Naftali Bennett sworn in as new Israeli Prime Minister; ousted Benjamin Netanyahu vows to topple new government


Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted as the Israeli prime minister after 12 years in power as parliament approved a new coalition government. Naftali Bennett, a right-wing politician, has been sworn in as the new prime minister.
Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett will continue to function as Israeli prime minister in September 2023 as part of the power-sharing deal. Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid, will succeed him for the next two years.

Netanyahu will continue to lead the Likud party and act as the new leader of the opposition.

The reason for the end of Netanyahu’s long rule was his inability to form a coalition government in the aftermath of no parties being able to secure an absolute majority in Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

According to analysts, Bennett would have a tough time protecting the alliance due to the presence of little-known Arab political outfit Raam and left-wing non-Arab Israeli parties as partners in the government. Led by Mansour Abbas, Raam has four seats in the current parliament. Their inclusion in the coalition would make Bennet’s job difficult in negotiating with the thorny issue of Palestine.

In contrast, the new coalition also has right-wing groups such as Yamina and New Hope with both being firm votaries of Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, 71-year-old Netanyahu has vowed to topple the government and ‘return to lead the country in our way.’

US President Joe Biden has congratulated Bennet saying that Israel had ‘no better friend than the United States.’ He said, “The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel’s security.”

“My administration is fully committed to working with the new Israeli government to advance security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region,” Biden added.