Following a stormy Knesset debate, the Knesset voted by 60-59 (with one abstention from Ra'am), to confirm the new "change" government and oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel's 13th Prime Minister in Israel's 36th government, followed by Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who will serve as alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs for two years, before becoming prime minister as part of a rotation agreement with Bennett, and then the rest of the new government's ministers.
Yesh Atid's Mickey Levy was voted Knesset Speaker by 67-52.
There was a stormy Knesset session prior to the votes for the new speaker and new government. During Naftali Bennett's speech he was loudly heckled and MKs from the far-right Religious Zionism party were ejected from the plenum. Ultra-orthodox and Likud MKs called Bennett a crook and a liar.
Bennett said, "I have to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu credit for the breakthrough in meetings with Mansour Abbas and holding out his hand to him. You paved the way."
Bennett said that he had taken responsibility to avoid more and more elections and the new government would represent Israel's citizens from Tel Aviv to Ofra and from Rahat to Kiryat Shmona.
Lapid said that he was ashamed of the behavior of the Knesset during Bennett's speech and that consequently he would forego delivering the speech he had prepared.
Netanyahu in his speech attacked Bennett and repeated that he had defrauded Yamina's voters. He vowed to continue his life's work in defending Israel and promoting its prosperity and vowed, "I'll be back sooner than you think."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 13, 2021
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