Israel’s parliament approved the new coalition government, ousting now ex-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sending him into the opposition to Naftali Bennett.
Naftali Bennett became prime minister after the 60-59 vote but Netanyahu made clear he has no intention of exiting the political stage of Israel. “If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country,” Netanyahu stated.
Bennett will be prime minister until September 2023 as part of a power-sharing deal he will then hand power over to Yair Lapid.
Outside the Knesset, thousands of people waving Israeli flags, gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square to celebrate as they watched the vote & erupted into applause when the new government was approved.
President Joe Biden quickly congratulated the new government.
“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations,” he said in a statement after a G-7 meeting in England wrapped up. He said his administration is fully committed to working with the new government “to advance security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region.”