PM Netanyahu: “I have managed to set up a government which will take care of all the citizens of Israel.”
After seven weeks of negotiations, Israel’s designated Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the formation of the country’s next coalition government. “Incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called President Isaac Herzog late on Wednesday night to announce he has successfully formed a government, nearly 40 days after the Likud chairman received the mandate to form a government from Herzog, taking the deadline down the wire,” The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday night.
The announcement came just minutes before the deadline to build a coalition government was set to expire. Prime Minister Netanyahu had until midnight to inform the country’s president that he had the required majority in the parliament to form the next government. The new government is expected to be sworn in next week.
Netanyahu’s Likud party won 32 seats in last month’s election and needed the support from other right-wing parties to cross the 61-seat mark to secure a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
With Wednesday’s announcement, Netanyahu — Israel’s longest-serving prime minister — will return to office after eighteen months, a period in which a series of so-called “anti-Netanyahu” coalition governments were formed to keep him from power. This will be the 6th government under his leadership.
The Israeli TV channel i24News reported:
Israel’s prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night secured the final votes needed to form a government, minutes before his deadline to do so, and called Israeli President Isaac Herzog to finalize his rise to power.
Netanyahu now has a week to swear in his government. The parliament plenum only meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, the confidence vote could only happen the following Monday. This means the government must be sworn in a week later, Monday, January 2.
This also gives Netanyahu’s incoming government time to finish passing three controversial bills into law. The top of the list seems to be what is referred to as the “Ben-Gvir law,” named after far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, which would allow the lawmaker, who is expected to serve as national security minister, expanded authority over the country’s police. The bill is controversial, with several politicians and police leaders speaking out against it.
The Times of Israel transcribed the Hebrew conversation PM Netanyahu had with President Herzog:
In a video of his conversation with Herzog, Netanyahu tells the president, “I wanted to inform you that, thanks to the immense public support we won in the elections, I have managed to set up a government which will take care of all the citizens of Israel. And I of course intend to establish it as quickly as possible.”
Bibi’s Return Irks Biden White House
Displeased by forming a possible right-leaning coalition in Jerusalem under Netanyahu’s leadership, the Biden White House is reportedly taking a hostile stance towards the incoming Israeli government.
“President Joe Biden and his aides have a plan for how to deal with the far-right, anti-Palestinian tilt of the incoming Israeli government: make it all about Benjamin Netanyahu,” Politico reported Tuesday.
The U.S. news website further explained:
The Biden administration will hold the presumptive Israeli prime minister personally responsible for the actions of his more extreme cabinet members, especially if they lead to policies that endanger a future Palestinian state, two U.S. officials familiar with the issue told POLITICO.
To keep the relationship with Israel robust, Biden aides say they need to limit its far-right excesses, and they see Netanyahu as their best conduit to exert such influence.
Not just the Biden administration, the mainstream media outlets, like The New York Times and The Washington Post, are equally perplexed to see Netanyahu return to power.DONATE
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