Friday, 12 Aug 2022 - 15 of Av, 5782

Yair Lapid becomes Israel’s interim Prime Minister ahead of November 1st elections

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Lapid, who will also remain Foreign Minister, will make his first political trip abroad as Prime Minister to France, and will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. He will also host US President Joe Biden in his visit to Israel later this month.

On Friday, he held his first security consultation with the head of Shin Bet security service. He will also meet his military secretary, Maj Gen Avi Gil, who also served his predecessor, and with the coordinator for POWs (prisoners of war) and missing civilians.

 

Yair Lapid was sworn in as Israe’s interim Prime Minister on Thursday as he replaced Naftali Bennett following the vote of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, to disperse and to hold the next election on November 1, the fifth in less than 4 years.

Bennett, Lapid and their families participated in a small ceremony for Lapid’s tran-sition to prime minister. Before the ceremony, Lapid also paid a visit to Yad Vashem and met Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

“Yair, I’m handing you the stick,” Bennett told Lapid. “This country and this position do not belong to any one person. We’re doing this together and now it’s your time.”

Lapid, who will also remain Foreign Minister, will make his first political trip abroad as Prime Minister to France, and will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron. He will also host US President Joe Biden in his visit to Israel later this month.

Prime Minister Lapid received congratulations from leaders around the world including US President Joe Biden.

Bennett said he would not be running in the next elections. Minister Ayelet Shaked is expected to head the Yamina Party after Bennett’s departure.

The opposition had sought an earlier date for the next elections, 25 October, as it is while ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students are still on vacation and thus more likely to vote.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Bennett-Lapid government as a failed experiment. “You promised change, talked about healing, did an experiment, and the experiment failed. This is what happens when you take fake right-wing with the extreme left, mix it with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Joint List, that’s what you get. That’s exactly what the upcoming election is about.”

He continued by asking whether there would be again “a failed Lapid government, dependent on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Joint List, and supporters of terrorism, or a broad and strong national government headed by us that will return to Israel the pride, power, and hope”.

What happened ?

The Bennett-Lapid government lost its slim majority in April and has struggled to pass legislation since.
On the 20 June, with rumours of more rebel MKs leaving the coalition, Naftali Bennett announced that he had decided to bring down his government.

According to Bennett, it came against the backdrop of the coalition’s inability to extend a West Bank ordinance that was due to expire at the end of the month. “Over the past weeks, we did whatever we could to save this government” Bennett said “not for us, but for the benefit of the country. I held many talks and understood that if the Knesset did not dissolve within ten days, Israel’s security would be severely harmed”.

Early election polls have shown that neither the pro-Netanyahu or anti-Netanyahu camps have enough votes to form a stable coalition.

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