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Israeli bill calls for elimination of presidency

Feb. 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

JERUSALEM, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Knesset Member Zevulun Kalfa said he has submitted to a bill calling for the elimination of Israel's largely ceremonial position of president.

Kalfa said the functions of the president can be performed by other officials, such as the foreign minister and the Knesset chairman, the Israeli media network Arutz Sheva reported.

The position of the presidency is also pricey, costing the state $17.6 million in 2012.

"As a member of the Finance Committee I reason that the cancellation of the unnecessary [presidential] institution will bring budget savings to the tune of dozens of millions of shekels every year, which we can redirect to support the weaker layers in terms of social issues and education," Kalfa said.

Kalfa also said President Shimon Peres has caused problems with his statements about foreign issues, including the relationship and conflict with the Palestinian Authority.

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