by: Kate Norman, BFP Staff Writer
Yair Lapid is now Israel’s prime minister, a position he will hold as interim leader until Israelis head back to the ballot boxes on November 1 for the fifth time in three and a half years.
After multiple delays, Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) voted to dissolve itself on June 30 in a 92–0 vote, as the governing coalition went from a slim majority to dead in the water after several defections over the past months.
Yair Lapid, who for the past year has served as foreign minister and alternate prime minister, partnered with then Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to form a broad coalition linking right, left, centrist and even Arab parties to form a governing coalition.
Bennett now serves as alternate prime minister while Lapid serves as the interim caretaker prime minister.
In his outgoing address, Bennett told Lapid that “this very special position, and this country do not belong to any one person. They belong to the entire people of Israel. I hand over to you the responsibility for the State of Israel. I wish that you guard it well, and may God watch over you.”
Bennett closed by reciting the blessing over Lapid that is spoken over Jewish children at the Shabbat (Sabbath) table: “May God make you like Efraim and Menashe. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He lift up His face to you and grant you peace”.
Lapid’s turn at the helm could be a short one, with Israel’s politicians already gearing up for the next election. But as we’ve seen over the past four elections since 2019, anything can happen in Israeli politics.
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