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An Israeli political tradition is the “maiden speech,” the first time a member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, addresses her fellow lawmakers.

The maiden speech is usually treated as a sort of acceptance speech, where lawmakers talk about what brought them to the Knesset and thank their families and mentors. MK Tehilla Friedman, a soft-spoken woman who had not garnered much attention since entering the Knesset as part of the Blue and White coalition, delivered a fiery call for “a principled center” at a time when Israeli is riven by political polarization. In a time of increasing hatred between left and right, the speech quickly went viral being shared by people from left and right, garnering over 1.5 million views in less than a week in August 2020.

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