problems which
have a considerable im-
pact on the Knesset's
functioning and image.
The major trouble is the
lack of experience among
most MKs in most of the
parties. Some 50 MKs
were elected for the first
time and for some 30
others this is only their
second term.

Even the Speaker, Yit-
zhak Shamir, is a relative

Friday, December 72, 1918 31

junior MK with only one
term — four years — of
previous parliamentary ex-
The same inexperience
prevails among his de-
puties, who together com-
prise the Knesset
"Presidium." None of them
has more than four years
experience in the Knesset.
Some are actually in their
first year of service. The de-
puty speakers are chosen
according to party key.

National Science Founda-
tion has announced that as-
tronomers have discovered
the first evidence of
gravitational waves, thus
confirming Albert Eins-
tein's general theory of rela-
Prof. Joseph H. Taylor of
the University of Massa-
chusetts monitored radio
waves from a burned out
star (pulsar) for four years.
The pulsar he discovered in
1974 is the only one known
to orbit another star.
By monitoring the pul-

The lack of parliamen-
tary tradition is reflected
in other aspects of Knes-
set life: the whips of the
two main parties are rela-
tive newcomers, as are
the leaders of the main
Due to the political up-

sar's radio signals he was
able to prove that
gravitational waves exist, a
phenomenon predicted by
Einstein's theory but never
found. Taylor's pulsar is lo-
cated 15,000 light years
(approximately 85,000 trill-
ion miles) from earth.



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heaval of the elections and
the establishment of the
Likud coalition govern-
ment, all the chairmen of
the Knesset's 10 commit-
tees are new. None has
previous experience in con-
ducting a parliamentary
committee, and many are
serving in the Knesset for
the first time. The cumula-
tive consequences of these
weaknesses is an inevitable
decline in Knesset proce-
dures and tradition, and in
deterioration in its prestige.






No man or Ms. can read it all, hear it all,
understand it all, or remember it all,
For the forgetery which unburdens the memory
keeps the mind and heart from overflowing
And makes room for newer portions of life's experience.
Thus we select frequently with more impulse
than plans the things we ingest of the wonderments
of the world from the hand of man or God.

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