After a noisy session and with a minimal majority of 60 votes and 59 votes against, the Israeli Parliament approved a new government coalition without the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Members of Likud cried “shame” and made the new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett a liar when he outlined his governments plans.
Beyond the Knesset, supporters of the new government expressed their joy at the end of the Netanyahu administration. At the Wailing Wall, ultraorthodox Jews and other opponents of the new government went into prayer.
First Bennett, then Lapid
The new coalition consists of parties that differ widely ideologically and also an Arab party. These eight parties were united in their efforts to put an end to the more than 12 year premiership of Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition has a minimum majority in parliament with 61 out of 120 seats.
Now that the parliament has been agreed, the right-wing nationalist Bennett has been at the helm of the country for two years. After that, center politician and coalition partner Yair Lapid will take over the baton from him.
The 57-year-old Lapid is the architect of the coalition and led the opposition to Prime Minister Netanyahu over the past year. Israel got to know him before as a journalist and as a TV presenter. Nine years ago, Lapid made the transition to politics when he founded the secular central party There is a future.
Do not disappear from stage
Lapid became the second largest party and Lapid became Finance Minister in Netanyahus third cabinet. In 2014, it came to a break between the two, to which Lapid entered the opposition. In this capacity, he criticized the close links between Netanyahu and his ultra-Orthodox allies. Lapid also attacked Netanyahu over the corruption scandals in which the Prime Minister was involved.
Bennetts right-turn party is not big with seven seats, but the 49-year-old politician may become Israels next Prime Minister. Thats because without Bennett, Lapid couldnt have obtained a majority in parliament.
Enraged opposition leader
According to biographer Anshel Pfeffer, Netanyahu is not going to calm down in the coming months. “He will become a furious opposition leader. And deliberate on a political comeback. He will certainly not permanently disappear from the political scene.”
This was already evident from his speech to Parliament before the vote. Netanyahu accused Bennett of committing the “greatest fraud in Israels history” because the right-wing leader had excluded a government with Lapid before the elections. “The public will not forget this,” said Netanyahu, who announced that it will soon take over power in Israel.