Incoming and outgoing Israeli leaders brace for political change
Yamina leader Naftali Bennett celebrated the morning of his inauguration as Israel’s 13th prime minister with a prayer, while security around his home in the central city of Ra’anana received a significant improvement worthy of the head of the country.
Bennett posted an image of himself on Twitter wearing traditional Jewish tefillin, along with the Hebrew version of the famous Torah prayer: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord makes his face shine on you and gives you grace; the Lord turns his face to you and gives you peace. “
Bennett’s political partner, centrist leader Yesh Atid and new Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, has seen far fewer security measures in his own home in Tel Aviv.
Lapid, who successfully put together the coalition that ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule, celebrated his achievement by sipping a cup of coffee himself.
He posted the image on social media with the caption: “A morning of change”, a reference to the new government he has put in place, which is known as the “coalition for change”.
The two leaders refrained from making public statements on Sunday as they prepared to take office.
On Saturday night, Bennett called on those celebrating in Jerusalem celebrating Netanyahu’s impending departure to respect the honor of the outgoing prime minister.
Netanyahu chose to mark the day with a Twitter post recalling a meeting in the 1990s with Lubavitcher Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, a day after the anniversary of his death in 1994.
“I remember what the Lubavitcher Rebbe told me,” Netanyahu wrote in Hebrew next to the picture. “You will have to fight with 119 people. It will not leave an impression because The Holy One, blessed be He, is on [your] side.”
Party leaders in the new coalition were due to meet at 2 p.m., two hours before the new government was approved in the Knesset and sworn in.
Bennett’s Yamina party was scheduled to meet at 3:15 p.m., with other Knesset factions scheduled to hold meetings closed to the media.
Before the Knesset vote, Bennett was expected to deliver a conciliatory speech that also referred to Netanyahu.
Immediately afterwards, Lapid was due to speak, followed by the new opposition leader, Netanyahu himself.
Soon after, lawmakers were to vote in Yesh Atid MP Mickey Levy as the new Knesset speaker, who would lead the remainder of the session.
The official events of the day were to conclude with a vote of confidence in the new government.