After 12 years as Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu was finally ousted from his post by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, on Sunday, June 13.
The house of representatives of the State of Israel decided the country needed a new government that could lead a disparate coalition of adversaries in amends for Netanyahu’s 12 years of divisive leadership, hence reaching a vote to remove him from his position.
The vote was close, however, with 60 in favor and 59 against, reports the NewYorkPost.
After the fourth election in two years on March 23, the Netanyahu administration could not block an inclination to a power-sharing alliance between his two main opponents: centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid and right-wing former Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.
Following Netanyahu’s departure, Bennett and Lapid will take turns per two years to take the post of Israel Prime Minister according to the coalition agreement.
Bennett was immediately sworn in after the Knesset vote. He is expected to shift his power to Lapid in 2023.
Holding the post of Israel’s prime minister since 2009 in addition to his tenure between 1996 to 1999, Netanyahu already derided the sharing leadership as a “dangerous government” before the vote, vowing that he would return to power.
“If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country in our way,” he said.
The White House issued a statement of congratulations to Israel’s new change in leadership, assuring that the U.S. will continue its alliance with the country.
“Israel has no better friend than the United States. The bond that unites our people is evidence of our shared values and decades of close cooperation and as we continue to strengthen our partnership, the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel’s security,” said President Joe Biden, adding a promise to assist the leaders with “security, stability, and peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and people throughout the broader region.”
Amid opposition from Netanyahu’s supporters, Bennett said that the sharing of power was important to end the period of division among the people of Israel.
“To continue on in this way—more elections, more hatred, more vitriolic posts on Facebook—is just not an option,” he said, “Therefore we stopped the train, a moment before it barreled into the abyss.”
In a speech to the Knesset, the successor of Netanyahu addressed several key points of his administration, including hindering Iran from grasping on nuclear power, remaining ceasefire with Hamas but would play a tough hand if it breaks the peace, and its bipartisan alliance with the US.