Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset on Sunday afternoon ahead of the expected swearing-in of a new government that will oust him from power and end his 12-year reign on Sunday evening. He promised to do everything possible to topple what he called would be a “dangerous government.” Netanyahu’s speech followed that of Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett, during which the incoming prime minister was interrupted by incessant heckling and yells by Likud members of Knesset.
While outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke, MKs in the coalition being formed were completely silent, making a point of showing him respect. The only MKs who heckled him were from the Joint List, until Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz recalled the criminal charges against Netanyahu near the end of the address.
“We will go to the opposition with our heads held high until we topple the government,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said he was speaking for the millions of voters of Likud and its satellite parties. He recalled the accomplishments of his outgoing government, singling out the Abraham Accords.
Mocking Bennett, Netanyahu said he was even more worried after hearing him say he would fight Iran the same way he would keep Lapid, Labor and Meretz out of his government. He said the new government is unfit to lead the country for even a single day.
“An Israeli prime minister needs to know how to say no to the president of the United State,” Netanyahu said, praising his own speech to Congress against the Iran deal and lamenting that there will be no one left who could stand up for Israel that way.
Had Bennett told Israelis he would form a government with Lapid, he would not have gotten elected at all, Netanyahu said, calling him “fake Right.”
Netanyahu said that after hearing Bennett talk tough about Iran, he was even more worried since “Bennett always did the opposite of what he said.” Netanyahu said that he was leaving the Prime Minister’s Office with his head held high because over a million Israelis voted for Likud and another million voted for right-wing parties that said they would back him. He said he plans to continue to fulfill his mission to ensure Israel’s security and growth. He listed his successes as prime minister, including the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, the construction of new roads, train railways and the improvement to quality of life in the country.
“All of this didn’t happen by chance,” he said. “It happened because we ran a smart and focused security policy that made our enemies pay a price.”
He said that the government oversaw “courageous” operations behind enemy lines to keep Israel safe. The accomplishments, he said, turned Israel from a “marginal state” into a leading country. He said that he would go to the opposition proud and would work to topple this “dangerous government.” Netanyahu said that he was asked by the Biden administration to keep the disagreements between Jerusalem and Washington private regarding Iran. He said that he refused because he is not willing to remain silent when there are existential threats against the State of Israel. “I will do everything to fight this deal, diplomatically and practically,” Netanyahu said he had told the US secretary of defense. He said that Bennett does not have the international status, the capabilities or the stature to fight a nuclear deal with Iran. “This is the most important and fateful difference,” he said. “The prime minister of Israel needs to be able to say no to the president of the US and fight against him with a campaign in the Congress and among the American public.”
(c) All rights reserved The Jerusalem Post 1995 – 2021 Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.