The Israeli parliament, the Knesset, this Sunday approved the inauguration of Naftali Bennett of the nationalist Yamina movement as the new prime minister by 60 votes to 59, a vote that ended more than a decade of Benjamin Netanyahu’s mandate.
Shortly before the vote, the Knesset elected Mickey Levy of the Yesh Atid party as the new president after winning 67 of the 120 votes in the House of Representatives, beating his Shas rival, Yaakov Margi, who received 52 votes . Levy replaces Yariv Levin from Netanyahu’s Likud party.
The meeting was watched on the streets by supporters of the new ruling coalition parties celebrating the success of the inauguration, while hundreds of religious Israelis gathered around the Western Wall to pray in opposition to Bennett and Lapid.
Bennett comes to power thanks to a broad ruling coalition that spans almost the entire political spectrum and allows him to serve as prime minister for the next two years until he is replaced by the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, Yair.
In his pre-vote speech, Bennett accused Netanyahu of “fueling a storm of hatred” in his final months in office that culminated in “a clash of brothers and a paralyzed country”.
“I take pride in being with people with very different opinions. We took responsibility at the crucial moment,” he added in a speech in which he mentioned support for the Arab List. “A new episode in relations with the Arabs begins,” he declared.
However, Bennett has expressed his opposition to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, which is “nearing a critical point” and reiterating that “Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons” because “it is not part of the deal and it is is retained “. complete freedom of action. ”“ The renewal of the nuclear agreement is a mistake, ”he concluded in a communication to the US authorities.
The approval came after an extremely tense day, with threats from a United Arab List MP – coalition supporters – to vote against the new government and, later, a wave of abuse against the two architects by Netanyahu MPs, Likud the coalition. Lapid wasn’t even able to deliver his speech.
“I’m skipping the speech I wanted to make today because I’m here to say one thing: apologize to my mother. She is 86 years old and we didn’t ask her to come lightly, but we did, because I assumed they would be. ” can behave “, he complained earlier, to leave the stands.
Netanyahu, for his part, has directed a spate of criticism of the new government. “If we are destined to be in the opposition, we will do so with our heads held high until we overthrow this dangerous government,” said the Prime Minister to this day.
Likewise, Netanyahu has accused Bennett of “the greatest fraud in Israeli history” in a coalition that weakens him in the face of the international community. “It doesn’t have a global position. She doesn’t have the credibility. It has no competition or the support of its own government, how divided it is, ”he said.
This new government “does not suit Isarel”. “They even understand it in Iran. It is no surprise that they are celebrating today. They are celebrating it because they understand that from today there will be a weak and unstable government that adapts to the dictates of the international community,” said he said.
Finally, Netanyahu has recapitulated his accomplishments, including American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. “It was an honor to work day and night for our beloved country,” he said.
The new government is composed of representatives from eight parties from across Israel’s political spectrum and will be led by Bennett as Prime Minister for the first two years. For his part, Lapid will be Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
One of the key portfolios, Defense, will continue to be in the hands of Benny Gantz, the leader of Azul y Blanco. Avigdor Lieberman, another long-time acquaintance of Israeli politics and known for his extremist views, will head the finance department on behalf of the Yisrael Beitenu party. The Ministry of Economic Affairs remains in the hands of Yesh Atids Orna Barbivai.
The interior is left to Yaminas “number two”, Ayelet Shaked. Gideon Sa’ar from Nueva Esperanza will be the new head of the Justice Department, while his party colleague Yifat Shasha-Biton will hold the post of Minister of Education. Labor Omer Barlev becomes the new Minister for Public Security.
Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope) will also serve as Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Liaison between the Knesset and the government. The position of secret service minister remains in the hands of Elazar Stern of the Yesh Atid party. Orit Farkash-Hacohen (blue and white) will be the new Minister of Science and Nir Orbach (Yamina) will lead the Settlements portfolio.