Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, spent his last minutes in power defending his record, promising to remain in opposition as an opposition leader and exposing his nominated successor, Naftali Bennett.
During a parliamentary debate before the vote to approve Bennett’s government, Mr. Netanyahu who felt like an oversight speech kept up with a list of what he considered his accomplishments in office.
He noted that he was trying to make Iran a non-nuclear power and praised four diplomatic agreements with Arab countries, which were completed during his tenure, which undermined the assumptions that Israel would first strengthen relations with the Arab world. after making peace with the Palestinians. He also highlighted several favorable moves by the Trump administration that he advocated, including U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the installation of a U.S. embassy in the city.
“Our successes have transformed Israel from a fringe state to a leading power,” Netanyahu said. He then warned of the damage he believes a government led by Bennett is doing to Israel, and has violated legislation proposed by the new government, which could undermine the prime minister’s ability to to remain in power would be limited, as he did. .
“If we have to be in the opposition, we will keep it upright until we get rid of this dangerous government and return to lead the state,” he said. Netanyahu said.
Mr. Bennett is a former assistant to Mr. Netanyahu, who is considered even further to his right. Bennett, a former software entrepreneur and settler leader, has been a longtime opponent of Palestinian sovereignty.
After months of doubt, Mr. Bennett late last month with Mr. Netanyahu, and joins with an unlikely alliance of hard-right, centrist, far-left and Arab lawmakers united only by a shared aversion of Mr. Netanyahu. Mr. Bennett said it was necessary to form a government of national unity to end a political stalemate that left the country without a budget and forced the country through just four unconvincing elections in just two years.
Mr. Netanyahu and his allies drafted the decision as an act of treason, which led to several of them Mr. Bennett struggled and disrupted during his own speech earlier in the afternoon. On the other hand, legislators largely remained silent while Mr. Netanyahu spoke in a sign of respect.
“The right wing will not forget Bennett’s deception,” he said. Netanyahu said during his speech. “You call yourself guardians of democracy, but you are so afraid of democracy that you are willing to legislate fascist laws so that I can not participate.”
He then addressed his supporters.
“I say today: do not let your mind wander,” said Mr. Netanyahu said. ‘I will lead you daily in a fight against this bad and dangerous left-wing government and drop it. And with the help of God, it will happen faster than you think. ”