Israel’s new PM Naftali Bennett vows to unite nation

Israel's new PM Naftali Bennett vows to unite nation
Naftali Bennett (right) ended Benjamin Netanyahu's long tenure in office. Source: Reuters
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Naftali Bennett, Israel’s new Prime Minister, has vowed to unite the nation frayed by four elections in two years of political stalemate.

Mr Bennet said his government “will work for the sake of all the people”, adding that the priorities would be reforms in health and education and cutting red tape.

The right-wing nationalist leader will lead an unprecedented coalition of parties backed by MPs in Sunday’s 60-59 vote.

Naftali Bennett, leader of Yamina party, succeeds Benjamin Netanyahu who was forced out of Prime Ministership after 12 years.

Mr Bennett will be prime minister until September 2023 as part of a power-sharing deal, and he will then hand power over to Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid, for a further two years.

Mr Netanyahu was Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. He will remain head of the right-wing Likud party and become leader of the opposition.

During Sunday’s debate in the Israeli parliament Knesset in Jerusalem, a defiant Mr Netanyahu promised: “We’ll be back.”

After lawmakers voted in the new coalition government, Benjamin Netanyahu walked over to Mr Bennett and shook his hand.

In his speech, 49-year-old Mr Bennett said: “This is not a day of mourning. There is a change of government in a democracy. That’s it.”

“We will do all we can so that no-one should have to feel afraid… 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,” he added.

Representatives of the Palestinians have reacted dismissively to the new government of Israel.

You may read: G7: Biden wants West to form alliance against China