Naftali Bennett on June 13 sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister, ousting Benjamin Netanyahu-the country’s longest-serving prime minister. Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s 13th prime minister.
Bennett, the 49-year-old leader of the right-wing Yamina party, took the oath of office after parliament (Knesset) voted on the new government led by him. The new government has 27 ministers, nine of them women.
In his speech before the Knesset confidence vote, Bennett celebrated the diversity and warned of polarization within the country.
“Twice in history, we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not able to sit with one and another and compromise. Each was right, yet with all their being right, they burnt the house down on top of us,” Bennett said. “I am proud of the ability to sit together with people with very different views from my own.”
“It is time for responsible leaders from different parts of the nation to stop this madness, he asserted.
“This is not a day of mourning,” Bennett said. “There is no disengagement here. There is no harm being caused to anyone. There is a change of government in a democracy. That’s it. And I assure it is a government that will work for the sake of all the people.
“We will do all we can so that no one should have to feel afraid. We are here in the name of good and to work. And I say to those who intend to celebrate tonight, don’t dance on the pain of others. We are not enemies; we are one people.”
US President Joe Biden congratulated Bennett in his first statement about the political situation in Israel, saying he looked forward to working with the new prime minister.
Biden also spoke with Bennett on the phone, according to a readout of the call from the White House. “The leaders agreed that they and their teams would consult closely on all matters related to regional security, including Iran,” the White House said.