On Sunday (June 13), a jumbled coalition of Israeli parties ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years as prime minister, as the parliament was relied on by his former ally, the right-wing Jewish nationalist Naftali. · Vote in the new government led by Bennett.
Bennett, a technology millionaire and former special forces commander, was sworn in as the helm of the ideologically divided eight-party group only because he despised the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
The 71-year-old Netanyahu swore in a typical combative style shortly before his failure: “If we are destined to become the opposition, then we will hold our heads high until we overthrow this terrible government and regain our own Way to lead the country”.
Netanyahu was called “King Bibi” and “Mr. Security” by right-wing supporters, and was condemned by critics as “Minister of Crime”. He has dominated Israeli politics for a long time.
But on Sunday, after weeks of political dramatization, the Knesset legislature voted to end his government, ending his government with a small 60-59 majority in the 120-seat chamber.
US President Joe Biden quickly congratulated Bennett.
“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and lasting relationship between our two countries. Israel has no better friend than the United States,” he said in a statement.
Ecstatic revellers crowded a square near Jerusalem’s Knesset (parliament) and poured into the center of Tel Aviv to celebrate Netanyahu’s fall.
Crowds of people gathered in the coastal city, applauding, cheering and waving flags.
In Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu’s opponents waved “Goodbye Bibi” placards to celebrate.
Bennett, 49, told the Knesset before the vote that his government “represents the whole of Israel.”
He said that after four inconclusive elections in less than two years, the country has “entered into a whirlpool of hatred and infighting.”
“It’s time for different leaders from all over the country to stop and stop this madness,” he said. Right-wing opponents angrily shouted “liars” and “criminals.”
Netanyahu fought corruption charges in what he considered a conspiracy trial. He has been the leading Israeli politician of his generation and served for three years in the 1990s.
His supporters praised him as the defender of Israel, and he held a tough attitude towards his arch-enemy Iran, but last year he also reached a series of historic normalization agreements with Arab countries.
Being ousted from the top position made Netanyahu more likely to face legal problems and prevented him from pushing for legislation that would grant him immunity.
Bennett, the former defense minister under Netanyahu, vowed to protect Israel from Iran and promised that “Israel will not allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons,” but the Islamic Republic denies pursuing this goal.
Netanyahu claimed that Iran “celebrated” the birth of a “dangerous” and weak left-wing government.
The diversified anti-Netanyahu group was pieced together by former TV presenter and secular centrist Yair Lapid.
It spans the political spectrum, with three right-wing, two centrist and two left-wing parties, and even an Arab Islamic Conservative Party.
Lapid, 57, will serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs for the next two years before succeeding Bennett.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Bennett in a tweet from her spokeswoman on Sunday: “Germany and Israel have a unique friendship, and we hope to further strengthen this friendship. With this in mind, I look forward to it. To work closely with you.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a congratulatory message, adding that Ottawa “remains firmly committed to a two-state solution that allows Israelis and Palestinians to live in a peaceful, safe and dignified environment… Without fear, their human rights are respected.”
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter: “I look forward to continuing cooperation on security, trade and climate change, and working together to ensure peace in the region.”
The President of the European Council Charles Michel also congratulated on Twitter.
Congratulations to the Prime Minister @naftalibennett And alternate PM and MFA @yairlapid Sworn in for the new Israeli government.
Looking forward to strengthening the partnership, common prosperity, and realizing lasting peace and stability in the region.
-Charles Michel (@eucopresident) June 13, 2021
After an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic group that rules the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, and the inter-community violence in Israeli cities with large Arab populations, this impossible alliance emerged for weeks.
Netanyahu was the mastermind of the turbulent politics in Israel. He tried to strip defectors, hoping to deprive the newly-born coalition of the hard-won majority of seats, but to no avail.
He accused Bennett of “fraud” on the side of his competitors. The angry rally of the Prime Minister’s Likud supporters has led to the strengthening of the safety of some lawmakers.
As his control of power declines, Netanyahu’s exaggerated remarks are on par with former US President Donald Trump, who described last year’s election failure as the result of vote manipulation.
As tensions with the Palestinians intensified, the Israeli parliament was approved on Sunday.
Right-wing Israelis are also angry at the postponement of the controversial Jewish nationalist march through the flashpoint area of East Jerusalem last week.
The “Flag Raising Parade” is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday, which is an important early test for the new government.
Hamas, the ruler of Gaza, said that political developments in Jerusalem will not change their position on Israel.
“The form taken by the Israeli government will not change the nature of our relationship,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the organization.
“It is still a colonial and occupying power that we must resist.”