Professor Ephraim Katzir was sworn into office as Israel's fourth President at a special ceremonial session of the Knesset (Parliament) in Jerusalem on Thursday (24 May).
GV EXT Knesset building
LV Entrance of Shazar and Katzir to sound of ceremonial horn
MV Shazar invites Katzir to take oath.
GV Audience stands
MV Katzir (with hat) taking oath and shots of audience (6 shots)
Initials BB/0046 DH/AH/BB/0109
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Background: Professor Ephraim Katzir was sworn into office as Israel's fourth President at a special ceremonial session of the Knesset (Parliament) in Jerusalem on Thursday (24 May).
The 57-year-old bio-physicist replaced Zalman Shazar, who completed two five-year terms of office, the maximum allowed under israeli law.
At the induction ceremony, which was attended by leading government officials and religious dignitaries, he spoke of the necessity for striving towards scientific excellence in Israel while maintaining human and environmental values.
The President in Israel is largely a figurehead with no political powers except in times of extreme governmental crisis.
SYNOPSIS: To the blare of the ceremonial "shofar", or ram horns, Israel's President Shazar led his newly-elected successor, Ephraim Katzir, into the Parliament building. Professor Katzir, who is a fifty-seven-year-old bio-physicist, was elected in a secret ballot in April of this year. He replaces the eighty-three-year-old Zalman Shazar who completed two five-year terms, the maximum allowed under Israeli law.
The role of the President in Israel is largely that of the figurehead. He has no political powers, except in times of extreme governmental crisis.
A very large group, including cabinet ministers, and religious and military leaders packed the Knesset to witness the oath-taking ceremony.
They also heard Professor Katzir speak of the need to strive for scientific excellence in Israel while maintaining human and environmental values, both of which, according to the President, were the ultimate purpose of the Jewish state.