ISRAEL – Benjamin Netanyahu was Sunday June 13, 2021 voted out as Israel Prime Minister, ending his twelve year rule as the dominant politician of the past generation.
Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, approved the new government by just a single vote — 60 to 59, with one abstention giving way to a precarious coalition government stitched together by widely disparate anti-Netanyahu forces.
Naftali Bennet will now take over as Israel’s new Prime Minister after taking oath of office, immediately after the new coalition government was voted in.
After his supporters cheered the announcement of his election, Bennett exchanged a brief handshake with Mr. Netanyahu before walking to the rostrum at the front of the parliamentary chamber and taking the oath of office as prime minister.
Yair Lapid, a centrist leader, is set to take Mr. Bennett’s place after two years, if their government can hold together that long.
The new government is made up of an eight-party alliance ranging from left to right, from secular to religious, that agrees on little but a desire to oust Mr. Netanyahu, the longest-serving leader in the country’s history, and to end Israel’s lengthy political gridlock.
In his maiden speech as Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said they had stopped the train before the abyss and that time had come for different leaders, from all parts of the people, to stop the madness.
Israel has held four inconclusive elections in two years and had gone much of that time without a state budget.