INTRODUCTION: In Jerusalem, Israel's new Knesset (parliament) was sworn in on Monday (20 July).
GV PAN Knesset building TO demonstrators chanting opposite. 0.07
GV & SV Demonstrators chanting (3 shots) 0.28
GV PAN INTERIOR Crowd on gallery TO members in Knesset 0.41
SV ZOOM IN Prime Minister Menachem Begin talking to member of Knesset 0.49
GV PAN LV Speaker walks in, Knesset members stand. Trumpet sounds 1.22
SV Speaker hammers on table 1.30
INTRODUCTION: In Jerusalem, Israel's new Knesset (parliament) was sworn in on Monday (20 July). Many of the 120 members were taking their seats for the first time. Against the backdrop of fighting in the north, they took up their new responsibilities at a crucial point in Israel's history, as Israeli President Yitzhak Navon pointed out.
SYNOPSIS: President Navon warned the Knesset the country faced an emergency situation. He called on the government to take urgent steps to reach agreement on principles of policy, while guarding Israel's standing in the world. It was a message that was echoed in the streets outside, where hundreds of demonstrators had gathered to make their feelings known to the new members.
Inside the Knesset a large crowd filled the public gallery. Forty-three new Knesset members were elected on June 30. But the swearing-in ceremony took place with the leadership still unresolved. Although Prime Minister Menachem Begin has been asked to form a government, he had still not done do when the Knesset met.
Mr. Begin's Likud party won 48 seats in the election, one more than the Labour Party of Shimon Peres. To rule, Mr. Begin will need the 13 seats held by Israel's three religious parties. Although all three have agreed to join a coalition Mr. Begin still needs to reconcile their separate demands for influence in religious matters.
For the moment, political turmoil was forgotten, and the atmosphere was jubilant. It is not expected to remain so for long.
Source: REUTERS JERUSALEM