Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking term as Prime Minister ended on Sunday, as Isreal approved a new government, under the leadership of Naftali Bernett, sworn in as Israel’s 13th Prime Minister.
Naftali Bernett, a right wing Jewish Nationalist and a former Defence Minister under Netanyahu, was to take over at the helm of the eight partly bloc, united only by their shared disdain for the hawkish right wing leader known as Bibi.
Netanyahu, 71, in a typically combative style, promised shortly before defeat that “If it’s our destiny to be in the opposition, we”ll do so with our heads high, until we take down this bad government and return to lead the country our way”.
Beloved “King Bibi”, by his right wing supporters, condemned as the “crime minister,” by his critics.
Netanyahu has long been the dominant and increasingly divisive figure in Isreal politics.
Bennett, 49, in a Knesset speech before the vote, promised ty new government, a coalition of ideologically divergent parties, “represent all for Israel”.
He said the country after four inconclusive elections under two years, had been thrown “into a maelstrom of hatred and fighting”.
“The time has come for different leaders, from all parts of the population to stop this madness”, he said to angry shouts of “liar” and “criminal” from right wing opponents.
Netanyahu, who is battling charges in an ongoing trial, he dismisses as a “conspiracy,” has been the dominant Isreali politician of his generation, having also served a previous three year term in the 1990’s.
Being ousted from the top position, will leave Netanyahu more exposed to his legal woes, because it denies him the chance to push through parliament changes to basic laws that could give him immunity.
However, Bernett has vowed to keep Israel safe from Iran, promising that Isreal won’t let Iran have nuclear weapons- a goal Islamic republic denies pursuing.
Lapid 57, is to serve as Foreign Minister for the next two years, before taking from Bernett.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News | June 14, 2021