Naftali Bennett has emerged the new Israeli Prime Minister.
Bennett’s emergence followed the end of Netanyahu’s historic 12-year rule on Sunday June 13, 2021.
Bennett, who emerged the new PM after the 60-59 vote, promised to try to heal a divided nation.
He will preside over a diverse and fragile coalition comprised of eight parties with deep ideological differences.
But the 71-year-old Netanyahu made clear he has no intention of exiting the political stage.
“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,” he said.
Israel had on June 2, elected a new president, Isaac Herzog who will be performing ceremonial functions.
The vote, capping a stormy parliamentary session, ended a two-year cycle of political paralysis in which the country held four deadlocked elections. Those votes focused largely on Netanyahu’s divisive rule and his fitness to remain in office while on trial for corruption charges.
Supporters of Netanyahu say he is a global statesman uniquely capable of leading the country through its many security challenges.
His critics, however, describe him a polarizing and autocratic leader who used divide-and-rule tactics to aggravate the many rifts in Israeli society.
Those include tensions between Jews and Arabs, and within the Jewish majority between his religious and nationalist base and his more secular and dovish opponents.