The elections committee “made sure that every single vote was heard, counted, computed,” President Reuven Rivlin said.
By World Israel News Staff
For the third time in 11 months, President Rivlin received the official results of the elections to the 23rd Knesset from the Chairman of the Central Elections Committee on Wednesday morning.
Israel’s national election in April and September 2019 and, most recently, in March 2020, failed to achieve conclusive results. The two largest parties, Likud and Blue and White, are competing to get 61 mandates, with the help of the smaller parties, in order to form a coalition government.
“Elections are always a moment of instability that can undermine social solidarity, which is the foundation of the healthy functioning of our democratic state. This is a moment at which the disagreements and differences between us are highlighted, in which the broad consensus is marginalized and everything becomes political,” Rivlin said.
“At this point in time, which has turned the last year into an exhausting year of elections, the Central Elections Committee has been an anchor of stability, the gatekeeper of Israel’s order and of the sensitive democratic mechanisms that are so precious. The committee, headed by Judge Neil Hendel, has stood firm against the many challenges – those we expected and those we did not – it faced, even when required to find a solution for the thousands of Israelis instructed to be in self-isolation for fear of the spread of the Coronavirus.
“They were promised, and were able to exercise, their democratic right to participate in the elections to the Knesset,” he said.
Respecting ‘the Holy of Holies’ of democracy
“The professionalism of the committee, that again did its job without fear or favor, is a precondition for protecting public confidence in the system, a task that became even harder in light of the frustration with repeated elections,” the president continued, quoting an Arab saying – in both Arabic and Hebrew – “that tells us ‘haste is from the Devil and patience is from God.’
“The elections committee was wise to work according to this principle, with patience, care and consideration, taking everything seriously as appropriate for those dealing with ensuring clean elections, which are the Holy of Holies of every democracy.
“The committee made sure that every single vote was heard, counted, computed. In the Jewish-democratic equation, every vote counts,” he said, adding that ‘in the State of Israel, there are no half-citizens,” referring to the Arab Joint List, which achieved 15 seats in the March election.
‘The answers are for you to find’
The president said he was at the disposal of party leaders and elected officials should they require “any serious and genuine conversation,” noting that the situation has not changed much since the two recent elections and that many “are looking here with hope that answers will come from this house.
“The answers are for you to find, those who the public elected as its leaders, and I hereby place the task in your hands once again.”
“I am hopeful that the 23rd Knesset that will be sworn in next week will last longer than its predecessors, and that the president who stands here to receive the results of the elections to the 24th Knesset will be someone else,” Rivlin concluded.