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December 03, 1984 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-12-03

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

40 Friday, December 7, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

NOTEBOOK

Diversity is hallmark of 11th Knesset

BY CARL ALPERT
Special to The Jewish News

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Haifa — The new Knesset
which emerged from last sum-
mer's elections is, in many re-
spects, a unique body. For one
thing, its political spectrum
encompasses 15 different parties,
but the 120 individual members
run an even broader range of dif-
ferences.
In the matter of education, 84
MKs are university graduates: 28
in humanities and social sciences,
26 in law, 20 in education and six
in engineering. At the other end,
one memeber, Pesach Grupper,
completed only eight years of
schooling, though he served as
Minister of Agriculture in the
outgoing government. Charlie Bi-
ton, the maverick Sephardi who
was re-elected on the Communist
slate, admits to two years of voca-
tional training after his first eight
years of formal education.
A quick and superficial look at
the Knesset in full session will re-
veal 16 members wearing head
covering, an indication of their
religious inclination, though
these are not identical with the 16
members who sport beards. An
additional 22 have mustaches.
To be sure there are more sig-

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Sat.
10-5:45
Sun.
12-4:45

nificant elements which should be
noted, as MK Prof. Shevach Weiss
observes. For one, there is an in-
crease in the number of Sephardi
members. There were 22 in the
ninth Knesset which was elected
in 1977; 27 in the tenth Knesset
and 32 in this group.
The present body also includes
a record number of women, ten. Of
these, six are in the ranks of
Labor.

Some popular beliefs about the
Knesset are refuted by the facts.
For example, the Likud has usu-
ally been though of as being the
militaristic party. In truth, there
is only one ex-general among its
41 members (Arik Sharon),
whereas Labor has three, Yitzhak
Rabin, Chaim Bar-Lev and Mor-
dechai Gur. Even the small
Yahad party has two generals
among its three members, Ezer
Weizmann and Binyamin Ben-
Eliezer.

The age level in thi's Knesset
has dipped. Youngest member is
34-year-old Haim Ramon, of
Labor, and 16 others are in their
thirties or forties. The oldest
member is Joseph Burg, 75, who

has been a member of every Knes-
set since establishment of the
state. It may come as a surprise to
many to learn that the third old-
est member is Abba Eban, at 69.
The Knesset is certainly not a ref-
uge for elder statesmen.

Where were they born? Native
born sabras are still outnumbered
by members born abroad in such
places as Afghanistan, Latvia,
Austria, Romania, Iraq, Bulgaria,
Morocco— and the United States,
among other places.
Seven of the members are
Arabs or Druze.
Members of kibbutzim, who
once played a highly influential
role in Israel's legislative body,
number only nine in the 11th
Knesset. However, this is still far
in excess of their three percent
proportion in the general popula-
tion.

There are five members by the
name of Cohen, two by the name
of Linn, and two who answer to
the name of Eitan. But, when the
chairman calls on Itzhak Peretz to
speak, or to vote, he must make it
clear which of the two members by
that name he is referring to.

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