Naftali Bennett Becomes Israel’s New Prime Minister, Ending Netanyahu’s 12-Year Reign

Israel's 36th Government at Beit HaNasi Photo Credit - Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Israel’s 36th Government at Beit HaNasi Photo Credit – Avi Ohayon (GPO)

06-13-2021 CBN News Jerusalem

Benjamin Netanyahu’s term as prime minister ended Sunday after Israel’s parliament approved a new government formed by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.

Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset (MKs), approved the new government in a 60 to 59 vote with one abstention, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Bennett’s supporters cheered after the announcement, then he exchanged a brief handshake with Netanyahu before taking the oath of office as the new prime minister.Related

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid listens during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

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“I am proud that I can sit in a government with people with very different views,” Bennett said.

CBN News Senior Editor, and Middle East analyst, John Waage commenting on the vote says Netanyahu has pledged to bring down the new Israeli government quickly, and he may have the opportunity to do that.  

“The coalition parties have almost nothing in common except their disdain for Netanyahu and the desire to remove him from office.  That isn’t a winning formula for long-term success,” Waage said.

He also believes Israel’s new government will now almost certainly be tested in the international arena. 

“It’s most notable enemy, Iran, has plenty of proxies to threaten the new government,” he said. “Netanyahu has pledged to bring down the new Israeli government quickly, and he may have opportunity to do that.” 

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Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs badgered Bennett, calling him a deceiver and a fraud. However, Bennett promised to help the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) population, despite the MKs objection to being apart of his government. 

Bennett vowed to create a new haredi city for the area’s growing population while assuring that the government would take steps to reach out to the Arab sector.

“This is not a day of mourning,” Bennett said. “There is no disengagement here. There is no harm being caused to anyone. There is a change of government in a democracy. That’s it. And I assure it is a government that will work for the sake of all the people.”

“We will do all we can so that no one should have to feel afraid,” he continued. We are here in the name of good and to work. And I say to those who intend to celebrate tonight, don’t dance on the pain of others. We are not enemies; we are one people.”

During the address, Bennett said his government would not authorize rocket fire on Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip.

He also praised Netanyahu for his hard work over the years for the State of Israel, while commending his service to Ra’am head Mansour Abbas, Bennett said. 

Netanyahu earlier claimed that Bennett won’t be able to stand up to pressure from the Biden administration the way he would on a number of issues like Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the re-funding of UNRWA, and the contentious issue of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Bennett – a religious conservative – holds strong views that differ from President Joe Biden, particularly on the Iranian nuclear deal. Biden helped draft the original 2015 Iran deal and his administration is currently negotiating another agreement.

To confront the US on this issue and others, Bennett will head a divided coalition with many internal ideological differences, including an Arab party that holds anti-Zionist views. 

A photo of Israel’s 36th government will be taken at the president’s Residence on Monday.

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Steve Martin

STEVE & LAURIE MARTIN - LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE FOUNDERS My good wife Laurie and I (45 years in October 2022!), through the ministry of Love For His People we founded in 2010, give love and support for our friends in Israel and in other nations with friendship, humanitarian aid, and social media support, along with Steve's messages, and our Ahava Adventures trips to Israel. Steve has also authored and published 34 books. We live in the Charlotte, NC area. We have four adult children, spouses, and eight grandkids.

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