Diverse group of Israeli lawmakers unite for backgammon tournament

“This is a nice moment, in which there is no differentiation between coalition and opposition, Jews and Arabs, secular and ultra-Orthodox,” commented Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein

By: World Israel News Staff

Israeli lawmakers from the coalition and opposition came together in the Knesset’s Chagall Hall on Monday to take part in the Knesset backgammon tournament, held at the initiative of Members of Knesset (MK) David Amsalem (Likud) of the coalition and Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp) from the opposition.

MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud), Amir Peretz (Zionist Camp), Omer Barlev (Zionist Camp), Oren Hazan (Likud), Leah Fadida (Zionist Camp), Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beitenu), Mossi Raz (Meretz) and Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu) took part in the tournament, as did Knesset Director General Albert Sakharovich and Speaker of the Knesset MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who defeated Peretz.

Hazan won the tournament and received the Golden Finjan Cup.

“This is a nice moment, in which there is no differentiation between coalition and opposition, Jews and Arabs, seculars and ultra-Orthodox; there are only Knesset members who are cooperating in this blessed project,” Edelstein said.

“I recall a time when Knesset members from both ends [of the political spectrum] could cooperate on social legislation, head a joint caucus or just be friends,” he recalled.

Bahloul, an Israeli-Arab law maker, said the idea for the tournament came from the non-profit organization “Kulna Jerusalem,” which works to bring Arabs from the eastern portion of Jerusalem and Jews from west Jerusalem closer together through cultural events.

“I’m glad that the Knesset members took part in this important tournament despite all the tensions and disagreements,” he said.