Israel begins a new era with PM Bennett

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Naftali Bennett (Photo by YONATAN SINDEL / POOL / AFP)

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav Israel begins a new era with PM Bennett

WASHINGTON, USA – Few could have imagined the term of Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12-year run coming to an end on Sunday led by nationalist Naftali Bennett.

However, Netanyahu, 71, said he would be back sooner than expected, given a 60-59 vote of confidence in a coalition of left-wing, centrist, right-wing and Arab parties. “If we are destined to go into the opposition, we will do so with our heads held high until we can topple it,” he said.

Should the deal hold – prime minister Bennett, a 49-year-old Orthodox Jew and high-tech millionaire, will be replaced as prime minister in 2023 by centrist Yair Lapid, 57, a popular former television host.

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. call with prime minister Bennett of Israel reads:

President Biden spoke today with prime minister Bennett to offer his warm congratulations to prime minister Bennett on becoming prime minister of the State of Israel. President Biden highlighted his decades of steadfast support for the US-Israel relationship and his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. He expressed his firm intent to deepen cooperation between the United States and Israel on the many challenges and opportunities facing the region.

“ The leaders agreed that they and their teams would consult closely on all matters related to regional security, including Iran. The president also conveyed that his administration intends to work closely with the Israeli government on efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians.    

Israel’s new prime minister and Cabinet faces several challenges including security, financial post-pandemic economic recovery, and a ceasefire with Palestinian militants in Gaza. There is an urgent need to help stabilise the country’s finances; meanwhile, Bennett priorities include reforms in education, health, cutting red tape to grow businesses and lower housing costs.

In a statement Sunday, on behalf of the government of Canada, prime minister Justin Trudeau, congratulate prime minister Bennett and alternate prime minister Lapid on the formation of a new Israeli government.

Prime minister Trudeau statement reads:

“Canada and Israel are close friends bound together by shared democratic values, a long history of cooperation, and vibrant people-to-people ties. Throughout the years, we have joined efforts on a number of common priorities, including through advancing education, science, and innovation, combatting antisemitism in all its forms, and promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.

“I look forward to working with prime minister Bennett and alternate prime minister Lapid to keep our people safe and supported as we recover from the global COVID-19 pandemic, and help both of our countries build back better. Together, we will explore ways to further strengthen the relationship between Canada and Israel, expand bilateral trade and investment, and create new opportunities and jobs for our people, including through the modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

“Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to a two-state solution, with Israelis and Palestinians living in peace, security, and dignity – without fear and with their human rights respected. Canada will continue to promote lasting peace and security in the region.

“I thank former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his valuable partnership over the years, at a time when Canada and Israel achieved a great deal together.”

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