Published On: Mon, Jun 14th, 2021

Israel’s New Era: Netanyahu is OUT, Bennett is IN

Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv to celebrate Netanyahu's outs, after four elections in two years. World's leaders f congratulate Bennett and the new government.
PM Bennett speaks with President of the US Joe Biden / photo credit (Courtesy) – Ariel Zandberg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year in power ended on Sunday. The Knesset approved the new “government of change” led by nationalist Naftali Bennett, an impossible scenario that few Israelis could have envisaged a decade ago.

However, the razor-thin 60-59 confidence vote in the most Democratic coalition of left-wing, centrist, right-wing, and Arab parties with little in common except a desire to remove Netanyahu emphasized the partnership’s inevitable instability.

Thousands gathered in Tel Aviv to celebrate the outcome, following four inconclusive elections in two years.

World leaders welcomed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his new government, with US President Joe Biden expressing his eagerness to engage with the new administration in an official statement.

“I congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and all the members of the new Israeli cabinet on behalf of the American people,” Biden said in a statement released minutes after the new government was sworn in.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, Naftali Bennett and US President Joe Biden spoke by telephone in the evening. The Prime Minister thanked President Biden for his warm wishes on the inauguration of the new government, and for his long-standing commitment to the State of Israel and its security. 

Bennett noted his appreciation for the President, and for his support for Israel during the recent operation in Gaza (Guardian of the Walls), and noted that he considers him a great friend of the State of Israel.

The greetings between the two leaders put in light the fact that Biden did not speak with Netanyahu for over a month following his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Bennett stated that his government would seek to maintain cordial relations with both Democrats and Republicans in the United States.
 
“Congratulations to the new Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and to all members of the new Israeli cabinet,” US Vice President Kamla Harris said. We look forward to cooperating with the incoming Israeli government and supporting Israelis and Palestinians’ security and peace.”

“The government will make an effort to deepen and enhance our relations with both parties — bipartisan,” Bennett said

Senator Chuck Schumer of the United States of America expressed hope that “we can now begin meaningful negotiations for a two-state solution.”

He urged the Biden administration to “do everything possible to bring the parties together and help achieve a two-state solution in which each side may coexist peacefully.”

United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken both made remarks congratulating their Israeli counterparts on their election.

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nicki Haley, who is visiting in Israel, wrote: “Prime Minister Netanyahu has made a historic contribution to Israel’s security, political relations, and economy.” He is a personal friend of mine as well as a friend of the US. I wish him and Sarah nothing but the best.”

As for Bennett, she wrote: “Best wishes, Prime Minister Bennett. We are committed to the “unmistakable bond between the United States and Israel.”

World leaders wished Bennett and Lapid success and congratulated them on forming the new administration. The President of the United States, the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, India, and Canada, among others, were among the greeters.

Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, stated: “On behalf of the United Kingdom, I wish to congratulate Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid on the establishment of a new administration in Israel.” As we emerge from the Corona crisis, this is an excellent opportunity for Israel and the United Kingdom to continue together to advance peace and prosperity. Everyone”.

On Twitter, the spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated: “Germany and Israel are united in an unmatched relationship that we want to continue strengthening.” I look forward to working together with you in light of this,” Merkel said in an address to Bennett.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on the inauguration of Israel’s new cabinet,” wrote Charles Michel, President of the European Council. We expect to deepen Israel’s relationship with the European Union.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed Bennett in Hebrew on Twitter: “Honorable Prime Minister, Congratulations on your appointment as Israel’s new Prime Minister. I look forward to meeting you and developing our strategic ties as we approach the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations upgrading next year.”

Modi also added in another tweet addressed to Netanyahu: “As your successful tenure as Israeli Prime Minister draws to a close, I would like to convey my heartfelt appreciation for your leadership and pay special attention to India-Israel strategic cooperation.”

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the creation of the cabinet,” Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz stated. I’m excited to work with you. Austria, as a Jewish and democratic state, is dedicated to Israel and will continue to support it.”

“Congratulations on the foundation of the new administration in Israel,” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote. Together, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Prime Minister Yair Lapid, let us explore ways to deepen Canada’s relationships with Israel.”

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