Benjamin Netanhahu will cease to be Prime Minister of Israel after 12 consecutive years in office. The new “Government of Change” in Israel, which brings together eight parties from almost the entire political spectrum, has been ratified in Parliament.
The vote could not have been closer, as it was approved with a majority of 60 deputies in favor, against 59 against and one abstention. The new national unity Executive will be headed for the first two years by the ultra-nationalist Naftali Benet and for the next two years by the centrist Yair Lapid.
“I determine that the Knesset has expressed its confidence in the new government,” the new Speaker of Parliament, Mickey Levy, informed the chamber after the vote was completed.
The vote took place this afternoon in a highly tense and tense atmosphere. Benet, the prime minister, called for unity: “It is time to pass the leadership of the nation and the state to the next generation,” as deputies from Netanyahu’s Likud, ultra-Orthodox formations and the Religious Zionist Party heckled and rebuked him.
“If we are destined to be in opposition, we will do so with our heads held high until we topple this dangerous government,” Netanyahu declared.
Netanyahu has recalled that 1 million people voted in March for his party to form a right-wing executive and accused Benet of “fraud” for joining the anti-Netanyahu bloc and reneging on his promises.
Benet is one of the most right-wing figures in the new government, is now prime minister with only six deputies and will have to govern a coalition with forces with clearly opposing positions.