Sixth Knesset  
November 22, 1965   November 17, 1969
  Results of Elections
  Factional Make-up
  Speaker: Kadish Luz
  Knesset Members
Elected Officials:
President: Zalman Shazar (second term)
Government 13
Under Levi Eshkol

Government 14
Under Golda Meir
Ceremony marking the opening of the new Knesset building, 30.8.1966
Ceremony marking the opening of the new Knesset building, 30.8.1966

Selected Events:
22.11.1965 The first sitting of the Sixth Knesset. As the Knesset elder, David Ben-Gurion opened the sitting as the temporary speaker.

Video: The Price of Peace

Video: The Price of Peace

9.5.1966 Minister of Labor Yigal Allon reported on the state of unemployment. The national unemployment level was 3.3%, but reached up to 20% in several development towns.
29.6.1966 MK Rachel Tsabari of the Alignment faction referred a parliamentary question to the Minister of Welfare regarding the disappearance of Yemenite immigrant babies in the years 1949 – 1951.
30.8.1966 The permanent Knesset building in Givat Ram was inaugurated in a state ceremony. It had undergone construction for five years, at a cost of 22 million Israeli liras.
8.11.1966 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol announced the annulment of the Military Government, which existed in the Arab villages since the establishment of the State.
Selected photos from the Sixth Knesset
Selected photos from the Sixth Knesset

17.1.1967 The Prime Minister described the deteroriation in the defense status on the Syrian border.
20.3.1967 No confidence motions were raised by Rafi, Rakah and the Herut-Liberal Bloc on the subject of the economic recession.
22.5.1967 President Nasser of Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran for passage of Israeli ships; the Prime Minister and Defense Minister reviewed the political situation.
5.6.1967 The Prime Minister announced the breakout of the Six Day War and the incorporating of the Rafi faction and the Herut-Liberal Bloc into the Government.
12.6.1967 The Knesset held its first meeting in unified Jerusalem. The Prime Minister gave announcements on the military and political campaign. The plenum sitting was closed with the singing of the national anthem.
27.6.1967 The Knesset ratified, in three consecutive readings, an amendment (no. 11) to the Government and Law Ordinance and an amendment (no. 6) to the Local Authorities Ordinance which concerned the unification of Jerusalem and the Israeli administration on all its terrtory. The Protection of Holy Places Law was also passed.
26.7.1967 Knesset Rules of Order were ratified by the Knesset plenum.
13.11.1967 Minister Israel Galili announced the Government’s decision to establish a national television station.

A Selection of Enacted Laws

The Sixth Knesset officiated for four years, during which two governments presided – the 13th Government, headed by Levi Eshkol, which disbanded following the his passing on February 26th 1969, and the 14th Government, headed by Golda Meir, which officiated for nine months, until elections were held for the Seventh Knesset.

Many changes were introduced into Israeli politics during the tenure of the Sixth Knesset: A new radical movement was elected to the Knesset: Ha-olam Hazeh – Koah Hadash, headed by Uri Avnery. Members of the Herut movement were appointed to the government for the first time, after the Herut-Liberal Bloc joined the coalition on the first day of the Six Day War. It was the first national unity government in Israel. Furthermore, for the first time the Prime Minister died while in office, and for the first time a woman was appointed as Prime Minister of Israel. For the first – and last – time, a single faction held a majority of seats in the Knesset. This majority was formed in January 1969, following the formation of the Alignment, and it consisted of the newly formed Labor Party (made up of Mapai, Ahadut Ha’avoda and Rafi) and the United Workers’ Party. The Alignment held 63 seats in the Knesset.

The main event during the term of the Sixth Knesset was the Six Day War, which broke out in June 1967. During the waiting period before the War, the Knesset dealt with the different solutions presented for the crises along the Syrian border, (concerning the diversion of the Jordan River) and along the Egyptian border, (concerning Egypt’s request that UN forces vacate their posts on the border with Israel and that the Straits of Tiran be closed for passage of ships en-route to the port of Eilat).

The victorious results of the War raised an intense debate over the proper approach needed to be taken, as well as Israel’s response to the UN’s Security Council’s resolution 242 regarding the future of the “territories occupied by the IDF.” The Government’s meeting on June 5th 1967, the first day of fighting, was held in the Knesset’s shelter as a security measure against shelling from Jordan on the government complex and the Knesset building. Soon after the fighting ended, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol announced the unification of Jerusalem, and the Knesset added article 11b to the Law and Administration Ordinance, applying the Israeli justice, jurisdiction and administration systems on all territories within Israel.

Discussions on the future of the liberated/occupied territories were focused on two plans: The Allon Plan, which supported partial annexation of territories to Israel for historical and defensive purposes, while delivering most territories to Jordan for the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian state; and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan’s plan, which focused on economic integration of the territories within Israel, yet was supportive of their differentiation from Israel for functional reasons. Another plan was issued in the form of the Movement for Greater Israel, which united different political movements that objected territorial concessions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In the year that preceded the war, the Knesset was focused on the economic depression in the Israeli market. The Rafi faction frequently joined the Herut-Liberal Bloc in their criticism on the Government’s handling of the situation.

Towards the end of 1966, a discussion initiated by the Herut-Liberal Bloc and MK Uri Avnery, began on the implementation of a national helath insurance system, defined in a basic law. Further health issues were raised mainly through parliamentary questions in 1968 and 1969 by the religious parties, especially on the topic of organ transplants.

The annulment of the Military Government on Israeli Arabs was also raised in the year prior to the war. The disappearance of immigrant children of Yemenite origin (between 1949 – 1954) was publicly debated on for the first time, following the arrival of IDF enlistment warrants to the children’s homes. The debate brought about the establishment of an inquiry committee. Following the Six Day War, the Knesset was occupied with extensive legislation on financial matters.

In 1968, following the establishment of the PLO in its new form, a series of aircraft hijackings and terrorist attacks began. Various issues relating to Israel’s reaction to these affairs were frequently debated.

On August 30th 1966 the permanent Knesset building in Givat Ram was inaugurated. The following day, the Knesset sittings were already held in it. In July 1967, the plenum ratified the Knesset Rules of Procedure.

Israeli television began broadcasting in 1968. It was used for the first time for campaign propaganda in the elections for the Seventh Knesset.

Six Day War: Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Menahem Begin with soldiers in the Sinai, 14.6.1967
Six Day War: Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Menahem Begin with soldiers in the Sinai, 14.6.1967

6.3.1968 The Government publicized the loss of the “Dakar” submarine. “Dakar” was serviced in Britain and dissappeared while en-route to Israel, with its 69 crew members declared missing.
21.3.1968 Prime Minister Levi Eshkol made an announcement regarding the operation at Karameh. An IDF force crossed the border to Jordan and raided the village Karameh, known as a terrorist base and as the headquarters of the Fatah.
23.7.1968 Minister of Transportation Moshe Carmel publicized the hijacking of an El-Al aircraft to Algeria.
25.11.1968 Memorial sitting held for the 12 victims of a terror attack in the “Mahane Yehuda” market in Jerusalem.
31.12.1968 Announcement by the Prime Minister concerning the IDF’s actions in Beirut’s airport. A commando unit was flown overnight to the airport and IDF fighters blew up 13 civilian airplanes belonging to Arab airlines, with no causaulties.

MK Yitzhak Navon reads an article in the Knesset library, 13.12.1966
MK Yitzhak Navon reads an article in the Knesset library, 13.12.1966
Opening sitting of the Sixth Knesset
Opening sitting of the Sixth Knesset

14.1.1969 The Prime Minister reported on the French embargo on weapon shipments to Israel.
27.1.1969 A special Knesset plenum sitting was held commemorating of nine Jewish citizens executed in Iraq after being convicted for spying in favor of Israel and the Unites States.
19.2.1969 Announcement by the Government on the attack of an El-Al aircraft in Zurich. A crew member was killed during the attack, before an Israeli security guard charged the four terrorists and killed one of them.
26.2.1969 Levi Eshkol, the Third Prime Minister of Israel, passed away.
8.3.1969 The President of Egypt announced the termination of the Ceasefire Agreement with Israel, and the War of Attrition began.
18.6.1969 The Chagall State Hall was inaugurated in the Knesset.
16.7.1969 The Knesset debated the dangerous situation of Soviet Jewry.
28.8.1969 Prime Minister Golda Meir gave an announcement on the state of Iraqi Jewry, following the execution of two additional members of the community.

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