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and photographers, for whom fifty places were prepared. For them, a series of rooms near the main hall were also allocated, and no less important: The Ministry of Transportation, which at the time was in charge of the mail and telephone services, made available four direct telephone lines to Tel Aviv for the reporters. In Israel during the days of austerity and shortages, this was a priceless gift.
The day before the renewed opening of the Knesset in Jerusalem, Maariv published a large article that noted the dual continuity: Both that the Knesset was returning to the place in which it was established less than a year before and the symbolism of the location itself: For years, the primary Zionist institutions that created the state had resided there, first and foremost being the Jewish Agency, and now both the Knesset and Government would operate there, the latter receiving a separate wing. The writer needled Prime Minister Ben-Gurion without mentioning his name, for claiming in those days that the Zionist Movement's role had ended:
In placing the Knesset and the prime minister's office in the building of the Jewish Agency, there is clear proof that the artificial separation created between the state and the Zionist Movement, and the contradictions undermining the joint effort that have accrued by way of the natural sharing between the government and the Agency, between the people residing in Zion and their brethren in exile – are not inevitable.
The opening session of the Knesset in Jerusalem began on December 26, 1949 at 4:00 PM exactly, in the presence of nearly every member of the body and many guests. The atmosphere was entirely practical and after brief welcoming statements of the Knesset Speaker Yosef Sprinzak, who mentioned that in this exact place the Knesset was born and the first president was elected, the Knesset moved on to day-to-day matter. The first law that was debated was the "Genocide Law," the prohibition of genocide. After a break in the deliberations, the Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan lectured on the "Encouragement of Capital Investments Law."
Later that day, the Jerusalem Municipality held a party for the return of the Knesset to Jerusalem, attended by members of the government, Knesset, Jewish Agency executives, United Jewish Appeal from the United States and additional guests. Mayor Daniel Auster welcomed the Prime Minister and congratulated him for returning the Knesset and the government ministries to Jerusalem. During the party, the Prime Minister seemed happy and radiated satisfaction, and spoke with several Knesset Members. One conversation that drew much attention was between him and the poet Uri Zvi Greenberg, a Knesset Member from the "Herut" Party. Ben-Gurion teased the poet by saying: "Well, I am the one who brought you to Jerusalem." Mr. Greenberg retorted by saying: "Just to the gates of Jerusalem at the moment" (hinting at the Old City of Jerusalem that was not then under Israeli control). To which Ben-Gurion replied with an interesting saying: "Who said our journey has ended?".
The regular work of the Knesset and government began on the following day at the National Institutions Building. The media noted that Prime Minister Ben-Gurion chose to set his chamber in the same two-room office in which he worked as the Chairman of the Jewish Agency prior to

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