MKs Sign Pact of “Mutual Respect”

President Rivlin receiving the “Mutual Respect Charter” from MK Moshe Arbel at the President’s Residence on Tuesday.

Knesset members have for decades been notorious for slashing personal attacks and a take-no-prisoner attitude toward political rivals. The ongoing crises in health and the economy have not brought out the best in Israel’s parliamentarians.

Seventy Knesset members and minister declared on Tuesday that they want to change all that. They presented a signed “pact of mutual respect” to President Reuven Rivlin at the President’s Residence, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“The goal of the pact is not to end our disagreements, criticism and varied outlooks, which are necessary in a democracy,” said Shas MK Moshe Arbel, a co-author with Blue and White minister Michael Biton. “Its goal is to maintain mutual respect even during the course of our sharp differences of opinion as we struggle for our principles but without causing hatred and rifts.”

MKs from Yisrael Beytenu declined to sign the statement because, party sources were quoted as sayng, that while they agreed in principle, they could not overlook the other parties’ rejection of their own document relating to religion and state.