Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel's prime minister after winning a vote of confidence and succeeding Benjamin Netanyahu.
Of the 119 deputies present (in the 120-member parliament), 60 voted in favor of the new coalition, which includes the right, the left and also supports an Arab party. Fifty-nine lawmakers, mostly from Netanyahu's Likud party, the far-right and pro-Orthodox parties, voted against.
Bennett's victory ends a 12-year tenure under former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
After four elections in two years, the incoming Bennett government is pulling the country out of a long political stalemate and taking over the leadership of the most diverse and fragile coalition of eight parties with profound ideological differences.
In his speech before receiving the vote of confidence, Bennett referred to the diversity of the coalition and sent messages against the polarizing climate.
“Twice in history, we have lost nationally, precisely because the leaders of our generation have not been able to sit side by side and compromise,” Bennett said.
“I am proud of the ability to be with people with very different views from my own,” he added.
Minutes later, Bennett was sworn in, followed by members of the new Cabinet.
Under the terms of the coalition, Bennett will succeed Netanyahu for two years and then be replaced by center-right Jair Lapid.
Congratulations from Biden and Merkel
Among the first leaders to rush to congratulate Israel's new prime minister were US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and all members of the new Israeli government,” Biden said in a statement, adding that he “looks forward to working with him.” to strengthen all aspects of the long and close relationship between our two countries “.
“Israel has no better friend than the United States. “The bond between our peoples is a testament to our common values and decades of close cooperation.”
“The United States remains committed to the security of Israel. “My administration is fully committed to working with the new Israeli government to promote security, stability and peace for Israelis, Palestinians and peoples throughout the region.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she wants to work “closely” with the new government.
“Germany and Israel are linked by a unique friendship which we want to further strengthen. “In that spirit, I look forward to working closely with you,” Merkel said in a statement to Bennett, posted on Twitter by Ulrike Demer.
“Bibi ciao”: Celebrations outside Netanyahu's house
Singing “Bibi ciao”, paraphrasing the famous song of the Italian partisans Bella Ciao, about 2,000 Israelis gathered in Jerusalem last night to celebrate the “victory”, a day before the expected end of the rule of the outgoing Prime Minister Benia.
About 20 meters from the official, strictly guarded residence of the Prime Minister, Ofir Robinski, a father who has participated in many demonstrations against Netanyahu, known by the nickname “Baby”, could not hide his joy.
“For us, it is a big night and tomorrow (today Sunday) will be an even bigger day. I almost cry. “We fought for it peacefully and the day is coming,” he said, holding the Israeli flag.
“Netanyahu only wanted to divide us, one part of society against the other, but tomorrow we will be united, right, left, Arabs,” continued Robinski, for whom the – unexpectedly – new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett “did the right thing. choice “forming a” change “coalition.
For almost a year, Israelis have been protesting outside the prime minister's official residence on Balfour Street in central Jerusalem, demanding the ouster of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing justice for corruption, embezzlement and misappropriation of power.