In a history-making vote, Israel’s 36th government was sworn in at the Knesset on Sunday. Yamina chair Naftali Bennett was installed as prime minister and Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted after 12 years of consecutive rule as premier.
MKs voted by a wafer-thin 60-59 in favor of the new government, made up of right-wing, left-wing, centrist, and Islamist parties that came together to oust Netanyahu and end two years of political deadlock.
One MK, Ra’am’s Saeed al-Harumi, abstained from the vote, in a protest centered on the demolition of Bedouin homes in the Negev. Three MKs from the predominantly Arab Joint List — Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi — stayed out of the chamber until the votes were initially counted, ready to abstain if necessary to ensure the coalition was elected but, entered to vote against once it was clear that the required simple majority was assured.
Here is the new Cabinet Ministers list of who’s who:
- Alternate Prime Minister/Foreign Affairs: Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid)
- Deputy Prime Minister/Defense: Benny Gantz (Blue and White)
- Deputy Prime Minister/Justice: Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope)
- Finance: Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
- Education: Yifat Shasha-Biton (New Hope)
- Interior: Ayelet Shaked (Yamina)
- Health: Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz)
- Transportation: Merav Michaeli (Labor)
- Environmental Protection: Tamar Zandberg (Meretz)
- Public Security: Omer Bar-Lev (Labor)
- Communications: Yoaz Hendel (New Hope)
- Economy: Orna Barbivay (Yesh Atid)
- Labor; Social Services and Social Affairs: Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid)
- Energy: Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid)
- Diaspora Affairs: Nachman Shai (Labor)
- Intelligence Services: Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid)
- Tourism: Yoel Razvozov (Yesh Atid)
- Religious Affairs: Matan Kahana (Yamina)
- Culture and Sports: Chili Tropper (Blue and White)
- Aliyah and Integration: Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White)
- Agriculture and Negev and Galilee Development: Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu)
- Construction, Ministerial Liaison to the Knesset: Ze’ev Elkin (New Hope)
- Regional Cooperation: Essawi Frej (Meretz)
- Science and Technology: Orit Farkash Hacohen (Blue and White)
- Social Equity: Meirav Cohen (Yesh Atid)
- Minister in the Finance Ministry: Hamed Amar (Yisrael Beytenu)
- Knesset Speaker: Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid)
- Finance Committee chairman: Alex Kushnir (Yisrael Beytenu)
- Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman: Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid)
- Law and Constitution Committee chairman: Rabbi Gilad Kariv (Labor)
- Aliyah and Diaspora Affairs Committee chairman: Yair Golan (Meretz)
Opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the ‘right-wing bloc’ Monday and announced that the bloc’s mission would be to bring down the government which was inaugurated last night. “We have a very strong opposition – 53 MKs, who are cohesive and strong to overthrow this dangerous left-wing government, this fraudulent government. It will fall quickly and I will tell you why: the only thing that connects them is hatred, exclusion and power. It is impossible to have such a government.” Netanyahu stated.
AFSI congratulates Israel’s new government and wishes it hatzlacha. We would be remiss if we did not state our concerns and expectations. At the very top of our priority list we hope that they will 1) Not establish a two-state solution; 2) Continue to fight to keep Iran from re-entering the nuclear deal; 3) Not cave in to Arab demands for land grabs 4) Not freeze the building and development of new homes in Judea and Samaria; 5) WILL DECLARE SOVEREIGNTY OVER JUDEA AND SAMARIA.
Of course we must acknowledge the huge debt of gratitude we owe to Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for his many years of service and for his many successes bringing Israel to where it is on the world stage today. We also give our heartfelt thanks to all the ministers and MKs who served tirelessly with him over the years; fighting to defend Israel’s legal rights and her Sovereignty. May you all go from strength to strength.